Establishing the Rights of Animals in Law and Human Consciousness

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Establishing the Rights of Animals in Law and Human Consciousness
Comments by John Gilheany - 26 Sep 2006

Dear Frank and Mary,

I'd like to be able to offer a few practical pointers but FoL is probably a prime example of approaching Animal Rights issues from the 'grassroots' (and in that sense dispossessed) angle.

There were early patrons such as Rev. Prof. William Barclay that had a 'senior' clerical background yet a nonetheless 'maverick' standing:

Today CVA and Viva! patrons such as Rev Prof. Andrew Linzey and Michael Mansfield Q.C. appear to be well established within whatever strata of the movement that they might chose to operate and could obviously be well placed to influence others within the establishment.

However we all know the limits of humane influence as far as the Church is concerned and Andrew Linzey has conveyed a complete lack of faith in the likelihood of any foreseeable hierarchical support:

It also begs the question as to why such an initiative has been unable to hail from the great and the good themselves despite their abundance of capability and resources. (There was the 'Putting Animals into Politics" campaign featured in The Animals Film in the early eighties but I gather that it went down in flames despite being run by a Lord at the heart of the British Parliamentary process.)

Hopefully times have changed sufficiently for R.P.A. to fare better. I suppose that the Political Animal Lobby in the U.K. are a similar enterprise which have certainly been blamed by bloodsports enthusiasts for the current legal status of their idea of recreation. There was also a punk pamphlet published a few years ago which examined the 'protest movement/establishment' gap fairly thoroughly. Although it was essentially a work of pessimism and a bit unpleasant in places I would still recommend it as an eye-opener:

Anyway, back to the grassroots!

God Bless,


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