This profile is part of the "Giving for Animals Stories" Series. David Funosas is an ecologist at Université de Caen (France). David took the Giving What We Can pledge to donate a part of his income to animal charities.
What inspired you to start donating to the animal advocacy cause and what motivates you to continue?
I've been in many local farms in the past, and I've seen firsthand the miserable conditions in which chickens and pigs are living. The screams, the stench of death, the dead corpses around every corner, the horror in their eyes... Some memories of what I saw are still haunting me. From the first moment I felt strongly compelled to do something about it, but it wasn't until I read the resources by 80000 hours, Animal Charity Evaluators and Faunalytics that I learned how to direct my efforts effectively, how to actually make a difference.
The possibility of making a meaningful contribution for animals simply by giving a percentage of my salary isn't something that would've occurred to me on my own, but it made sense from the first moment I read about the idea. I've met some people working at effective animal advocacy organizations since then, and I've always been humbled by their extraordinary degree of professional competence coupled with a strong and genuine commitment to helping animals.
Knowing how much the animal advocacy cause is funding-constrained and how far a double-digit percentage of an average salary in a Western country can go, committing to a giving pledge seems like a no-brainer. I believe that enabling high-skilled professionals to expand their operations and campaigns to help animals is an incredibly worthwhile use of any animal advocate's money.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking the pledge/earning to give for animals, but is unsure?
I'd ask them to reflect on how likely it is that they'll regret having taken the pledge some years into the future. It might not be the case for everyone, but my experience is that people very rarely regret having made personal sacrifices for an altruistic cause they truly believe in. Moreover, this once-in-a-lifetime decision can provide them with a stable sense of pride and meaning since, regardless of the direct impact of their job, the pledge will ensure that (in expectation) they improve the lives of hundreds or thousands of animals every month.