Part of our mission is to strengthen our work as well as the animal protection movement by evaluating our work and by sharing information.
Providing well-founded information
We put a high emphasis on using scientifically sound sources for everything we publish – especially so for our cornerstone articles about each of the commonly farmed animal species, vegan nutrition and health, and the environmental and socio-economic impacts of animal farming. Our reasoning behind that is that the animal protection movement must be credible if it wants to gain more influence.
These articles are increasingly used by other organizations (animal protection and beyond), book authors, the media, Wikipedia, etc..
In 2015, our scientific department staff wrote 37 articles for our websites and in 2016, it has written 24 articles, so far. Nine of these articles were cited in five books in 2015 and 16 have been cited in six books in 2016, so far. The media also often refers to these articles when going into depth.
Our scientific department is also responsible for our internal knowledge management. We use Confluence (a good Wiki that is free of charge for NGOs) to do so. We are also planning to publish some of the knowledge we have gathered such as a list and an evaluation of theories on behavioral change and their implications for veg. consumer outreach.
Initiating and supporting science
Since plant-based meats are often criticized by German media to be allegedly unhealthy, we asked an institute to do a thorough comparative analysis of animal and plant-based meats. The study will show that plant-based meats are (with some exceptions) the healthier choice. It is due to be published by the end of 2016.
We are also working with students and universities. In 2015, we have had seven students for (under)graduate internships working in our offices (two, so far, in 2016). Additionally, we have worked with three students on their B.A. and M.A. theses.
We worked with the Fachhochschule des Mittelstands, a college of higher education, to establish the “Institute for Ethical Nutrition” and the B. A. program “Vegan Food Management”. Graduates will help food companies to expand and to improve their vegan offerings. Our involvement stretches from introducing the idea to working out details, suggesting a professor and helping with accreditation to designing and teaching some courses. The first trimester starts in October 2016.
Surveys and evaluations to improve projects and materials
We are constantly evaluating and improving our work. In 2015, we did a survey to find ways to improve our main leaflet and made several small changes to it immediately. A round of bigger changes will take place later on. We also improved our survey that we ask donors to fill out after the donation process in order to learn more about them.
In 2015, we also worked out a concept for evaluating our Vegan Taste Week through two surveys which we improved in 2016. This work has already allowed us to make some improvements and continues to do so.
Improving project management
After we had some issues with our project management, we decided to put a focus on improving our standards. In 2016, we have done an analysis on the areas we want to improve in and we have already developed and implemented some solutions. Our work in this area will continue and we are planning to release an internal guide for project management later on.