An Animal Rights Article from

FROM David Cantor, RPA Responsible Policies For Animals
March 2017

Help protect nonhuman animals by restoring our species' natural affinity for them!

Downloadable two-page flyer here (PDF)!

One day a small brownish moth landed on the thumb of my glove.  Rather than fling off the animal as I might have 30 years ago, I contemplated the barely visible eye slits, short antennae, legs thinner than thread supporting a fuzz-covered abdomen under dusty wings.  This happened half-a-year ago, but I recall the experience vividly: a being civilization deems trivial embedded in consciousness.  It wasn’t the first time.  Before giving it a name, I’d been practicing animal-knowing for years.
Animal-knowing, the deliberate practice of contemplating a free-living animal, reinforces my perception of other animals as persons – bodies worthy of respect, liberty, and equal treatment of the laws – and my determination to liberate them from all that humans do to and with them and their natural homes.  Animal-knowing also lifts my spirits. So I am pleased to give you Responsible Policies for Animals’ (RPA’s) first-ever animal-knowing brochure.  I hope you will benefit from animal-knowing as I do.  Knowing other animals makes it hard not to promote their wellbeing – as with humans.
Working with a K-6 science teacher here in the Philadelphia area, I’ve begun to establish animal-knowing as a teaching method aimed at undermining speciesism and human supremacy – attitudes that perpetuate civilization’s animal-abuse policy, culture, and practice.  I hope you will read the brochure at a convenient moment and that you will give animal-knowing a try.  It is such a simple practice that I barely realized I was “doing something” at first.  It can take a minute or considerable time.  I hope you will wish to give copies of the brochure to friends, family members, teachers, meditation and yoga instructors, and others.  Let me know how many copies you would like. 
Throughout the human world, children are taught from birth to observe or interact with nonhuman animals who are private property – pets, farm animals, animals in zoos, petting zoos, and aquariums, and others.  I certainly was.  The quadrillions of free-living animals who perpetually regenerate the living world and who are abused, threatened, killed, and driven extinct by civilization and all of our species’ lifeways – we are all taught that they don’t matter.
Animal-knowing supplants that speciesist attitude with the liberationist concepts that all animals are persons worthy of respect, all animals are innately equal, and if not for false and harmful indoctrination, we humans would not think ourselves entitled to other animals, their natural homes, or anything that harms them or their homes.  Animal-knowing can help people grasp all of this. 

animal knowing

  • How do I get started?

  • What am I or the other animals supposed to get out of it?

  • What is Animal-Knowing?

  • Why Practice Animal-Knowing?

  • No pets or farmed animals? Why free-living animals?

  • What about books and films? Do you have to contemplate animals in person? 

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