The Truth About The Guardian’s Plant-Based ‘Ethics’

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Technocrats from Social Media and Big Tech are major contributors to global Philanthropy efforts. Great news – they are using their obscene wealth to help the world be a better place.

However, there’s a big problem here. Their money and tech control is funding Editorial Journalism, what we see in our Social Feeds, what Search Results show up in Google, and fuelling extreme Activism globally.

We’re talking about extremely well-funded and coordinated propaganda that supports their worldview – in effect attempting for us all to believe what they want us to believe. In a world where we think we have control of what we see and believe… it turns out that is far from true.

The Guardian Sells Out

The Guardian, a long-standing and well-respected British and Global daily newspaper, has been trusted for publishing investigative journalism with a commitment to offering factual information. They have a slight to moderate liberal bias, and often utilise loaded words to favour liberal causes.

Well, over the last few years they have moved to a funding model that receives support from outside institutions and readers – in return significant donors have the opportunity to direct where The Guardian’s journalistic efforts go.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a public Philanthropic partner of the paper, where they are branded supporters of The Guardian’s Global Development site. This significant contribution allows for journalistic research, reporting and editorial that may otherwise not have been possible.

Bill & Melinda Gates' Foundation - funders of The Guardian
Bill & Melinda Gates’ Foundation – funders of The Guardian’s editorial on global issues

Gracious as it is, let’s not be naive here – The Guardian are selling off their Editorial efforts and space to those that want certain matters to be well covered. Whilst there must be ethical standards here, of course there will be influence in what is covered, access to biased data and science, and the broad strokes conclusions and themes of the editorial.

Let’s also not be naive that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation do not have influence on tangential editorial that support their philanthropic and business interests…

Bill Gates has invested substantially in major vegan meat companies, Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods & Motif Ingredients (decoding animal nutrition for plant-based alternatives). He also has large investments in many grain and seed companies around the world.

With the plant-based meat market alone expected to grow significantly in the next few years at a CAGR of 14.8% to reach $30.92 billion USD by 2026, is there any surprise this market is getting a lot of media attention (likely funded)?

Open Philanthropic Project (OPP)

Another technocratic fund that almost no one has heard of, yet has an outsized voice when it comes to activism, is absolutely shaping our thinking and lifestyles.

The firm is called the Open Philanthropic Project (OPP) – an offshoot of GiveWell and GoodVentures – which is founded and bankrolled by Facebook Co-Founder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife Cari Tuna, whose net worth is over $11 billion. You can read about their focus areas here.

Dustin Moskovitz and Cari Tuna, founders and funders of the Open Philanthropy Project
Dustin Moskovitz and Cari Tuna, founders and funders of the Open Philanthropy Project

The Guardian have received $1.8M to date from OPP in support of their Animals Farmed editorial – that consists of a steady stream of articles that paint animal agriculture as inhumane, unhealthy and dangerous to the environment, whilst strongly advocating for vegan and plant-based life choices.

The Guardian is open about this funding source, as are OPP – see Grant 1 and Grant 2. Again, The Guardian has sold off their regular editorial space and services to support the worldview of an outside organisation.

GATES’S link: Moskovitz and Tuna are the youngest couple to sign Bill Gates and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge, which commits billionaires to giving away most of their wealth in the form of philanthropy.

OPP’s Broader Animal Rights & Vegan Efforts

OPP invest heavily in activism, R&D and lobbying for policy changes, with animal rights extremist groups receiving 10’s of millions every year. They are considered an activist corporation, and are listed on Activistfasts.com.

The Open Philanthropy Project
The Open Philanthropy Project

To date, they have granted $1.142 billion across 920+ grants since 2012. You can see their full list of grants through their open grants database.

Open Philanthropy Project have donated an eye watering $120 million in the last 4.5 years to Animal Rights Activism, Vegan Activism, and Plant-Based Alternatives! Just think what kind of global Plant-Based Propaganda machine this has created…

They have funded 96 organisations through 188 grants, led by Lewis Bollard – a former leader at the Humane Society – with the Top 15 Recipients being:

  1. The Humane League – $17,337,000
  2. Mercy for Animals – $9,667,250
  3. Compassion in World Farming – $8,943,404
  4. Animal Equality– $7,790,890
  5. The Good Food Institute – $6,500,000
  6. Humane Society International – $4,516,269
  7. Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research – $4,500,000
  8. World Animal Protection – $4,001,139
  9. Prevent Cruelty California – $4,000,000
  10. Humane Slaughter Association -$3,518,316
  11. Global Food Partners – $3,500,000
  12. Albert Schweitzer Foundation -$3,029,046
  13. Global Animal Partnership -$3,000,000
  14. Eurogroup for Animals -$2,866,060
  15. theguardian.org – $1,786,600

Their annual breakdown of grants to Farmed Animal Welfare looks like this:

  • 2020: $10M to date
  • 2019: $37.8M
  • 2018: $28M
  • 2017: $28M
  • 2016: $14.4M

There’s more…

As you look through the funding recipients and/or the project names, you can see a minimum of $13.2 million has been directed towards research and production of plant-based alternatives.

Moreover, they decided to not grant but instead invest in Impossible Foods for an undisclosed amount.

The Open Philanthropy Project is an investor in Impossible Foods - plant-based 'meats'
The Open Philanthropy Project is an investor in Impossible Foods – plant-based ‘meats’

As you look across the projects, it’s clear one big objective is to massively increase the awareness (i.e. marketing) of their worldview – that farming animals is bad all round, and converting to plant-based is the only solution. They fund undercover operations, protests, leaflet drops, surveys, media production, lobbyist groups, policy change and educational campaigns across the world.

Let’s be clear – this is market and public sentiment influence through large scale marketing and propagandising. For example, Group Nine Media was given $215,000 to produce emotional Factory Farming Videos. They want their narrative to become YOUR worldview.

Let’s not forget about Facebook…

Oh, and did I mention Dustin Moskovitz is the co-founder of Facebook? He left in 2009, but remains close friends with Mark Zuckerberg. We also know that Facebook as a democratic/liberal organisation have a stance on many matters, including plant-based advocacy.

Facebook Co-Founders - Mark Zuckerberg & Dustin Moskovitz
Facebook Co-Founders – Mark Zuckerberg & Dustin Moskovitz

We all know Facebook and Instagram control what we see through their feed algorithm, content censoring, advertising, echo chambers, and fact-checking matters that don’t match their worldview of what is right (e.g. anything that does not align with the WHO).

Is it plausible that Facebook and Instagram, that has the attention of billions of people globally, could be supporting the same causes of OPP – either directly or indirectly?

P.S. Dustin Moskovitz’s contributed $20 million to the 2016 Democratic Hillary Clinton campaign, as he didn’t want Trump to become president. 

It’s a Beautiful Thing

Ok, so let’s piece OPP’s Animal Rights and Plant-Based agenda together:

  1. They fund extreme Animal Rights activism globally – some of which is illegal and aggressive
  2.  The activism produces a lot of insight, images/footage, data and a plethora of writers who can write emotionally
  3. They fund policy lobbyists to push for reform and change in the food system
  4. They fund plant-based alternative food development, that needs to get the word out on their work and products
  5. All the above produces content galore for their reputable communication platform (The Guardian) to use as raw material for their articles.

Said another way, The Guardian is OPP’s mouthpiece. Fed by their ‘hands’ and ‘feet’ – the food and activist corporations they fund. What a perfect well-orchestrated Propaganda Machine!

And what an effective and highly productive machine it is. With the first grant received in late 2017, Guardian were able to spin up a new editorial section – Animals Farmed – at the beginning of 2018, and have produced 223 articles in 2.5 years. Thats an article every 4 days!

The Guardian's Animal Farmed
The Guardian’s Animal Farmed editorial, funded by OPP

All these articles, with undercover pictures showing emotional imagery on animal husbandry and aerial shots of plant devastation from all over the world. That’s gonna cost ya. Paired up with worrying headlines, grave concerns, and a plant-based lifestyle being the only viable solution to this mess.

It’s a sweet deal for The Guardian. They get $450K per annum to hire maybe 4-5 journalists and low level researchers and cover a few travel expenses. But they need not spend a lot of cash, nor expend lot of energy doing investigative journalism or having to think creatively. Instead… they just wait for the propaganda machine they are enmeshed in to feed them the next sensationalist scoop.

What else do the OPP fund?

OPP have been giving generously to the field of Pandemic Preparedness and associated Scientific Research. Some points of note:

  • OPP has granted $84M in Biosecurity & Pandemic Preparedness since April 2015, with $38M provided between Sep-19 and Jun-20 alone.
  • John Hopkins University, a central organisation in the COVID-19 analysis and research, has received $40M from OPP in 5 years.
  • OPP have granted $6.3M between March and April 2020 explicitly supporting efforts calling out COVID-19 R&D.
  • $77.8M has been invested into Scientific Research related to Viruses, Infectious Diseases and Vaccines.

They also give extensively to Criminal Justice Reform, with grants totally $128M in just under 3 years.

Here’s an Excel data dump of all Open Philanthropy Project Grants up until June 2020, which includes short project descriptions per grant.

Isn’t Philanthropic Editorial Funding a good thing?

Would I rather these billionaires just sit on their piles of cash as opposed to do good with it? Of course not. Are there issues in the world that need strong investment and allocation of resources? Absolutely.

Philanthropy is a great thing for the world, and should not be vilified by those who immediately assume that you must be a bad person if you have a boatload of cash. If I had that kind of cash, I absolutely would want to support human and planetary progress, and would be hurt to think people assumed I was doing this for selfish reasons.

Moreover, it’s great that corporations like OPP and The Guardian are being transparent about their Philanthropy and Editorial funding respectively. It beats conspiracy theorists running amok.

However, in a world where we all believe that Nationalist Propaganda is behind us with the democratisation of information – thanks to privatisation, 100’s of TV stations and the internet – we are all led to believe that we are truly thinking for ourselves.

Are we though, really? We’ve done away with overt centralised government controlling of the narrative through what was a couple of TV channels, radio stations, daily newspapers… but it doesn’t mean propaganda has disappeared. In actual fact, with greater money, technology and social manipulation at hand, there is more propaganda than ever before!

OPP & Co. - a wolf in sheep's clothing, shepherding us all...
OPP & Co. – a wolf in sheep’s clothing, shepherding us all…

This is propaganda masquerading as authentic journalism, online virtue signalling and tech money fuelled extremist activism.

It’s not just Gates’ Foundation and OPP fuelling this masterful propaganda – there are enormous and well-orchestrated resources behind the Plant-based agenda, including all of the large Processed Food conglomerates. No conspiracy… just follow the money.

What should we expect from Journalism?

according to the National Union of Journalists’ code of conduct:

“Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth and its first loyalty is to citizens. Journalists must remain independent of those they cover and must serve as an independent monitor of power. A journalist must at all times uphold and defend the principle of media freedom, the right of freedom of expression, and the right of the public to be informed. Ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough.”

If the above is not respected, then the product is Propaganda. There’s no way to sugar coat it.

As Frank Mitloehner concluded on his coverage of this OPP-Guardian funding situation:

“I wonder how many of the Guardian’s readers throughout the world truly understand that Animals Farmed is advertorial copy designed to win them over to OPP’s view of animal agriculture.”

I couldn’t agree more. Educate me. Don’t try to influence me with your bias, power and endless resources.

Most importantly… do some REAL JOURNALISM:

  • Deeply investigate and question everything.
  • Look at all sides of the argument.
  • Care about the truth, not your cognitive bias.
  • Don’t dumb things assuming people can’t handle the complexity of the truth.
  • Don’t get caught up in your own little echo chamber.
  • Leave your bias at the front door of your office.
  • Don’t sell out your integrity and impartiality.
It doesn't need to be this way... does it?
It doesn’t need to be this way… does it?

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3 thoughts on “The Truth About The Guardian’s Plant-Based ‘Ethics’

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  1. An interesting article, but if you argue that animal agriculture is not a big issue, then ultimately you are being blind to the effects of climate change and planet scale habitat loss.
    Granted, intensive agriculture is almost always bad with regard to carbon storage, soil degradation and efficiency in terms of getting the sun’s energy into people as food. However, investment is required into the areas of plant based alternatives in order to get the ball rolling in terms of changing diets.
    I’d be interested to find out the practices of these companies and determine their impact on the communities they source from and the habitats their crops are grown in.

  2. While I’m not in agreement with the practice of selling editorial space to the highest bidder, the articles do contain a quite clear notice that the content is sponsored by an outside organization. Propaganda nonetheless, but not much different than an advertorial in The New York Times or other such sponsored content.

    1. I agree – it is good that both Guardian are transparent on the Animals Farmed section of OPP’s “sponsorship”, and that OPP are open on who they fund. The big issue is the Propaganda machine they have carefully funded and orchestrated, with The Guardian acting as the mouthpiece. And, whilst you and I are aware of this funding and propaganda, most will be oblivious to this. They will see The Guardian posting every four days on these matters and (1) think the issue must be so huge that The Guardian are compelled to devote so much of their time to this voluntarily and (2) have their worldview shaped by this work without understanding the other side of the discussion. I can say, having dedicated much time to understanding regenerative agriculture and even most other more conventional ruminant agriculture – there is so much more to understand, including some incredibly positive aspects that are critical to a healthy planet and healthy humans.

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