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15 March 2000 Issue
Anyone Interested In The History of Animal Protection?

The history of animal protection has an important role to play in college courses and studies. History can help all students -- those who are and those who are not yet animal advocates -- understand the serious nature of our concerns for animals and allow them to see the larger picture, see how the treatment of animals has always been interwoven with other social and ethical issues around us, that helping and respecting animals is not a mere fad.

Yes, history can also be dry and boring. But it should not and need not be that way. It can be fascinating. For example: (i) In the 1900s and 1910s, those who campaigned against animal vivisection also fought against human vivisection which was a serious problem in those days, and orphans were often the victims. (ii) Dogs were not valued as companions and pets until "war dogs" went to the battle fields with the soldiers in World War I, and "Rin Tin Tin" was brought back to the U.S. from Germany by a soldier.

History offers us one more way, one more angle of approaching animal issues, one which is well worth exploring.

We are a new non-profit group aimed at fostering research, study and education in the history of animal protection and the modern animal rights movement. We have started to interview animal advocates with direct experience with animal protection since the 1950s. These oral histories will be placed in Columbia University's Oral History Collection.

We would very much like to:

i) encourage all teachers who are interested in exploring animal rights and protection in their classrooms to incorporate history into their syllabus and teaching;

ii) encourage students interested in animals to write papers and do projects that have historical elements in them.

Please get in touch with us! We want to hear from students, scholars, and educators!

Carmen Lee

President

Recording Animal Advocacy

P.O.Box 27022

Philadelphia PA 19118

tel/fax: 215-247-7753

e-mail:carmenandcat@compuserve.com 

Source: "Jonathan Balcombe" <JBalcombe@hsus.org

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