Timeline of U.S. Animal Rights Movement, 2006
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org


Veda Stram
As presented at 2006 Animal Rights Conference

ISAR International Society for Animal Rights, HSUS Humane Society of the United States and Friends of Animals were founded in the 1950s in the U.S.

Author, social critic and animal advocate Cleveland Amory founded The Fund for Animals in 1967.

API The Animal Protection Institute was founded in 1968.

In England in the early 1970s, Ronnie Lee started the Band of Mercy that soon changed its name to the Animal Liberation Front, and also in England were the Hunt Saboteurs, the first known full-fledged animal rights activists.

In 1975, Animal Liberation by Peter Singer was a major turning point for animals and animal activism.

ARI Animal Rights International was founded by Henry Spira after he attended a course on "Animal Liberation" given by Peter Singer at New York University, shortly after having witnessed horrific experiments on cats while on a tour with his sixth grade class at the Museum of Natural History.

In the mid 70s, Laura Moretti was mailing her mimeographed essays and edited articles to the handful of people in the world who were thinking about the rights of animals.

In the late 1970s a handful of activists in Connecticut launched Animals Agenda magazine. The first issue was hand typed, photocopied, stapled and was sent to 85 people.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as founded in 1977.

In 1980, Alex Pacheco documented the atrocious treatment of monkeys at a Silver Spring, Maryland lab. The publicity surrounding release of that documentation and subsequent trial of that researcher put PETA on the map in the following year.

In the summer of 1981 some animal and vegetarian activists met at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and out that conference came PETA, FARM, Mobilization for Animals and Trans-Species Unlimited.

In 1981, a veterinarian started Californians for Responsible Research to take on University of California San Francisco vivisection. That group became In Defense of Animals in 1983.

In the early 1980s, Mobilization for Animals held massive anti-vivisection rallies in Washington DC, New York, Boston, Atlanta and Madison.

Tom Regan published The Case for Animals Rights in 1983, which he called the "fruit of more than a decade of hard thinking about the rights of animals." He and his wife Nancy founded the Culture and Animals Foundation in 1985. And this year in October will their 21st annual International Compassionate Living Festival.

FARM launched World Farm Animals Day in 1983 and the Great American Meatout in 1985, now with educational events in a thousand communities in all 50 states and two dozen other countries.

In 1984, PETA released "Unnecessary Fuss," a compilation of 70 hours of video tape taken by vivisectors of their head-injury experiments on baboons at the University of Pennsylvania (). The following summer, PETA gathered a hundred activists for a four-day sit-in at the NIH office funding these experiments, leading to withdrawal of the funding.

Best Friends Sanctuary, now known as Best Friends Animal Society, opened in February 1984.

Also in the mid 1980s, legislative training seminars by the National Alliance for Animals were launched.

In 1986, Gene and Lorri Bauston found Hilda, a sheep abandoned on a dead pile, and started Farm Sanctuary.

In the late 1980s, Chris deRose shackled himself to the roof of the San Bernardino Animal Shelter to protest their selling shelter animals to vivisectors. He and Michel Bell co-founded Last Chance for Anmals and held large anti-vivisection rallies at UCLA.

Trans-Species Unilimited closed down Macy's for a few hours on the Friday after one Thanksgiving, the busiest shopping day of the year. That became Fur-Free Friday.

In 1985, PCRM, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, was founded. And two years later Gil Michaels found Laura Moretti and The Animals Voice Magazine was rolled out in hi-gloss color in 1987.

In 1990, Karen Davis founded United Poultry Concerns, the same year as the first March for Animals in Wasington, DC, the animal rights movement's largest event to date with 25-50,000 people (depending on whose count you trust).

Also in 1990, Becky Robinson started caring for feral cats in July, and in October 1991 Alley Cat Allies was officially incorporated.

Vegan Outreach was founded in 1993. Over four million copies of their brochures, Why Vegan, Try Vegetarian and Even If You Like Meat, have been distributed to date all over the world, now in seven languages.

A coalition of groups from all over Southern California crashed the 1993 Rose Parade to protest General Motors using pigs, monkeys and dogs in car crash studies...that were ended shorty after that.

In 1994, IDA stopped the construction of a flagship vivisection lab at the University of California at San Francisco's Presidio National Park.

It took five steady years of Memorial Day leafletting and five people eventually chaining themselves to the dolphin tank at Knott's Berry in Orange County, California to have the dolphin shows ended in 1995.

In the summer of 1996, the second March for Animals drew around 3-5,000 people to Washington, DC. But by then, there was vegan food available in many mainstream grocery stores and hundreds of grass roots animal rights groups all over the world.

In April of 1996, Howard Lyman went on Oprah and talked about cows being fed to other cows, and the Mad Cowboy became infamous.

The following year, FARM launched the current series of national animal rights conferences.

A chance meeting between Eddie Lama and James LaVeck and Jenny Stein at the 1997 Animal Rights Conference led to the formation of Tribe of Heart and the release of The Witness in 2000. Eddie Lama's mobile video van brought facory farming and fur farming footage direclty to people on New York City streets.

Satya Magazine published their first issue in June of 1994.

Mercy for Animals and Compassion Over Killing were founded in 1995.

In 1999, IDA launched its Guardian Campaign. As of today, 12 cities and the State of Rhode Island have rewritten their official documents and have changed "Owner" to "Guardian."

And in 1999, SHAC USA was established to close stop Huntingdon Life Sciences, DawnWatch was founded by Karen Dawn, and one of the co-founders of Satya Magazine, Martin Rowe, opened Lantern Books in 1999.

The Hegins Pigeon Shoot began in 1934. The first organized animal rights action against it was in 1984, coordinated by Trans-Species Unlimited. The Hegins Pigeon Shoot was declared illegal and ended in 1999.

AnimalVoice.com went online in 2000.

Animal Liberation Victoria (ALV) Rescue Team had been conducting open rescues for 20 years in Australia. They gave a presentation in 1999 at the United Poultry Concerns Direct Action for Animals Conference and soon after that, Freeman Wicklund conducted the first open rescue in the U.S. in January of 2001. Compassion Over Killing, Mercy for Animals, Compassionate Consumers, East Bay Animal Advocates and others have followed suit with some arrests and only two convictions to date - Sarah-Jane Blum and Adam Durand.

SHARK's Tiger Truck hit the streets in December 2001. At least 16 animal rights groups in the U.S. now have video trucks. And, SHARK has educated activists around the world about the value of taking undercover video of any events promoting animal abuse.

Compassionate Consumers was founded in 2003.

llauren Ornelas, working for VIVA!USA, led a campaign to have Trader Joe's stop selling duck meat and her relationship with John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, resulted in higher standards for animals raised for food and it was her encouragement that him go vegan in 2003.

Lori Bauston opened Animal Acres, the largest farmed animal sacntuary in Southern California in 2004.

AA second national nimal rights conference, Taking Action for Animals, was launched in 2005.

And The Animal Voice Magazine returned to print in the summer of 2006.

Lastly: THE most important people I haven't mentioned....YOU. The individual human beings who do something every day to help animals; the person who brings vegan cake to parties, the people who start and run local groups, the authors, the artists, the meetup coordinators, the webmasters, the bloggers, the leafletters and protesters and the letter writers and the vegan shoppers. Thank you...for the differences you ARE making for animals.

Return to Animal Rights Articles