One Step for Animals' Guiding Principles
An Animal Rights Article from


One Step for Animals
August 2015

one step for animals

See One Step for Animals' brochure (PDF)

We are working to help animals, period. We aren’t trying to promote a particular philosophy, worldview, diet, or lifestyle. Our bottom line is not how many people we can convince to think exactly like we do, but how many fewer animals are suffering and dying. We would rather help three people start eating half as many animals than convince one person to be a strict and strident vegan.

If there were some magic argument that would persuade everyone to stop eating animals immediately, it would have been discovered by now. Our combined experience – well over 100 years – has shown that very few people are willing to make (and maintain) rapid, major changes to their diet.

Given the number of animals suffering and the extent of their suffering, One Step for Animals believes we can’t focus only on those few people. It is time for us to realize everyone is a potential ally – and act accordingly.

Nearly everyone opposes cruelty to animals and is sickened when they see animals being brutalized. If we can reach out to everyone where they are and get them to take just one meaningful step to help animals – instead of insisting or implying they must adopt our preferred worldview and lifestyle – we will be able to save many more animals from the horrors of factory farms and slaughterhouses.

We know from experience – and basic psychology – that the people tend to evolve slowly over time, with change occurring step by step. If approached positively and constructively, nearly everyone would help animals. Rather than seeing one step as simply “a good start” toward some ideal, we recognize every single compassionate step is, in and of itself, a genuine advance, a true victory to be celebrated.

Furthermore, we have learned effective advocacy varies by situation and audience. It is no longer the 1990s, when we had no reason to doubt the “do something, do anything” attitude. Nor can we think that one tactic will always the most effective. In the past 20 years, our advocacy tools have developed and evolved, and thanks to studies by organizations like Animal Charity Evaluators, we know various advocacy strategies should be employed in different contexts.

One Step for Animals recognizes that necessary change will come from the choices of compassionate individuals everywhere. Our purpose is to provide everyone with the resources and support they need to make a real difference for animals in their lives and communities. Instead of forcing everyone to adopt one particular tactic, or wait for a national group to do the work, One Step will offer a variety of tools to enable each person to use their particular strengths and get the most out of their specific opportunities, from leafleting and food sampling, to humane education and online outreach. We will reach out to compassionate individuals across the nation / around the world and provide them with the resources they need to use their talents and opportunities as effectively as possible for animals.

By taking lessons from our long history of advocacy, we know that to create a better world for animals more quickly, we must widen our circle of allies. We must reach out to all compassionate individuals, not to promote our own personal philosophies or demand our particular diet, but to help them take one step for animals, be it in their daily choices or in their personal advocacy. This is how we will make a better world, opening more hearts and minds and make real changes for animals.

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