Upcoming changes at Sentience
After four and a half fulfilling years full of transformation, growth, and unique projects, the time has come for me to turn a new page. I have decided to step down from my operational role as Co-Managing Director of Sentience at the end of this year. Philipp Ryf, currently Co-Managing Director and former Co-Campaign Leader of the Initiative to Abolish Factory Farming, will lead the organization from 2024 as the sole Managing Director.
There have been countless moments that have filled what has been an incredibly exciting and educational time at Sentience. I would especially like to highlight our Initiative “Fundamental Rights for Primates”, which has significantly influenced the discourse on animal rights in Switzerland. The Federal Court decision of September 16, 2020, which classified a referendum on basic rights for non-human animals as constitutionally compliant, was historic. The fact that the initiative was rejected in Basel-Stadt in February last year was to be expected. Nevertheless, the overriding satisfaction lies in the broad dialogue that the project has initiated on the relationship between humans and animals, and the media attention we received far beyond our national borders. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the countless team members, partner organizations, testimonials, and volunteers who have made this project unforgettable.
The largest project I accompanied during my time at Sentience was the Initiative to Abolish Factory Farming, which placed the issue of intensive animal farming on the political stage, making it a permanent part of the national discourse. The initiative has allowed Sentience to work with a wide range of interest groups and ensure that numerous stakeholders had to state their position on the issue of animal-friendly and sustainable Swiss animal farming. The media’s and Swiss society’s response to our initiative were tremendous, and I am enormously grateful for the over 1 million yes votes. Sentience will continue the important work on this topic in the future and move Switzerland towards animal-friendly agriculture, one step at a time.
I am proud that Sentience has been able to establish itself as an important stakeholder in the Swiss agricultural policy discourse in recent years. Our critical contributions and activities, our active cross-sector exchange with various organizations and parties, and our high profile l campaigns have established us as a respected player in Swiss agriculture and animal policy.
Our current project in the field of sustainable proteins, the Protein Lab, will receive my full attention until the end of the year. Here, too, the focus is on cross-sector collaboration, with the aim of tangibly advancing the protein transition in Switzerland. I am very much looking forward to this exciting process and am enormously grateful to be able to count on the active support of our partner organizations collaboratio helvetica and Bern University of Applied Sciences for this project.
At the same time, I am enormously pleased to witness the success of our “RRRevolution!” campaign which has already been supported by over 10,000 people. You too can sign our call and help to put pressure on Swiss politics and anchor the 3R principle in Swiss agriculture!
As I personally prepare for a new chapter, one emotion dominates: gratitude. I was incredibly lucky to be able to work on exciting and inspiring projects with fantastic people, which I will remember for a lifetime. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the people who have accompanied me on this journey.
Next year Sentience celebrates its 10 year anniversary – an occasion that I very much look forward to attending. I am convinced that our organisation will continue to do pioneering work in its next decade that attracts attention beyond our borders, and that Sentience will continue to place the interests of non-human animals at the center of society – and into people’s hearts – for years to come.
Thank you for everything,
PS: Our ambitious and motivated team in Zurich is currently looking for a person who wants to passionately advocate for the interests of non-human animals in Switzerland in the role of Head of Communication & Fundraising. All information about this position can be found here.
Sentience becomes the hundredth member of the Open Wing Alliance
Sentience is the first Swiss organization to join the alliance, which was founded in 2016. In doing so, our organization is committing to become an even stronger advocate for the interests of chickens at home and abroad in the future.
Key Learnings 2022
Both of our initiatives represented landmark achievements for Sentience. They shaped the public discourse in 2022 and contributed to the slow inculcation of animal ethics into mainstream society. Yet, there is room for improvement.
Annual Report 2022
The past year was a huge milestone in the recent history of our association. With the Primate Initiative in Basel and the national referendum on factory farming, two proposals of historical importance came to the ballot box.
Introducing the Protein Lab 2023
We are pleased to introduce our first fully-funded project for 2023. Protein Lab comprises a series of one-day workshops where experts will come together to discuss how our food system can transition towards plant-based protein sources.
Meet the team who will take our work forward in 2023
The most eventful year so far is coming to an end for Sentience. Get to know our new team and support our Matching Challenge so that we can continue our commitment to non-human animals.
Double Your Donation by December 31
We would like to announce an exciting giving opportunity! From now until the end of the year, all donations to Sentience will be matched up to a total of 30,000 CHF. This matching challenge is made possible thanks to a few generous donors...
We lost the vote, and factory farmed animals still need our help
Swiss voters have now decided the outcome of our flagship initiative to abolish factory farming, which was launched by Sentience in 2018. The incredible support of our partner organisations, network of volunteers and public figures made it possible…
Despite defeat: Factory farming has won Switzerland’s attention
The Swiss electorate rejected the initiative against factory farming. As part of the sponsoring committee, Sentience is pleased that the initiative has received a great deal of attention in recent months. Since the initiative's launch in 2018…