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
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!
Recording Animal Advocacy
Philadelphia PA 19118
Source: "Jonathan Balcombe" <JBalcombe@hsus.org>
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