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what is up with these other vegan websites??


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Just to keep this thread clear, there seem to be two separate issues that are being discussed.

 

1)welfarism (like boycotting Yum! until they implement decent changes)

 

2) PETA "stunts" like lettuce ladies, running of the nudes, etc etc.

 

And as far as stunts, like I said, some are stupid, others hit the nail right on the head, like the "Holocaust on your plate" campaign.

 

What I would like to see is more use of commercial air time - why not air some animal rights message in the middle of the season finale of popular shows like "Friends" or something that a viewing audience of millions? I think they did one commercial during the superbowl, but again, it was a stupid one.

 

I remember one commercial many years ago that aired here locally. IT was a slient video footage of a little fox, trapped in a legal hold trap. It showed him struggling, then giving up and just laying there, trying to lick the pain he was experiencing away. It wasnt very graphic at all. But the image of that helpless trapped animal was very powerful. It was followed by the following. " YOu can help him. Call The Association for the Protection of Fur Bearing Animals at 1-800.... to find out how."

 

SO I agree with you to a certain extent that if peta invested more money in things like this the message would get to a wider audience in a more solemn and effective form. But I suspect that the tv networks dont even want to give peta any airtime because of the vested interests fighting to silence peta.

 

 

But, the issue of welfarism and helping the animals that will not suffer less is one that different from the above, and really has nothing to do with peta.

 

If it was any other organization campaigning to improve the lives of animals in the here and now, I would obviousy feel the same way.

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Just to keep this thread clear, there seem to be two separate issues that are being discussed.

 

1)welfarism (like boycotting Yum! until they implement decent changes)

 

2) PETA "stunts" like lettuce ladies, running of the nudes, etc etc.

 

Right on! We both recognized that.

 

What I would like to see is more use of commercial air time - why not air some animal rights message in the middle of the season finale of popular shows like "Friends" or something that a viewing audience of millions? I think they did one commercial during the superbowl, but again, it was a stupid one.

 

More commercial air time would be nice, but a lot of networks won't accept ads that are too "controversial" or that might upset other, larger companies to which they are more loyal. I think PETA tries to buy a Superbowl ad ever year and gets rejected. That certainly sucks. Advertisement is much like the rest of the media in some ways - it's very much just a reflection of our culture. It is hard to place the blame solely on them when society already has its values (or lackthereof) in place.

 

That kind of segways into what I was talking about with reaching out to the media. Seems kind of moot at this point because the news media is also just a reflection of what society values. PETA = animal rights crazies to most people, therefore PETA = animal rights crazies to the media. That's why I speculate that working on a more grassroots, self-sustained platform would be more effective. PETA should use itself to an even larger degree as an alternative media that already values animal rights, irrespective of social values. Theoretically, that would generate more vegans, and, in time, a more vegan-friendly society that can be taken seriously by the mainstrea media. Eh?

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Hey, Natalie, I think you made a pretty good justification for pursuing animal welfare strategies. I can really see this all - and this is separate now from the outreach strategies to promote veganism that we were just discussing - from both perspectives, as far as welfare reform goes. As an aside, welfare advocacy can also be seen as utilitarian because it seeks to reduce suffering. Anyhoo, here's a (rather lengthy) excerpt from an interview with Gary Francione, a professor of law at Rutgers University, conducted in 2002 by Friends of Animals. It's pretty interesting, and I figure you'll like since you're a law student. As another aside, I don't support fast-food restaurants for reasons that extend beyond animal rights, but I especially would discourage anyone from supporting Yum! at this point in time.

 

FoA: What is your view of the current animal rights movement in the United States?

 

Gary Francione: There is no animal rights movement in the United States. There is only an animal welfare movement that seeks to promote the "humane" exploitation of animals. DISAGREE: WHILE THERE ARE WELFARIST ORGANIZATIONS THAT SEEK WELFARISM AS THE END GOAL, THE WELFARISM WITHIN THE AR MOVEMENT DOES NOT SEEK WELFARISM AS THE END GOAL AT ALL, BUT RATHER, SEES IT AS NECESSITATED BY PRACTICAL REALITIES (AS I EXPLAIN ABOVE AND WILL NOT REPEAT HERE. WE CANNOT IGNORE THE ANIMALS SUFFERING NOW FOR THE SAKE OF MAINTAINING A PURSIT PHILOSOPHY. To bring about animal rights, it is essential to understand the basic legal and philosophical arguments for abolition. Logically, it is not possible to reform the system that exploits animals; we must abolish the exploitation. I ABSOLUTELY AGREE. THE WELFARISM THAT I CAMPAIGN FOR LIKE AS IN THE YUM CASE IS NOT ADVOCATING HUMANE EXPLOITATION OF ANIMALS AS THE END GOAL. THIS ISNT EVEN LOGISTICALLY POSSIBLE AS FRANCIONE ARGUES. INSTEAD, WE ARE SIMPLY TRYING TO SPARE THE ANIMALS THAT WILL NOT BE EMANCIPATED FROM EXPERIENCING THE HORRORS OF BEING DROWNED ALIVE. The abolitionist position is that the institution of animal property is morally unjustifiable, just as was the institution of human property that we called slavery. ABSOLUTELY.

 

Some who promote welfare reform maintain that it is acceptable for humans to use animals if they do so "humanely." NOTE THAT FRANCIONE HERE QUALIFIES THE STATEMENT WITH THE WORD "SOME". IT IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE THAT THERE ARE WELFARIST PEOPLE WITH WELFARIST AGENDAS AS THE END GOAL. BUT THERE ARE OTHERS THAT DO PROMOTE/ADVOCATE ANIMAL RIGHTS, BUT ADOPT A WELFARIST POSTURE WHEN DOING SO MAKE SENSE WITHIN THE PRACTICAL REALITIES WE CONFRONT. I FALL INTO THE LATTER CATEGORY AND I BELIEVE THAT PETA DOES AS WELL. THAT IS WHY EVEN AFTER YUM ADOPTS CAK OVER SCALDING ALIVE (IF OUR BOYCOTT IS EVER EFFECTIVE), WE WILL STILL CAMPAIGN FOR VEGANISM, WHICH IS BY DEFINITION ANTI-YUM AND ANTI-ANY ANIMAL SERVING ESTABLISHMENT. HENCE, THE RIGHTS STILL OVERRIDES THE WELFARE AND IS THE PRIMARY AND ONLY ACCEPTABLE "END RESULT".

Others seek welfare reforms because they believe reforms will eventually lead to abolition. I argue against these notions for two reasons. I DONT REALLY SEE WELFARE LEADING TO ABOLITION AT ALL. I DONT THINK WE WILL EVER CONVINCE YUM TO CLOSE ITS DOORS FOREVER VOLUNTARILY, OR TO GO 100 % VEGAN VOLUNTARILY. CORPORATIONS RESPOND TO DEMAND AND TO PROFIT. SO THAT IS WHAT i MEAN BY WORKING ON VEGAN OUTREACH TO SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE DEMAND FOR MEAT, TO A POINT WHERE EITHER THESE CORPS ARE NO LONGER PROFITABLE, OR IT IS NO LONGER PROFITABLE FOR THEM TO SERVE NON-VEGAN FOOD. THE ONLY REASON FOR AT TIMES WELFARIST POSTURE IS TO SAVE THE CHICKENS IN THE HERE AND NOW FROM EXCRUCIATING, UNIMAGINABLE, INDESCRIBABLE PAIN AND SUFFERING. THAT IS I BELEIVE THE ONLY THING THAT WELFARISM WILL ACCOMPLISH. NOTHING MORE.

 

First, as a theoretical matter, reform misses the primary moral point. It is, of course, always better to cause less suffering than more, ABSOLUTELY but the real question is whether humans are justified in imposing any suffering at all on animals incidental to our use of animals as property. NO, HUMANS ARE NOT SO JUSTIFIED. THAT IS WHY AR MUST BE THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE END RESULT. BUT UNTIL THEN, I CANNOT IN GOOD CONSCIENCE SACRIFICE THE HERE AND NOW CHICKENS AND ALLOW THEM TO EXPERIENCE A SCALDING ALIVE PROCESS. SO WE CAMPAIGN FOR VEGANISM, AND IN THE MEANTIME, WE DO WHAT WE CAN TO HELP THE CHICKENS THAT WILL NEVER SEE THE GLORIOUS DAY OF EMANCIPATION. THE ONLY WAY THAT ONE COULD DISAGREE WITH ME IS IF YOU FEEL THAT THE CHICKENS OUGHT TO BE SACFRICIED FOR THE GOOD OF THE FUTURE CHICKENS. FRANCIONE DOESNT COME OUT AND SAY THIS, BUT THAT IS HOW HE MUST FEEL. AND THAT IS WHERE HE AND I DISAGREE. The 19th century reformers argued that it was better for a slave's owner to beat his slave four times a week rather than five. The abolitionists argued that all human beings had at least the right not to be the property of another; that to be property meant that a human had no value except that accorded the slave by the owner. The abolitionist position was that it was wrong to beat the slaves at all because the institution of slavery itself was morally unjustifiable and it did not matter how "humane" we made slavery. Putting a string quartet on the way to the gas chambers -- as the Nazis did during the Holocaust -- may make things more "humane" in some sense, but that misses the point, doesn't it? THE ONLY OPTIONS FOR THE CHICKENS IN YUM FACTORIES SCHEDULED FOR EXECUTION NEXT WEKE OR NEXT MONTH ARE SUFFERING LESS OR SUFFERING MORE. EMANCIPATION IS NOT LIKELY IN THIR LIFETIMES. SO WE MUST ENSURE THAT THEY SUFFER LESS. THIS DOESNT MISS THE POINT AT ALL. IN FACT, IT IS EXACTLY THE POINT BECAUSE EMANCIPATION IS NOT AN OPTION FOR THESE ANIMALS.

 

If animals are morally significant at all, then we must abolish the institution of animal property. ABSOLUTELY. We must stop creating and owning domestic animals or using wild animals as means to our ends. My view is that we should abolish animal slavery and not seek to reform an inherently immoral institution. WE NEED TO SEEK VEGANISM AS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE OUTCOME, YES, BUT WE CANNOT QUITE LITERALLY THROW THE ANIMALS THAT WILL NOT BE SAVED INTO BOILING WATER FOR THE SAKE OF PHILOSOPHICAL OR THEORETICAL PURITY.

 

 

 

The second reason for my rejection of welfarism is that, as a practical matter, it does not work. We have had animal welfare laws in most western countries for well over a hundred years now, and they have done little to reduce animal suffering and they certainly have not resulted in the gradual abolition of any practices.Peter Singer was recently quoted as saying that the agreement by McDonald's to give battery hens a few more inches of cage space was the most significant development for farm animals since he wrote Animal Liberation. Twenty-five years of welfarist reform and the best we can show is a larger battery cage. Maybe Peter finds that thrilling; I do not. It is a clear indication of what I have been saying for a decade now: welfarist reform is useless. I AGREE THAT BIGGER BATTERY CAGES ARENT ENOUGH. MY CONCERN IS REALLY MORE ABOUT IMPLEMENTING 'REFORMS' THAT WILL MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE IN REDUCING TORTURE AND PAIN, LIKE CONVINCING YUM TO IMPLEMENT CONTROLLED ATMOSPHERE KILLING INSTEAD OF SCALDING ALIVE. YOU CANNOT SAY THAT THIS IS HARDLY A DIFFERENCE. IF FRANCIONE WAS THE ONE THAT HAD ONLY A CHOICE BETWEEN SCALDING ALIVE AND BEING MURDERED PAINLESSLY, HE WOULD CHOOSE THE LATTER, UNLESS HE IS SOME KIND OF MASOCHIST.

 

As to why welfarism fails, this was the subject of my 1996 book, Rain Without Thunder: The Ideology of the Animal Rights Movement. In a nutshell, the reason has to do with the property status of animals. If animals are property, then they have no value beyond that which is accorded to them by their owners. Reform does not work because it seeks to force owners to value their property differently and to incur costs in order to respect animals interests. Our legal and political systems are based on strong concepts of property rights. Thus, there is reluctance to impose the costs of reforms on owners when such costs will significantly decrease the value of animal property as far as the owner is concerned. ANIMALS ARE NOT HUMAN PROPERTY, THEY BELONG NOT TO US, BUT TO THEMSELVES AND THEIR CREATOR. I AGREE THAT WE NEED TO WORK TO END THEIR TREATMENT AS PROPERTY. AND THAT IS WHAT WE DO, BUT WITHOUT IGNORING THE ONES THAT ARE GOING TO BE BOILED ALIVE. FoA:

 

This theory is logical indeed. But what about putting your ideas into practice at the grass roots level? SURE. ANYTHING AN EVERYTHING THAT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE IS A GFREAT IDEA.

 

Gary Francione: Before undertaking any practical effort, there must be a theory that informs the action. A social movement must have a theory if it is to have any action at all. Unfortunately for the present time, the welfarist position of Peter Singer is informing the movement. This position claims that advocates should support any measure that "reduces suffering." This theory has had disastrous practical results. Nearly any proposed change, such as giving an extra inch of space to a battery hen, or eating only non-crate veal, can be portrayed as reducing suffering. Singer's theory allows large, multi-million-dollar animal welfare organizations to come up with moderate campaigns and then to demand that we all jump on the bandwagon because this will "reduce suffering." Under Singer’s theory, it would make sense for animal exploiters to make things as horrible as they can for animals in order to be able to "reduce suffering" and thereby make small concessions to activists. That is precisely what the exploiters are doing, with McDonalds’ so-called "improvements" being a perfect example of the problem. And the "movement" is buying into this because Singer has declared that these insignificant changes will "reduce suffering."

 

I suggest that we need a new theory to replace the one that we have. I am not unrealistic. I recognize that even if we adopt an abolitionist theory, abolition will not occur immediately. exactly Change will necessarily be incremental. But it is my view that the explicit goal must be abolition and that abolition must shape incremental change. YES THE EXPLICIT GOAL SHOULD BE ABLITION. BUT I AM NOT PREPARED TO ALLOW THESE ANIMALS THAT WERE UNFORTUNATE ENOUGH TO BE BORN TODAY BE SCALDED ALIVE FOR THE SAKE THEORETICAL CONSISTENCY. I GUESS FRANCIONE IS.

 

On the other hand, I can tell you what really is not realistic, and that is to expect that the industries who use animals to obtain profits will be able to police themselves. As I have often noted, "humane slaughter" laws are difficult to enforce, and the economic realities of the meat-packing business militate against conscientious self-enforcement of such standards. Moreover, such laws arguably increase overall suffering, because they make the general public feel better about eating meat or about any other regulated use of animals. This is the Catch-22 of animal welfare.

 

YES AS I ACKNOWLEDGED, THIS IS THE PITFALL OF WELFARISM, BUT NO SOLUTION IS PERFECT, AND I THINK THAT DIFFERING STRATEGIE AND APPROACHES IN THE MOVEMENT WILL SUPPLEMENT THE WEAKNESSES OF EACH OTHER AND BALANCE EACH OTHER OUT. I DONT BELEIVE THAT WE SHOULD TAKE A PAROCHIAL ROUTE IN TRYING TO PUSH OUR AGENDA.

 

There will always be welfarists who promote longer chains for the slaves and call that incremental change. In Rain Without Thunder, I argued that the most important form of incremental change is educating the public about the need for abolition. We have not yet had that, for the U.S. movement has always been embarrassed about being "radical." We do not want to alienate the "mainstream." The problem is that the "mainstream" is polluted and we ought to stay far away from the "mainstream."

 

To those who claim that the abolitionist has no practical campaign to pursue right now, I have long argued that the contrary is true. Consider what would happen if the international animal movement had a sustained and unified campaign promoting a purely vegetarian diet. Imagine what could be done if a significant portion of our resources were channeled into making people aware of why they shouldn't eat animal products at all. At the end of five years, we would certainly not have achieved world veganism, but we'd probably have reduced the consumption of animal products considerably more than we have done with these "eat red veal" campaigns. PROBABLY, BUT THAT STILL DOESNT CONVINCE ME TO ABANDON THE CHICKENS THAT WILL BE SCALDED ALIVE BUT FOR MY WELFARIST CAMPAIGN AGAINST YUM.

 

And what would we have given up if we were to pursue this route? Peter Singer claims that two inches of cage space is the best thing to happen to farmed animals in 25 years; arguably, making as few as 100 new vegans in five years would "reduce suffering" much more than that. NOTE THE QUALIFYING WORD "ARGUABLY" IN HERE. FURTHERNMORE, I AM NOT REALLY OVERJOYED WITH ACHIEVEMENTS LIKE TWO MORE INCHES OF OF BATTERY SPACE EITHER. WHAT I AM MORE CONCERNED WITH, WHAT I FEEL A SENSE OF URGENCY ABOUT, IS THIS PROCESS OF BEING SCALDED ALIVE, DELIMBED ALIVE, ETC. I WOULD LIKE TO SEE WELFARIST CAMPAIGNS BE MORE AGGRESSIVE THAN JUST INSISTING ON BIGGER CAGES, LIKE INSISTING ON CONTROLLED ATMOSPHERE KILLING INSTEAD OF DEATH BY SCALDING ALIVE. IN OTHER WORDS, I WANT TO SEE CHANGES THAT MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE IN REDUCING THE TORTURE AND PAIN THAT THESE ANIMALS ARE CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING, IF EMANCIPTAION FOR THEM IS NOT AN OPTION. AND TO BE CLEAR, FOR THE AMIMALS IN THE HERE AND NOW, EMANICATION IS NOT AN OPTION SADLY. IF IT WAS, THEN MAKE NO MISTAKE THAT THAT WOULD BE THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE THING. BUT FOR THEM, IT JUST ISNT AN OPTION. THE ONLY OPTION IS MORE SUFFERING OR LESS SUFFERING,.

 

When will we begin? I understand, of course, that many people in leadership positions aren't vegan. Therefore they find it difficult to embrace animal rights as a movement in which a vegetable-based diet is an axiom. Veganism, however, is the single most important issue in the movement. Veganism is the abolitionist principle implemented in one's own life. Anyone who maintains that she or he is an "animal rights" advocate but is not vegan cannot be taken seriously.

 

http://www.antispe.de/txt/interviewgaryfrancione.html

 

 

I HAVE ACTUALLY READ THIS ARTICLE BEFORE, AND HAVE A LOT OF RESPECT FOR PROFESSOR FRANCIONE. HIS VISION IS CERTAINLY WHAT WE ARE ALL WORKING TOWARDS. BUT I DISAGREE WITH HIS IMPLICIT UTILITARIAN VIEW OF SACRIFICING CHICKENS IN THE HERE AND NOW FOR THE GREATER ANIMAL GOOD IN THE FUTURE. I DONT THINK WE CAN IN GOOD CONSCIENCE TAKE A RIGID THEORETICAL STANCE WHEN THE COST TO MILLIONS OF ANIMALS IS ONE OF VERY REAL PAIN AND SUFFERING.

 

Theory and philosophy should give way to a little welfarism in cases where liberation is simply not a realistic option. this is where francione and i disagree.

 

and as a final note, if confronted with these three choices: exploitation, humane exploitation, abolition - a true welfarist would choose humane exploitation, as Francione suggests.

 

But an ar person with welfarist sympathies is different than a welfarist. An ar person with welfarist sympathies would, in this three choice scenario, without hesitation and with utter joy choose liberation. Where this ar person's "welfarist" sympathies come into play is in circumstances where the choice is only between humane treatment and inhumane treatment. In that case, I cannot in good conscience choose the latter, or not make a choice at all, because both choices are inconsistent with my ar agenda. And when i come to that conclusion, I am trying to put myself in the shoes of an animal who is being scalded alive.

 

 

sorry for all the spelling mistakes but i had to type this fast as i gotta go

peace

Edited by compassionategirl
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this is hard to reply to, as much as id due to the subject matter as to how much you guys bloody write!

 

regarding chickens already in existence, their impending death is not something that doesnt affect me seriously, only that i have to look at it in a utilitarian fashion and think; in the next 50years are we going to become more vegan as a species or eat more and more meat?

if we continue to make concessions to the meat industry ('we will get off your back if you inccrease cage size/kill more humanely') we will eat more and more meat. if we put our foot down and say no, this is wrong, which ever way you do it, then people will start to come around.

 

regarding peta and the media, maybe the national media is not the most effective way of doing it. i think that it needs to be done on a more interpersonal level. as in, you try to help your friend go vegan, who in turn may help someone else. you do animal rights stands, offer friendly advice and try to be a good example of vegan health.

 

its too far removed from daily life if people see peta ads on tv - they can just switch off. but if they are talking to a real, live, healthy vegan, they may be more inclined to listen than to someone who dresses up as a lettuce. veganism cant really be conveyed over the media, its a grassroots movement, and in the grassroots is where it is most effective.

 

jonathan

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this is hard to reply to, as much as id due to the subject matter as to how much you guys bloody write!

 

Hahaha. Dammit, CG, someone snuck in a post before we made our other 800 points.

 

I agree with the grassroots approach, Jonathan. And I think PETA can play a more instrumental role in fueling that.

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Has Public Interest in Animal Rights Peaked?

 

 

Contents

By: Harold A. Herzog

References:

 

By: Harold A. Herzog

Department of Psychology, Western Carolina University

 

The animal rights movement has emerged over the past 20 years as a highly visible and effective social movement. The growth of public interest in issues associated with the treatment of animals, and especially with their use in behavioral and biomedical research, has been spectacular. The use of animals in psychological research has come under particularly heavy criticism from animal activists. For example, Rollin (1981) has referred to experimental psychology as "the field most consistently guilty of mindless activity that results in great suffering" (p. 124). Although psychologists who work with nonhuman species have mounted a counterattack (e. g. , Miller, 1985), the negative image of behavioral research with animals persists among many segments of the public. Domjan and Purdy (1995) have recently argued that even the authors of introductory textbooks seldom acknowledge the contributions of animal studies to advances in psychology.

 

Although it is commonly believed that the rise of widespread animal protectionism is a recent phenomenon, this is not the case. An organized antivivisection movement emerged in England and the United States in the latter half of the 19th century. Victorian animal activists, like their modern counterparts, were particularly critical of psychological research with animals (Dewsbury, 1990). However, public interest in social issues rises and falls (Hilgartner & Bosk, 1988). For example, the high point of Victorian anitvivisectionism was reached in the years preceding World War I. By 1920, interest in animal protectionism had largely declined, only to reemerge several generations later. In this comment, I report evidence that a similar decline in the public visibility of this issue may now be taking place in the United States.

 

Concern with a social problem is reflected by the degree of media attention it receives. The number of magazine and newspaper articles devoted to a social problem can serve as a gauge of public interest. For example, Phillips and Sechzer (1989) examined awareness of ethical issues associated with the use of animals within the scientific community by analyzing the coverage of the topic in scientific books and journals. They found an explosive rise in the number of articles appearing in the scientific literature during the period 1965-1985. I have surveyed recent trends in the coverage of topics related to the animal rights movement and the treatment of animals in popular periodicals and in major newspapers. The results of my analysis suggest that the visibilty of the animal rights movement has leveled off and may be declining.

 

I manually searched The Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature and conducted a computer search of Newspaper Abstracts to examine changes in the coverage of the animal rights movement over the past 20 years. The Reader's Guide is a bibliographic index that surveys 250 popular and semipopular periodicals. I began the Reader's Guide search with articles published in 1975 (Volume 35), the year of publication of Peter Singer's influential book Animal Liberation , often referred to as the bible of the animal rights movement. I ended the search with Volume 54 (December 1994). All articles related to animal welfare issues and the animal rights movement were included in the tabulation. The key words and phrases used to access the articles varied from year to year as the movement developed. They included animal experimentation, animal treatment, animal rights movement , and animal liberation. Articles dealing with a wide variety of topics, such as the treatment of particular species, the search for alternatives to the use of animals in consumer product testing, the campaign against furs, and articles about animal protection organizations (e. g. , People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Humane Society of the United States, and the Animal Liberation Front) were included in the tally. Articles related to wildlife management, hunting, trapping, and the smuggling of animal products were not counted unless they were directly referenced under a topic such as animal treatment.

 

The bound edition of the Reader's Guide does not include newspaper articles. I searched Newspaper Abstracts through FirstSearch, an online information service. Newspaper Abstracts is a bibliographic database that covers 25 major newspapers published in the United States. (It also includes one foreign newspaper, the Manchester Guardian. Articles from the Guardian were not included in this tally. ) Newspaper Abstracts is more limited than the Reader's Guide in that it only covers issues of newspapers published since January 1, 1989. The computer search was conducted using the key word phrase animal rights or animal treatment .

 

The Reader's Guide results are shown in

FIG1A

 

Figure 1. Throughout the 1980s, there was a general increase in articles devoted to animal welfare and the animal rights movement. But the number of articles peaked in 1990 and has shown a significant decline since then. The same trend was evident in the number of articles appearing in American newspapers. The number of articles listed in Newspaper Abstracts doubled between 1989 and 1990, from 163 articles to 338 articles. Since 1990, however, there has been a steady downward trend (245 articles in 1991, 208 in 1992, 191 in 1993, and 142 in 1994).

 

Mutual fund brochures routinely caution readers that past performance is no guarantee of future behavior. The same proviso applies here. In the long run, the decline in coverage of the animal rights movement in newspapers and periodicals may reflect merely a transient downturn in public interest. On the other hand, it is possible that, like Victorian antivivi-sectionism, the contemporary animal rights movement is running out of steam.

 

There are other signs that suggest that interest in animal protectionism may have peaked. In recent years, contributions to animal rights organizations have not followed the pattern of dramatic growth seen in the 1980s. Trends in the consumption of products in the United States offer other examples. Animal activists sometimes take credit for the fact that fur sales declined 40% between 1987 and 1991. However, sales of fur coats have increased 20% over the past two years. The consumption of meat by Americans has followed a similar pattern; the number of beef cattle raised anually declined steadily between 1984 and 1988, but has increased since 1990.

 

Several factors might explain the decline in media coverage of the animal rights movement. First, legislative reforms such as the 1985 amendments to the Animal Welfare Act have led to enhanced oversight of animal research and may have taken some of the wind out of the sails of animal activists. Second, some animal protection organizations have shifted strategies away from the barricades and toward courtrooms and statehouses. A report by the United States Department of Justice on terrorist activities by animal activists indicated that the frequency of incidents such as the theft of laboratory animals and harassment of researchers increased steadily between 1976 and 1988, but it has subsequently shown a consistent decline (U. S. Department of Justice, 1993). Clearly, fire bombings are more likely to attract media attention than subcommittee hearings.

 

Finally, as evidenced by the 1994 elections, the mood of the public has become decidedly more conservative. The contemporary animal liberation movement is the direct descendant of the civil rights and women's movements (Singer, 1975). It is no surprise that animal protectionism, like other social causes based on liberal political principles (in a broad sense), may have a harder time attracting attention and public sympathy in the Gingrich era.

 

There is no doubt that the animal protection movement has had a major and possibly permanent impact on how people perceive other species and our moral obligation to them. A 1990 survey of Americans found that 80% of the public agreed with a statement indicating that animals have rights that should limit the way they are used (Orlans, 1993). And the movement continues to generate controversy and significant, albeit reduced, media coverage. Increasingly, the battle for the "hearts and minds," particularly with regard to the use of animals in research, is being played out in educational settings as partisans on both sides attempt to sway the opinions of young people (Blum, 1994), and the long-term effect of the debate over the moral status of animals remains to be seen. Recent trends in media coverage, however, suggest that animal rights activism may be following the cyclical pattern that is characteristic of other social movements.

References:

 

1. Blum, D. (1994). The monkey wars. New York: Oxford University Press.

 

2. Dewsbury, D. (1990). Early interactions between animal psychologists and animal activists and the founding of the APA Committee on Precautions in Animal Experimentation. American Psychologist, 45, 315-327.

 

3. Domjan, M. & Purdy, J. E. (1995). Animal research in psychology: More than meets the eye of the general psychology student. American Psychlogist, 50, 496-503.

 

4. Hilgartner, S. & Bosk, C. L. (1988). The rise and fall of social problems: A public arena model. American Journal of Sociology, 94, 53-78.

 

5. Miller, N. E. (1985). The value of behavioral research on animals. American Psychologist, 40, 423-440.

 

6. Orlans, F. B. (1993). In the name of science: Issues in responsible animal experimentation. New York: Oxford University Press.

 

7. Phillips, M. T. & Sechzer, J. A. (1989). Animal research and ethical conflict: An analysis of the scientific literature: 1966-1986. New York: Springer-Verlag.

 

8. Rollin, B. E. (1981). Animal rights and human morality. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus.

 

9. Singer, P. (1975). Animal liberation. New York: New York Review of Books.

 

10. U. S. Department of Justice. (1993). Report to Congress on the extent and effects of domestic and international terrorism on animal enterprises. Washington, DC: Author.

Copyright 1996 by the American Psychological Association, Inc.

For personal use only--not for distribution

This publication is protected by US and international copyright laws and its content may not be copied without the copyright holder's express written permission except for the print or download capabilities of the retrieval software used for access. This content is intended solely for the use of the individual user.

Source: American Psychologist. Vol. 50 (11) November 1995, pp. 945-947

Accession Number: amp5011945 Digital Object Identifier: 10.1037/0003-066X.50.11.945

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this is hard to reply to, as much as id due to the subject matter as to how much you guys bloody write!

 

 

 

regarding chickens already in existence, their impending death is not something that doesnt affect me seriously, only that i have to look at it in a utilitarian fashion and think; in the next 50years are we going to become more vegan as a species or eat more and more meat?

if we continue to make concessions to the meat industry ('we will get off your back if you inccrease cage size/kill more humanely') we will eat more and more meat. if we put our foot down and say no, this is wrong, which ever way you do it, then people will start to come around.

 

okay jonathan, fair enough. So i guess at least we have narrowed it down to what exactly we disagree on. I cannot be utilatarian when I know what that stance will mean for the animals that are going to be scalded alive - the ones that I know will never have the chance to be affected by today's vegan outreach. So I feel the need to negotiate with their dispecable fmurderes for their more humane execution, while simultaneously working to promote veganism.

 

 

 

regarding peta and the media, maybe the national media is not the most effective way of doing it. i think that it needs to be done on a more interpersonal level. as in, you try to help your friend go vegan, who in turn may help someone else. you do animal rights stands, offer friendly advice and try to be a good example of vegan health. YES I AGREE WITH YOU HERE. I GUESS I WOULD WANT TO ATTACK THESE INDUSTRIES FROM EVERY POSSIBLE ANGLE - GRASS ROOTS, TELEVISION AIRTIME WITH COMMERCIALS LIKE THE ONE I DESCRIBED EARLIER THAT WAS VERY EFFECTIVE IN RAISING AWARENESS, ETC.

 

its too far removed from daily life if people see peta ads on tv - they can just switch off. but if they are talking to a real, live, healthy vegan, they may be more inclined to listen than to someone who dresses up as a lettuce. veganism cant really be conveyed over the media, its a grassroots movement, and in the grassroots is where it is most effective. I AGREE THAT CHANGING PEOPLE ONE ON ONE LIVE FACE TO FACE IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT AND EFFECTUAL WAYS TO EFFECT CHNAGE. BUT I ALSO THINK THAT YOU ARE DOWNPLAYING THE POWER OF IMAGES OF SUFFERING. I THINK THAT THEY CAN BE VERY EFFECTIVE AND VERY POWERFUL, WHICH IS WHY I WOULD LOVE TO SEE MORE OF THEM AIRING ON TV. jonathan

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whilst i certainly feel that there do need to be more images out there of exactly what animal production is, the peta ads you guys have already polarise many people against the idea of animal rights. they do not want to be a associated with peta 'loonies' and subsequently close their mind to it.

i think the written press is more effective than tv - a picture of an abused animal wont go away when its printed.

 

jonathan

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I don't think that anyone has found a really effective way of turning people vegan. I think it's good that Peta are experimenting and trying to find a way to do it, and I understand their extreme campaigns. I will admit to not being very well educated about Peta. But I think it should be remembered that there isn't a simple way to get inside people's minds and change their core beliefs, and if there was, then Peta would be doing that.

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AS shocking and appalling as these investigations are, they STILL dont make it on the evening news. Have you ever seen a NEWS documentary on meet your meat?
I manually searched The Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature and conducted a computer search of Newspaper Abstracts to examine changes in the coverage of the animal rights movement over the past 20 years.

I think it is a mistake to use the mainstream media as a guide to how effective the animal rights campaign is. The news media are increasingly owned by fewer and fewer corporations, the goal of which is to maximize profit while minimizing effort. The same news stories get printed over and over again and these news stories tend either to push an agenda of the corporate media or to placate advertisers. Whether you are talking about animal rights, the War on Iraq, labor practices affecting immigrants, or torture and abuse in the american judicial system, minority viewpoints are seldom heard.

 

There are other media sources. DemocracyNow! is one of the best:

 

http://www.democracynow.org/

 

Here are some stories they have carried:

 

7/21/04 Video Shows Abuse of Chickens at KFC Supplier:

An investigator for the animal rights group PETA captured video showing chickens being kicked, stomped and thrown against a wall by workers at a supplier for Kentucky Fried Chicken, which has been under pressure since last year over the treatment of animals. Officials from Yum! Brands Inc., which owns the fast-food chain, said that the employee or employees responsible will be terminated. The footage was secretly taken at a plant in West Virginia by a PETA activist who worked there from October to May. PETA says its investigator also obtained eyewitness testimony about employees "ripping birds” beaks off, spray painting their faces, twisting their heads off, spitting tobacco into their mouths and eyes, and breaking them in half - all while the birds are still alive." PETA said it planned to ask West Virginia authorities to prosecute plant employees and managers under state animal-cruelty laws.

 

1/16/04 CBS Bars PETA, MoveOn Ads From Super Bowl

CBS is refusing to sell ad time during the Super Bowl to two organizations, MoveOn and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals because the network claimed it did not accept advocacy advertising. MoveOn recently held a contest called “Bush in 30 Seconds” that asked for fillmakers to make a 30-second anti-Bush ad. More than 1100 videos were submitted. MoveOn planned to show the winning ad during the Super Bowl. PETA was planning to broadcast an ad that charged eating meat can cause impotence.

 

04/23/2003 Story: Discussion On Use Of Animals In The Military

 

"War is not healthy for children and other living things."

 

These words were first written by mothers in the United States during the Vietnam War. They were concerned that their children were being sent halfway around the world to kill the children of Vietnamese mothers. They put the statement on a postcard and sent it to Congress.

 

Since then, the words have become a powerful description of wartime destruction of not only people but also animals and the environment.

 

In the invasion of Iraq the Pentagon reportedly has enlisted dolphins, chickens, dogs, sea lions and pigeons. Plus there are reports that Moracco gave the U.S. 2,000 monkeys to assist with de-mining projects.

 

Dolphins are scouting seaports in search of mines. The dolphins are equipped with cameras that transmit video images back to their handlers. When they find a mine they are trained to report back by playing with a so-called "I've found something" rubber ball. When the dolphins find a mine, their minder sends a group of human divers to the area to detonate it. The Washington Post reports that Atlantic bottlenose dolphin is the seafaring equivalent of bomb-sniffing dogs.

 

The Marines have been using chickens and pigeons in Kuwait to detect poison gas. But the Marines have admitted that dozens of the birds never made it to the Middle East after dying in transit.

 

The deceased chickens and pigeons will hardly be the first U.S. animals not to return to the states after a war. According to PETA, 5,000 dogs served alongside U.S. troops in Vietnam. Only 140 came home. Some died in Vietnam but most were abandoned by the military.

 

* William R. Rivas-Rivas, PETA Campaign Coordinator.

* David Helvarg, Author of Blue Frontier - Saving America's Living Seas and founder of the Blue Frontier Campaign in Washington D.

 

I am sure there are others. What we need to remember is that each one of us, when we post our thoughts on the internet, become part of the underground media... a non-traditional source of information. When we combine our thoughts and efforts, I believe we can have a greater impact than the mainstream media.

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[i think it is a mistake to use the mainstream media as a guide to how effective the animal rights campaign is. The news media are increasingly owned by fewer and fewer corporations, the goal of which is to maximize profit while minimizing effort. The same news stories get printed over and over again and these news stories tend either to push an agenda of the corporate media or to placate advertisers. Whether you are talking about animal rights, the War on Iraq, labor practices affecting immigrants, or torture and abuse in the american judicial system, minority viewpoints are seldom heard.

 

.

 

Aint that the sad truth!!!

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