The Importance of Democracy
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from


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

Last essay, I discussed how freedom of speech is essential to animal advocacy. The freedom to choose our government officials is another crucial right.

Many people, dismayed by the quality of candidates for public office or annoyed by the hassles of voting, choose not to vote. In doing so, they become largely invisible and impotent in the political process. Most politicians care little about the desires of constituents but they do care about how their constituents vote.

Many nonvoters note that it is very rare that a single vote determines the outcome of an election. However, it does happen. More importantly, one personís apathy encourages others to take the same attitude.

Effective animal advocates make sure that elected officials know the degree to which our vote is influenced by their record on animal issues. One way to do this is to weigh in with calls and/or letters when animal issues come up for vote.

Finally, we must vigorously enforce the integrity of the voting process. As has been said, ďItís not who votes that counts. Itís who counts the votes.Ē 

Go on to: Advocating for Animals: Our Goals
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