No One’s Paying Me To Cry: Burnout And Animal Advocacy
How to Avoid Burning Out as an Animal Rights Activist -
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FROM Owen Rogers,
April 2020

Burnout is a clear problem in animal advocacy that needs to be tackled if the movement hopes to succeed.

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Burnout is a phenomenon common in advocacy circles, in which people in the movement simply lose the emotional (and sometimes physical) capacity to continue their work.

Common causes of advocate burnout can be grouped into three main categories: internal stress, external stress, and inter-group stress. Internal stress can refer to any personal angst, dismay, or guilt that an advocate feels about the pace of change, their role in the movement, and/or the extent of the problem they are trying to solve. External stress usually refers to the opponents of advocacy constructing legal or political barriers to progress, or lack of support amongst the general public.

Finally, inter-group stress is strongest among already-marginalized advocates like women and people of color, who often find advocacy circles to have their own problems with discrimination. Infighting between organizations is also a common cause of stress, when groups with similar goals refuse to cooperate over ideological or practical disagreements – radicalism vs incrementalism, for example.

This pioneering study from 2018 set out to look at the causes of burnout, specifically in the animal advocacy community. Seventeen advocates were interviewed, some of whom were paid workers at an advocacy organization, while others were volunteers. Thirteen respondents were women, five were people of color, and all but one considered themselves working or middle class (the one remainder identified as being in poverty).

All participants saw animal advocacy as a primary focus of their life.

Read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE: No One’s Paying Me To Cry: Burnout And Animal Advocacy

Owen Rogers is from northern Illinois, raised in the suburbs of Chicago. He became interested in animal ethics at a very young age, when he had several companion animals ranging from a dog to a corn snake. In college, he majored in philosophy with a focus on ethics, and became a vegetarian. In addition to working with Faunalytics, he has also volunteered at animal shelters and participated in environmental cleanups.

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