2. Animal Suffering
Many people in the effective altruism community believe that we should be concerned about the welfare of nonhuman animals.
In particular, the advent of industrialized agriculture means that billions of animals each year are kept in inhumane conditions on factory farms. Most have their lives ended prematurely when they are slaughtered for food.
Advocates for their welfare argue that it is relatively cheap to reduce demand for factory farmed meat, or enact legislative changes that improve the welfare of farmed animals. Because of the huge numbers of animals involved, making progress on this issue could avert a very large amount of suffering.
Given the scale of the problem, animal welfare seems extremely neglected. Only 3% of philanthropic funding in the US is split between the environment and animals, while 97% goes toward helping humans. And even within the funding spent on animal welfare, only about 1% goes towards farmed animals, despite the extreme suffering they endure.