The Accountability Board
Launched in late 2022, The Accountability Board is an organization run by two animal liberation extremists that harasses food companies.
TAB’s purported mission is to keep companies accountable to pledges they have made on the kind of meat, eggs, or dairy products they purchase. In practice, its role is to support other activists that run shareholder proposals pressuring companies to make radical and unfeasible changes to their protein supply chains.
TAB touts an investment portfolio of around 100 major publicly traded companies in the food and agricultural sectors, including Starbucks, Aramark, Nestle, McDonald’s, Campbell’s, and Kroger.
While The Accountability Board’s vision of a more sustainable future may sound benign, a closer look at the group reveals its real, underlying goal: disrupting the foodservice industry and ultimately promoting veganism.
The Accountability Board received $10 million in seed money through The Open Philanthropy Project in 2022. The Open Philanthropy Project has given over $100 million to animal liberation activist groups since 2016, much of it earmarked for corporate pressure campaigns. It was founded by a wealthy Facebook co-founder.
While The Accountability Board positions itself as a group of ESG experts, it is really a group run by two animal liberation extremists.
Founder Josh Balk is a former executive at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), a deceptively named anti-meat group unrelated to local humane societies that operate pet shelters. Before that, Balk worked for Animal Outlook (formerly Compassion Over Killing), a group that promotes vegan diets. He is also a co-founder of Eat Just, which manufactures a highly processed vegan egg substitute.
After HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle resigned in disgrace following, Balk was one of a handful of donors to Pacelle’s new political group a short time later. Balk also maintains a close relationship with Josh Tetrick, the CEO of Eat Just. In 1998, Tetrick was charged with assaulting his mother and has also been accused of helping employees who slept with him.
Matt Prescott is COO of the Accountability Board. Previously, Prescott was food policy director for HSUS and a PETA campaigner.
Prescott created a campaign for PETA called “Holocaust on Your Plate.” comparing chickens to Holocaust victims and farmers to Nazis. “Anybody who eats meat,” Prescott told a Canadian reporter, “is guilty of holding the same mindset that allowed the Holocaust to happen.” Prescott’s campaign was condemned by the Jewish community and banned in Germany, where trivializing the Holocaust is illegal.
Prescott’s advocacy approach calls for infiltrating companies and seeking to embarrass them. In a 2008 Boston Globe interview, he explained the need to expose companies’ treatment of animals through shareholder status: “We purchase small amounts of stock and begin to attend their annual meetings. When we come up with a shareholder resolution, the company has to print up our message and send it to every investor.”