Letter from the Founder
Farm Forward occupies a unique place in the farm animal protection movement. Like other groups, we push for incremental improvements to the welfare standards adopted by companies, educational institutions, and faith communities. However, our aim is not to improve on our current factory farming system. All our efforts point beyond mitigation toward the end of factory farming. We don’t hold back the truth. While incremental improvements do help animals, the only policies that represent dramatic and lasting improvements for animals are those that replace factory-farmed meat with plant-based options or with animals raised entirely outside of the industrial system.
Our work to change policy remains as central to Farm Forward as ever. By influencing buying practices at universities, religious institutions, and businesses, and by helping shape the animal welfare standards of GAP and other welfare certifications, we’ve generated self-sustaining and self-replicating changes to how food is sourced.
Equally important is Farm Forward’s work to change farming. Our priority is working with farmers like Frank Reese to re-establish a nonindustrial poultry industry, without the fast-growing genetics that are the lynchpin of the factory farm model.
We are educating the public about the ways that the industry’s aggressive genetic modification of chickens and turkeys is at the root of much farm animal suffering. And we are constructing new supply chains from farmer to consumer that make a better future for farming possible.
Above all, Farm Forward has worked to establish genetic welfare as a major priority for the animal movement in its fight to reform the poultry industry. Our successful advocacy for genetic welfare with GAP will impact 277 million chickens per year through changes set to be phased in by GAP over the next six years.
In 2017 we helped change the narrative people tell about farming through our support for both book and film versions of Eating Animals and through our religious outreach. Our JIFA program, in particular, has provided in-depth, personal programming to thousands of Jews across the country, helping develop a community-specific approach to fighting factory farming, something we are duplicating in other communities.
In 2017 our Jonathan Safran Foer Virtual Visits reached 4,000 students in the transformative space of high school and university classrooms. We also celebrated the Eating Animals documentary’s premiere at Telluride Film Festival and the international acclaim that followed. We are proud to have helped support the film’s making in numerous ways over more than five years. Now that the film is set to hit the big screen we are looking for the next story-changing project we can help bring to life!
In the pages that follow, you’ll be introduced to the details of how Farm Forward’s unique team has intervened in the last twelve months to change policy, farming, and narrative in the service of ending factory farming.
With your help, we will win!
Aaron S. Gross
Founder & CEO
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