We have given our personal support to a great many “animal issues” organizations over the past 40 years. We think it would be highly beneficial for all of the organizations (and at least indirectly beneficial for all the animals) if they were to better engage and network with each other. Their “common cause” is, of course, various kinds of animals and the effects of human actions, or inactions, on those animals.
Please Help Spread the Word
To help encourage and enable the
engagement and networking that we hope will follow, we have created a platform which we believe will find overarching acceptance in the animal issues community of organizations and supporters.
The platform is simple. It is designed to create awareness, discussion, and action by people with whom it is shared. For that reason, we ask that your organization please share it with everyone within your sphere of influence.
We who are “in the business” of animal issues are overwhelmingly proponents for the concept of animal rights.
However, over these last 40 years, we have observed that the very term “animal rights” can tend to alienate many people. Why? Because these folks think that human rights must be superior to animal rights, and they therefore resist the information provided by animal rights activists like ourselves.
Animal Rights or Animal Wrongs?
We propose that all of us who care about animals consider “reframing” the animal rights issue, and in so doing, help people “see” that, whereas we are indeed for animal rights, it is because we are against animal wrongs; i.e., the cruelty, pain, suffering, and death that people needlessly inflict upon animals.
We think that the general public will more easily accept the concept of animal wrongs and be much less inclined to resist it, as they often do with the concept of animal rights.
Of course, we all know that at its essence, the ending of animal wrongs is rooted in our belief in animal rights. The time is long past due, though, for us to better engage the mass of the populace in having reason to join us.
The way to do just that is to “show” the public that it is a fulfillment of the Golden Rule (a concept in which they typically believe) to be against animal wrongs, and, therefore, for animal rights.
We are convinced that this is an idea whose time has come and that the public is much more likely to embrace the idea of animal wrongs than the “barrier creating” idea of animal rights.
We acknowledge, of course, that the central issue is animal rights. Talking about animal wrongs, however, is much more likely to produce the kind of results we are all seeking. This “reframing” will literally bridge the gap and break down the barriers that tend to exist between people in general and animal rights proponents like those associated with your organization. Φ
Craig and Cherie Cline are OPW supporters and volunteers. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.