Advocacy for animals
In order to promote Living Without Cruelty, Animal Aid constantly engages both the public, and the policy-makers, in an ongoing debate about how best to co-exist with other species and how to avoid doing deliberate harm to other sentient creatures. And we promote the notion of Animal Pride.
The message here is that the tag of ‘extremist’ does not fit those of us who work peacefully to advance the cause of animals. We take pride in our advocacy for animals.
We also see animals as more than mere victims but recognise the richness of animal culture. We recognise animals’ powerful social bonds, their capacity for grief and sensual pleasure, their ability to think strategically and work co-operatively.
The notion of rights for human beings DOES exist, thanks to centuries of struggle by oppressed groups. Rights for animals, however, are still rejected by powerful elements within our culture.
In law, animals are mere property. There are certain rules about how we may exploit, kill and consume them. But protection for animals stops at the point where we, as the exploiting species, are seriously inconvenienced or deprived of profit or pleasure.
Animal Aid is concerned to address this situation and demonstrate that, just as commercial, cultural and intellectual life thrived in Britain after we gave up trading in human beings from Africa, so there is a positive future without exploiting animals.
While it is impossible in this imperfect world to live an immaculate life, the first principle should be: do as little harm as possible.
The movement for animal rights/liberation is another chapter in the history of social progress movements that has included the abolition of human slavery and the enfranchisement of women and the ‘lower orders’.
Our movement is inclusive of anyone whose goal is a new, fairer deal for animals. And every step counts: it is better to go part of the way towards a cruelty-free lifestyle than do nothing for fear of being accused of inconsistency or hypocrisy.
A victory for animals is achieved every time someone goes vegetarian/vegan, rejects animal-tested products or decides to rescue an animal from a sanctuary rather than going to a pet shop.