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 Elizabeth Forel - 29 Sep 2006

My comments:

I very much like the steps I have copied and pasted below. All of us who are out on the street doing animals work know what it is like to have people say things like " the children are dying" - which does not even make sense but that is their way of telling us that they think what we are doing is not important - but it also makes them so uncomfortable that they must stop and say something. Or they will talk about our shoes being leather (vinyl has been around for how many years?) There is not currently much of a chance with these folks - but there is another group that we need to learn how to communicate with better.

This is it:

I do not know how this can mesh with your 12 steps - but we also have to figure out a way to really reach all those people who care so much for cats dogs and horses - yet eat other animals They often do not even wear fur - but the eating of meat is so sanitized - they do not connect it to a sentient being. These are not the people who are afraid to be unpopular or to get involved with "extremists". They just somehow have not been exposed to that next step. I came upon this when I was more involved with cat and dog rescue and now since I have been involved with the carriage horse issue. Many of our volunteers are not even vegetarians, yet are courageous and very dedicated.

Educate in part by debunking claims that animal rights is anti-human and by demonstrating that animal rights is what humans need most, just as women's rights benefit men and civil rights benefit dominant as well as oppressed groups.

Communicate that humans are deserving of animal rights that do not currently exist or are not enforced, and that animal exploitation, oppression and abuse are original sources of similar mistreatment of humans. Animal rights should help expand, not diminish, human rights, except that human beings will no longer see themselves as having the right to use or interfere with other animals.

1. Have faith that small numbers of people can bring about fundamental change; do not be overly concerned with popularity or the early lack of popularity of the animal rights message.

Too much emphasis on popularity and support early on was a key factor in the declared animal rights movementís reverting to animal welfare, where its strategies, tactics, and language remain for the most part today.


"Cowardice asks the question, Is it safe? Expediency asks the question, Is it politic? Vanity asks the question, Is it popular? But conscience asks the question, Is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him that it is right." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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