Learn how you can create a positive impact for animals with your career and where to find your next vegan job
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Lots of people are looking for vegan jobs. Perhaps you worry that your current job doesn’t match up to your ethical views. Or perhaps you are looking to give your career deeper meaning and find a way that you can help animals.
So what are the options for vegan jobs? You might first think of working at a vegan company making and selling plant-based food, or working in direct care for animals at a shelter or sanctuary, perhaps as a veterinarian.
However, these more obviously vegan jobs aren’t the only options. There are plenty of ways that vegans can align their careers with their ethical views, which we’ll summarise in this article.
Types of Vegan Jobs — Jobs for Vegans and Anyone Who Wants to Create an Impact for Animals
Work for Food Companies
Let’s start with an obvious option: working at vegan food companies.
A great way to contribute to the advancement of veganism — and therefore to help farmed animals — is by working to produce, improve, and sell new alternative foods to animal products. Many of the companies that you could work for are explicitly vegan or plant-based organisations.
According to a report by The Good Food Institute, in 2020, $3.1 billion was invested in alternatives to conventional animal-based foods. This includes investments in plant-based meat, egg, and dairy companies, cultivated meat companies, and fermentation companies devoted to alternative proteins. Alongside all this investment into animal product alternatives, the market has grown rapidly and the number of job roles has increased year on year. There are hundreds of companies producing and selling these products that you could potentially work for.
But, if you are motivated to help animals through your career, you don’t need to limit your options to explicitly vegan organisations; there are also promising opportunities within companies that are less aligned with the goals of the farmed animal movement where your advocacy within the company could have a big impact.
For example, imagine if someone really motivated to help animals worked in a high-ranking role at a major meat company, like Tyson Foods. What good could they do to help animals over their career? As it turns out, even Tyson, which is one of the largest U.S. producers of animal meat by sales, introduced its first plant-based products in 2019.
Large companies are often weighing up whether or not to improve the welfare standards affecting animals in their supply chain — they often do, and internal advocacy could swing the balance. Such roles could be highly impactful, but are not for the faint-hearted, since you’d have to work on the “inside” of organisations whose work is often negative for animals.
There are a number of different role types within food companies. For example, our research found which role types are most common at plant-based animal product alternatives companies:
Operations, administration, or HR (38% of staff)
Management and leadership (24% of staff)
Technical product-focused research (16% of staff)
Business development, corporate engagement, or sales (13% of staff)
Marketing, communications, customer services, or PR (13% of staff)
Product handling and manual tasks (10% of staff)
Web or software development and other similar technical skills (4% of staff)
Engineering and other roles affecting manufacturing and processing (3% of staff)
We’ve written a skills profile about technical research for animal product alternatives (including engineering-related roles), if you are interested in that specific sort of path.
Work for Nonprofits — Direct Care and Advocacy
Another job type that seems obviously vegan and helpful to animals is to work at an animal sanctuary or shelter, caring directly for the animals. As well as helping animals directly, these organisations can provide opportunities for humane education and to invite the public to meet animals they may have previously viewed as commodities.
As animal sanctuaries and shelters operate as nonprofit organisations, there are a number of traditional nonprofit roles available in this space. Animal sanctuaries and shelters also hire for direct animal care roles, such as a veterinarian or caregiver.
Direct animal care can be very expensive, and there are many different types of animal advocacy nonprofit work that probably help animals a lot more in the long term. For example, nonprofits can focus on diet change outreach, undercover investigations, support for the development of animal product alternatives, political campaigns, litigation, or welfare campaigns. To take one recent estimate, some of the most promising campaigns positively affect between 9 and 120 years of chicken lives per dollar spent on them. This means that you can have incredible impact potential by working at these organisations. Again, many of these organisations are explicitly vegan.
We researched roles at 27 nonprofits and found the following role types are most common:
Campaigns, corporate engagement, or volunteer management (31% of staff)
Management and leadership (24% of staff)
Operations, administration, or HR (18% of staff)
Marketing or communications (16% of staff)
Fundraising (10% of staff)
Research (7% of staff)
Other technical skills, e.g. web or software development (7% of staff)
Lobbying or legal (5% of staff)
Natural sciences (2% of staff)
Other (2% of staff)
We’ve written skills profiles about a few of these role types in animal advocacy nonprofits — fundraising, lobbying, and management and leadership. We also have a profile specifically about growing the movement in countries where it is small or new. If you’re interested in this type of roles, keep an eye on our job board.
Other types of animal advocacy
There are other jobs where you can advocate directly for animals. Some jobs will give you a public platform that you can leverage, e.g. a news site if you’re a journalist or books, conferences, and policy consultations if you are an academic. And of course, in many jobs you will be able to pursue independent advocacy (e.g. grassroots activism) or develop expertise that you can put to use in skilled volunteering at animal advocacy nonprofits.
Work in Government and Policy
Working to improve laws and regulations that affect animals or to encourage policy change is a valuable contribution that those of us striving to create a vegan world can make. Imagine an ideal, animal-friendly society of the future. What are some of the main differences? A key component is probably better laws and regulations to protect animals.
Individuals going into careers in government and policy won’t be able to change the world overnight. But they may play an important role in shifting laws, regulations, and social norms. As a politician you would be able to propose or vote on new laws. If you worked for a politician or in the government’s bureaucracy, you might be able to influence politicians to take animal interests seriously or directly affect the details of new policies.
There are three main categories of work in this area:
Political roles — politicians plus their advisors and assistants, e.g. Congressional staffers in the US.
Policy roles — people who implement the policies that politicians decide on, e.g. staff in the US Department of Agriculture or the UK’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.
Lobbying roles — advocates outside government employment, e.g. lobbyists at animal advocacy nonprofits.
You can read more in our detailed skills profile about careers relating to politics, policy, and lobbying.
Work in Research
From technical research for the development of alternative foods to animal products through to strategic research for animal advocates, there is a variety of research that helps animals.
This research can be used to help nonprofits and advocates understand how to spend their time and resources and encourage donors and foundations to give financial support to different nonprofits or interventions. It can also draw media attention to an issue, provide credible information to the public, and influence governments and policy-makers.
Below are example of different types of research that can be done in academia or in relevant nonprofits and are relevant to the vegan movement:
Research on overarching strategy for social movements: Sociologists, political scientists, historians, and legal scholars can conduct this research. Sentience Institute is a nonprofit doing research relevant to this.
Research focused on outcomes: Nonprofits can look at questions specific to the farmed animal movement. For example, how many animals have been affected by corporate welfare campaigns? What are the causes of activists burning out and leaving the movement? Rethink Priorities and Faunalytics do research like this.
Technical research: Biologists, engineers, and other scientists can work directly on the development for alternative foods to animal products. Nonprofits don’t tend to do this research themselves, but The Good Food Institute and New Harvest provide funding for this research in academic settings. Most of this research actually happens in for-profit companies, at the moment.
Psychological research: This can be done in academia around foods that provide alternatives to animal products: What do consumers think of these products? How can we market these products successfully? What are the indirect effects of these products? Faunalytics, The Good Food Institute, Animal Charity Evaluators, and Sentience Institute have done research related to this.
Animal welfare research: Veterinarians and animal welfare scientists can do research that directly affects the treatment of farmed animals and wild animals.
Social research: Economists, geographers, and other academics can research and write about potential changes to the food system and how this could affect society more widely.
Environmental research: Scientists can evaluate the impact of animal-based foods on the environment.
Donate to Nonprofits
While not a job in and of itself, donating earnings can have a powerful impact. You can donate money to support the work of nonprofits doing work that effectively helps animals. Some individuals make this the main focus of their career, seeking to earn lots of money and donate a large proportion of their earnings. Remember the estimate above that some campaigns can positively affect between 9 and 120 years of chicken life per dollar spent? Imagine what you could achieve if you donated hundreds or thousands of dollars!
Which Option is Best for You?
So, from each of these options, which should you choose? There are a lot of factors that could affect your career strategy, so it’s important to plan carefully.
And you might not want to focus on one of these options right away; it might make more sense to focus on developing “career capital” that you can later apply to one of these options, perhaps donating and doing skilled volunteering in the meantime.
Animal Advocacy Careers provides research tools to assist you in maximising your positive impact for animals through your career. Check out our careers advice to find helpful guidance. Below, we list 13 different vegan job boards where you can find open positions that might enable you to help animals.
13 Vegan Job Boards to Find Vegan Jobs
There are many job boards online where you can find vegan and animal rights jobs. Here, we focus on specific job boards that are exclusively promoting vacancies related to animal welfare, animal rights, animal product alternatives, and veganism, as you’ll have a higher chance of finding your dream job there.
We’ve previously posted a longer list of websites and social media groups where animal advocacy jobs are shared; we expect there will be a lot of overlap between the sites there, so that list is more useful for animal advocacy organisations that are hiring than it is for job-seekers.
Animal Advocacy Careers’ Job Board
Our job board includes jobs in animal welfare across highly impact-focused animal nonprofit organisations. We list roles at the organisations where we expect that the role has an unusually high impact potential for animals. We do not vet the organisations ourselves but include a column noting whether and how the organisations have been reviewed by Animal Charity Evaluators, whose evaluation criteria include cost-effectiveness and culture.
Some organisations that have never been reviewed by ACE are included because they’ve been found to be promising by grant-makers focused on finding the best opportunities to help animals, such as Open Philanthropy or the EA Animal Welfare Fund. And some others are included because they seem unusually focused on this goal, such as organisations that conduct research into the most effective animal advocacy tactics.
For any organisation included in our systematic searches, we list all their roles and update the job board every two weeks (usually on Mondays). So if you’re looking for roles at those organisations, you can be confident that you won’t miss out on opportunities there. We usually have 100 or more roles on the board at any one time, from a wide variety of countries.
We also accept requests to list roles, if a few criteria are met; with only a few exceptions for unusually promising other types of work, all included roles focus primarily on helping farmed animals, which tends to be the most cost-effective way to help animals.
80000 Hours Job Board
80000 Hours is a job board for effective altruism organisations. These organisations are focused on solving the world’s most pressing problems in the most effective way possible. Although they promote roles across different causes, they have a number of roles specific to solving factory farming. Many of the same roles and organisations are listed here as on Animal Advocacy Careers’ job board, with a roughly similar number of postings. 80,000 Hours has a slightly wider range of roles (e.g. some at animal product alternatives companies), but doesn’t claim or attempt to include all jobs from any particular organisation.
Veganjobs.com is probably the widest known vegan job board. They are a global vegan job and resume hub operated by vegans for vegans and plant based / vegan-oriented businesses and organisations. It’s free both for candidates and organisations. In this job board, you’re most likely to find open positions at vegan start-ups and companies, but they also have vacant positions at animal nonprofits.
There are usually hundreds or even thousands of roles listed here. The vegan jobs board relies on organisations manually posting each of their jobs, so it's only comprehensive for any particular organisation if they are diligent in posting every role to the most relevant job boards (which many of them are, of course!).
The board requires that each posting business “offers only vegan products/services,” which isn’t a strict requirement for some of the other job boards we’ve listed in this post. But there’s no requirement or filtering for the organisation being particularly impactful for animals.
The Good Food Institute Job Board
This vegan job board is all about careers in the alternative protein space. They include positions in organisations that are driving alternative protein innovation and are looking for motivated, creative and enthusiastic people to join their teams.
It’s a great place to check for relevant and potentially impactful opportunities, but since it relies on organisations submitting the roles themselves, it doesn’t cover all the promising job opportunities in the animal product alternatives space. We recommend that you also follow specific companies that you are excited about from GFI’s company database or the Protein Directory.
Protein Directory isn’t technically a job board, but it has a database of more than 1600 companies in the alt-protein space! They also have a great user experience with lots of options to filter and group the job roles in different categories and topics — from plant-based, fermentation and cultivated, to topics in alternative protein like meat, fish, eggs or fungi. Our research shows that animal product alternatives companies only rarely offer remote roles, so it’s important to identify companies that operate in areas you’d consider working in, then make sure you subscribe to their newsletters or monitor their sites for opportunities.
Vevolution’s Job Board focuses on jobs at vegan businesses. They are a global movement that joins together plant-based and cellular agriculture innovators from around the world — where entrepreneurs, emerging startups and investors come together. As such, in this job board, you’re most likely to find jobs related to plant-based and cellular agriculture, especially in vegan start-ups. Organisations need to pay to list their roles here.
VegNews Job Board
VegNews job board doesn’t have hundreds of roles, but it is updated often, so it might well be where you’ll find your next vegan job! They are most focused on companies and nonprofits across the United States of America.
The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries Job Board
This job board is great for those who’d like to work at an animal sanctuary and have a closer relationship with animals. We don’t usually recommend this path to people who include helping animals as much as possible as one of their career goals, but their job board also includes some opportunities related to broader education or advocacy which might be more impactful. Most but not all roles are based in the United States.
CellAgri Job Board
CellAgri Job Board promotes roles in cellular agriculture (i.e. cultured meat, a type of animal product alternative) in companies and organisations across the globe. They don’t have an option for filtering but the number of positions is limited, so it will be easy to find if there are any opportunities that suit you well.
Vegan Mainstream Job Board
Vegan Mainstream is a company that provides services to support vegan business owners and entrepreneurs. They include a job board on their website as part of their services (for free). Vegan Mainstreams’ job board includes a wide range of animal jobs, including in vegan businesses and nonprofit organisations. When we wrote this article, there were 42 jobs on the board, over half of which were at PETA. Other organisations had some but not all of their roles listed.
This job board includes vegan remote jobs at vegan and vegan-friendly companies. All jobs are hand-screen and vetted to ensure they are remote jobs at 100% vegan and vegan-friendly companies. Although this job board doesn’t work with filters, jobs are grouped by area of expertise so it will be easy to find something that suits particular skillsets.
Vegpreneur Job Board
Vegpreneur job board promotes sustainable and vegan jobs, as well as internships. They only include a few listings but also link to a number of other job boards you might find useful.
How do you find a vegan job?
We know these are a lot of job boards to keep track of! Ideally, you should know what types of roles you’re interested in and can taper from that. If not, you should sign up for our animal advocacy online course and learn important considerations involved in working to help animals which will help you plan your next steps.
And if you’re actively searching for an animal rights job, sign up to our mailing list and receive a notification every time we update our job board!