Advocating for Animals, part 8
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from


Stephen Kaufman, M.D., Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

Advocating for Animals, part 8

Based on my thoughts from the previous 7 essays, I suggest that animal advocates abide by the following principles:

  1. Avoid second-guessing the motives of fellow animal advocates. Human behavior is complex and usually involves multiple motivations. Many who advocate for incremental changes in animal treatment share with abolitionists a yearning for the day when humans will stop harming animals. Abolitionists, who are sometimes accused of caring more about personal purity than animal well-being, are usually passionate animal defenders.
  2. Animal protectionists should not undermine each otherís efforts. It is fine to disagree and argue, and we can certainly learn from each other. Further, some animal advocates might decide to not participate in those campaigns that they donít believe are particularly helpful for animals. Since none of us really knows the best strategy to stop harmful exploitation of nonhumans, we should not impede the efforts of those whose chosen strategy differs from our own.
  3. We should resist the temptation to allow petty human conflicts to undermine our efforts. Too often, perceived slights, jealousies, and contempt for competing ideologies have turned fellow animal advocates into bitter rivals, making it that much easier for animal exploitation industries to continue their nefarious practices.

If we are to do our best to protect Godís Creation and Godís animals, we must be ďwise as serpents and innocent as dovesĒ (Matthew 10:16). Toward that end, I welcome comments and suggestions.

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