Friday, November 22nd, 2019

How To Promote Animal Rights

Published on January 11, 2010 by   ·   8 Comments Pin It
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If you’ve ever sympathized with the plight of animals used for dog fighting, abused in circuses and laboratory research or killed for trophy hunting, fur and factory farming, you can make a difference by acting on your convictions and allying yourself with an organization that reflects your viewpoints. If you believe that animals deserve the basic rights to enjoy a life of humane conditions that are free of abuse, oppression and confinement, then you can advocate in the following ways.

How To Promote Animal Rights

How To Promote Animal Rights

Step One: Educate yourself and get a firm grasp on your position.

Animal rights advocates are a diverse bunch, holding a wide range of view points. The first step to taking action is figuring out where you stand.

Some activists focus on animal welfare, deeming it important for animals to be treated, and even killed, humanely. Others believe human beings are not entitled to use animals for food, medical experimentation, sport and clothing. There are different degrees of advocacy that correspond to these various beliefs, from advocacy pertaining to anti-abuse legislation to more aggressive animal liberation stances.

Once you’ve got a grasp on what you believe – read up on the issues most important to you.

Here are some starters:

Factory farming
Seal hunting
Puppy mills
Dog fighting

Step Two: Understand that not everyone thinks the same way you do.

Maintaining an open minded perspective can be very beneficial when you’re attempting to promote animal rights to the masses. Rather than running the risk of appearing extreme in your beliefs, if you can respect more mainstream or opposing positions, you will be more likely to be able to spread your message with a greater level of success. Some people will believe in ethical hunting, whereas others will completely disagree. Some extreme animal rights activists have experienced backlash because of their over-the-top antics used to capture public attention. If you really want to make a genuine connection with people on the street, sometimes it is far more effective to find out what makes them tick and approach your animal rights promotion from a place of respectful education and illumination.

Step Three: Ally yourself with a pre-existing group or start one of your own.

Strength in numbers is applicable for many causes and certainly so when you’re campaigning to spread the word about animal rights. Your message is more likely to be heard when you have the backing of similarly minded individuals who are all working toward a common goal. You can also cover a lot more ground when you benefit from pre-existing strategies, proper organization and large budgetary resources. Animal-focused organizations range from the controversial People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to the not-so-controversial Humane Society, each with distinctly different methods of reaching the public. Do your homework, first by researching their mission statements online and exploring the way they deliver their belief system and then by locating a satellite office in your neck of the woods. If you find after all is said and done that your views aren’t compatible, consider taking matters into your own hands by creating your own group via Meetup.com or another social network avenue. Networking with local vegetarian societies, animal rescue facilities, health food stores, college campuses and even attending animal themed conferences will help you to locate potential members who will want to rally around the same cause that you have an affinity for.

Step Four: Spread the word by setting up a website or blog.

If you are working with a pre-existing organization, use the online social networking tools they already possesss to spread your message. Inquire if they’re looking for passionate bloggers to lend additional voices to their site.

If you’re branching out on your own, becoming a valuable source of animal rights information could potentially mushroom into a second career. Ultimately, establishing yourself as an authority, via your own website or blog, will slowly but surely gain you a following and in our world of online-driven education, that’s all you really need to change lives in an impactful way.

Once you become a fixture in any online venue, people will want to hear what you have to say and be more likely to ban together with you on future animal rights projects that you work on.

Step Five: Hit the pavement.

Considered to be an old-fashioned way of reaching the public in comparison to today’s mouse-clicking, instant gratification standards, physically handing out flyers emblazoned with animal rights facts to strangers on the street can still be an effective tactic.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Animal rights advocates tend to be proponents of living a greener lifestyle, so handing out reams of garbage-can-bound paper is not exactly eco-acceptable.
  • Also, if you’re going to walk this path, be sure to wear your toughest street armor since there are always a few in the crowd who aren’t afraid to share offensive remarks with you. Let negative comments roll right off and remind yourself that it’s all in a day’s work, especially if you are ultimately able to help others achieve a light bulb moment.

Step Six: Organize an animal rights awareness event.

While this may be a lot of effort, a well-executed soiree that not only engages the public and spreads knowledge, but could also potentially raise funds for local animal related causes. Create a thoroughly outlined proposal and pitch it to local high schools, colleges, libraries and community centers. Organizations of this nature continually seek recreational and educational programs to augment their offerings. Whether you get the thumbs-up to deliver one or 20 events, your resulting networking opportunities in the community will be well worth all of the sweat equity you invested up front. Any project that enlightens and educates on behalf of those who aren’t able to speak up for themselves makes the world a better place – and each person you are able to get on board means that more animal lives will reap the benefits.

Eliza Leigh is contributing writer to Causecast.org:Causecast: Transforming Interest Into Action.  Originally posted here.

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Readers Comments (8)

  1. Chastity says:

    I think this article means well but I beg to differ. There is no such thing as being “extreme” when it comes to fighting on behalf of nonhuman animals. Animal welfare is a very exploitative, so called animal rights movement that many people have not caught onto. They are no better than the exploitative animal industries that exist. What’s really interesting is that these entities want us to feel bad about wanting to put an end to animal exploitation so they use terms like “extreme” and “radical” and say that we are “preaching” so that they can deter us from speaking the truth.

    Animal advocacy is about putting an end to animal exploitation. Anything that demands for less is not animal advocacy. I’ve been learning about this for 20 years and I have seen that animal welfare simply does not work. Like any human rights issues, it is unethical to campaign for humane rape or that children should be given medical and dental insurance and have a higher salary for producing our clothing. So why is it that with the animal “rights” movement, we can allow ourselves to be speciesist (directly discriminating against animals) and elitist (by choosing which types of animals are companion worthy and which are to be eaten, skinned, experimented on and used to gawk at or put on display)?

    Animal advocacy is not something that is negotiable and with the status quo, it is leading to a lot of counterproductive actions that harm nonhumans more than help them. For instance, if we take a single issue campaign like anti-fur, we all know it’s wrong but we should all know that other animal textiles are cruel as well–leather, wool, silk, down, etc. With the anti-fur campaigns, people become confused because they do not shed light on the other issues. Also, people are not aware that faux fur is made out of dogs and cats. Sometimes the angora listed on the label is either a dog or a cat. What I’m trying to get is that single issue campaigns do not work because industry is sneaking around and finding other ways and other animals to go about shoving their so-called ethical products in our faces.

    Same thing with “humane” products. These are still animals who die in the same slaughterhouses as their non-“humane” peers. And say, if they were slaughtered on the premises of a so-called organic, free range farm? Why are they even there to serve human ends in the first place? In the last 20 years I have noticed that the movement started out as “it’s wrong to kill animals” and it has now become “if they were treated well, then I’m okay with it.” This is speciesist and is putting human needs and wants over that of the billions of nonhuman victims. Animal welfare also ensures that nonhuman animals stay under the “property” status. In other words, your beloved dog has the same amount of rights as a carpet. Removing the property status is VERY important because everything will fall into play. A lot of animal exploitative activity is illegal and the perpetrators can get away with a slap on the wrist and set up shop elsewhere because “property” trivializes a sentient being who is under that category.

    Abolitionist-based advocacy is the only way we can end the cycle of animal exploitation. Animal exploitation is rampant in our daily lives and it is all connected–from breeding operations to animal textiles, food, experimentation, entertainment. By going vegan–as in not eating, wearing, being entertained by and using products with and/or that experimented on animals, you are rejecting all of that and putting a halt to industry. You also demand that nonhuman animals are removed from the property status. Not even vegetarianism is enough to reject that because vegetarianism makes the veal industry flourish and the same cows that provided you milk are the same ones who are later slaughtered. Egg production is also cruel (free-range or not) because male chicks are routinely thrown into the grinder because they are economically useless.

    I invite everyone to read the following article. It is a very eye opening piece and it will make you think twice about supporting exploitative industries:

    Invasion of the Movement Snatchers
    http://www.satyamag.com/oct06/laveck.html

    I have provided some other links to check out as well:

    Abolitionist Approach
    http://www.abolitionistapproach.com

    Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary
    http:///www.peacefulprairie.org

    My Face is on Fire
    http://my-face-is-on-fire.blogspot.com

    Unpopular Vegan Essays
    http://unpopularveganessays.blogspot.com

  2. admin says:

    Chastity, Couldn’t agree with all you say more. I’m a huge fan of HUMANEMYTH.ORG which exposes the b.s involved in humane and free-range. We posted this article as another perspective to those who are afraid of getting too deep in straight away. Would love to have you submit a piece to us in future. xCx

  3. dwight says:

    wow, this is a great article. thanks!

  4. JC says:

    Post these links (and other good links) to vegan/veg stories/blogs and share them with family and friends!

    Check out this informative and inspiring video on why people choose vegan: http://veganvideo.org/

    Also see Gary Yourofsky: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bagt5L9wXGo

  5. Chastity says:

    Will do. Thank you for the invitation. :)

  6. I respectively disagree with the sentiments in the first comment:

    “Animal advocacy is about putting an end to animal exploitation. Anything that demands for less is not animal advocacy.”

    “Abolitionist-based advocacy is the only way we can end the cycle of animal exploitation.”

    With all due respect, I feel like abolitionist-only activists hurt animals more than they help them. There is no A-Z overnight solution. Are the efforts of groups like Farm Sanctuary and the Humane Society to end cruel confinement systems such as battery cages, gestation and veal crates, and practices like tail-docking, in vain then? Groups like these promote a vegan diet, but they are also bringing real change to the lives of billions of animals thanks to their efforts. If they focused on a one-thronged vegan-only approach, these animals’ suffering would be far worse.

    Is everyone in your life a vegan if you are such a successful advocate? I hardly think so. Promoting a veg diet, in combination with efforts like getting the government to provide legal definitions for humane and organic standards and brining an end to confinement systems, will all benefit animals.

    Campaigns like Meatless Mondays (which My Face is on Fire is against) are encouraging people everywhere to the idea you don’t need meat at every meal (a sadly foreign idea to many). That’s a win for animals.

  7. Chastity says:

    The problem with these “victories” is that they make a mockery of their victims. In this case, nothing is better than something. Nonhuman animals are suffering either way and when you are lauding the ban on certain sized areas and certain practices, you are only delaying the solution, creating moral confusion and encouraging even more people to consume animals. For a large problem like animal cruelty, you need a large solution for it–which is going vegan. It’s a small step with grand repercussions.

    Think about it: you deal with animal cruelty everyday unless you’re vegan. if you are eating 3 meals, 2 meals, 1 meal a day that contains animal products, that is money that goes to industry. When you get dressed in the morning and are wearing clothing and accessories that contain animal skins or furs, you are directly endorsing that via fashion and money goes to industry. When you brush your teeth, take a shower and apply cosmetics and are a nonvegan, you are using products that more than likely contain animal ingredients and that have been tested on them. Once again, that is money that goes to industry.

    Notice that these are your necessities? This is only in a day’s worth of living as a nonvegan! Multiply that by 365 days and tada, that’s a hell of lot of money that industry has received. Industry exists because of marketing tactics and demand. As a vegan, you remove your part of the demand. By refusing to purchase those products, you are protesting. When you spread the word, other people catch on because they begin to see that there isn’t another way. By providing awareness for the abolitionist movement, you are placing urgency in the matter and going to the root of the problem. Welfarism doesn’t do that–it runs around in circles trying to patch things up. In fact, thanks to welfare logic, there is now a following of people who have soothed their consciences because of “humane” product endorsements brought to you by your so called animal friendly organizations like PETA and HSUS. If I were a nonhuman animal, I would feel absolutely betrayed by people who are pretending to fight for my rights.

    Welfarist logic focuses on what they think is best for US, not their victims.

    “Is everyone in your life a vegan if you are such a successful advocate? I hardly think so. Promoting a veg diet, in combination with efforts like getting the government to provide legal definitions for humane and organic standards and brining an end to confinement systems, will all benefit animals.”

    I speak a lot about abolitionism and it has turned quite a few people vegan. It’s not about being a successful advocate. It’s about planting seeds and showing people that there are things that are completely unacceptable. Some people haven’t become vegan but at least they now have a glimpse of abolitionist logic and may have another a-ha moment, spread the word and go vegan. A lot have said “I’m interested” or “I’m thinking about it.” This is victorious–these may be small but at least, it’s making them think. Most people have seen the footage, read the books, said it was truly terrible but think that those are the evils solely belonging to a factory farm. THAT’S THE PROBLEM. You have mediums like this that say “it’s so bad” but then in the same sentence encourage others to support small family farms. When I was 5, I accidentally went into a small slaughterhouse and let me tell you, there’s a VERY good reason why I’m an abolitionist and it didn’t matter that these animals were hanging outside in the grass prior to their murder.

    I can’t even begin to tell you how exhausting it would be for an inspector to monitor ALL operations to make sure that they follow “humane” standards. It would be naive to think that an industry as abhorrent as the animal using industries would not be above violating those laws. Besides, those standards are absolutely ridiculous and if you were a nonhuman animal, it would make no difference to you whether you can turn around in your crate or not. If we were to ask these nonhumans what they want, they would immediately tell us they would like to get out of there, see their family and live their lives in peace.

    When you completely avoid vegan education because it’s “too difficult”, and “too [insert defeatist statement]”, you are not giving individuals enough credit and you are subtly discouraging them from going vegan. HSUS is especially notorious for avoiding vegan education and a lot of HSUS members cry foul when there is so called “infighting” in the movement. Welfarism and abolitionism are two very different issues so there can be no infighting. The former says “do it another way” while the latter says “stop it.” Ending animal cruelty is a simple concept–it does not need to be overcomplicated with defeatist assumptions, false victories and “baby steps” that are only leading backwards.

    Also keep in mind that these are also wealthy organizations who waste donors’ money on trying to negotiate “deals” with industry so that they can continue profiting off of animal exploitation while gaining the sympathy of unsuspecting animal rights activists. This is their plan.

    “Campaigns like Meatless Mondays (which My Face is on Fire is against) are encouraging people everywhere to the idea you don’t need meat at every meal (a sadly foreign idea to many). That’s a win for animals.”

    Why can’t we have a Vegan Day of the week instead? Meatless Mondays does not promote awareness for other animal cruelty. It doesn’t even promote awareness for dairy abstinence! By abstaining from dairy, you naturally retract your money from the veal industry also. But what about breeding? What about animal skins and fur? What about animal experimentation? What about entertainment involving animals? Meatless Mondays is yet another counterproductive, single issue campaign. By promoting veganism, you are promoting a package deal: abstinence from
    animal exploitation. THAT is a win for the animals.

  8. Nick says:

    Thanks so much for writing this! It feels like some solid ground in this realm.

    To those who say it’s better to advocate for 100% vegan, and 99% vegan won’t cut it… Well then, you are responsible for that 1% of animals that could have been spared the misery. Since some people feel overwhelmed by 100% commitments, you alienate them… And you could have influenced them to save animals some suffering. I hope your ego is okay with that.




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