“Create all the happiness you are able to create: remove all the misery you are able to remove. Every day will allow you to add something to the pleasure of others, or to diminish something of their pains.”
-Jeremy Bentham’s advice to a young girl, 1830

A few social media users have asked why we focus so much on working to end cage confinement for egg-laying hens. The answer to this question lies in Lever’s advocacy philosophy: utilitarianism.

Utilitarianism was founded and developed by philosophers such as Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill in the 18th and 19th centuries. According to utilitarianism, the moral value of an action should be determined by its ability to maximize the total amount of happiness or pleasure produced and to minimize the total amount of pain or suffering.

When it comes to animal advocacy work, this means prioritizing campaigns that have the potential to make the biggest significant impact on the animals while optimizing cost, tactics, resources and, time.

Lever’s Utilitarian Approach

Utilitarianism is also one of the core principles guiding Lever’s organizational decision-making. With a global population of 34.4 billion, chickens are the most farmed land animals on the planet with over 90% living in small cages and confined in ways that severely restrict their movement and natural behavior. This causes immense suffering for these animals while having negative environmental and public health impacts. 

Indeed, the most intensively farmed animals are fish (40-120 billion each year), with fish welfare being frequently overlooked by both advocates and food companies, despite aquaculture’s enormous impact on the environment and human health.

That’s why Lever is leading crucial program work in Asia – home to 46% of chickens and 89% of fish – to work with egg producers and companies to upgrade animal welfare policies for seafood and eggs in particular. Additionally, as consumer awareness of farm animal suffering grows, Lever is advancing alternative protein in Asia to assist startups in providing high-quality, delicious, and animal-free products.


This work happened because of the support of people like you. Please consider donating today to build a more humane and sustainable protein supply in Asia.