Welcome to the first post of Striking at the Roots.
While there are a lot of great blogs on animal rights and veganism, this blog will focus solely on animal activism. Having spoken at AR events, discussed activism with countless people and given interviews about my book, I know that animal advocates want clear information about how they can help.
Sadly, there are a lot of misconceptions about animal activism and those who engage in it. You read it on the disgruntled blogs of animal exploiters and in the mainstream media. It fills the public discourse and is satirized in movies and television. I’m hoping to add some clarity to the debate, as I worked to do in Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism.
As an adjunct to the book, this blog will feature original profiles of men and women around the world working on the frontlines of activism, explore tactics for getting involved at a grassroots level and, I hope, empower you to get started or do even more. You’ll see it doesn’t take a lot of time or a lot of knowledge — just a passion for compassion.
I should note that I believe there is a place in this movement for welfare reforms, so I will frequently bring these campaigns into the discussion. I know many activists disagree with that position, and they are quite vocal in their belief that incremental reforms to relieve the suffering of farmed animals — such as Prop 2 (the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act), the ballot initiative currently sweeping over California — have no business in so-called “real” animal activism. While I respect the dedication of these thinkers, I disagree with them. No activist I know thinks cage-free is cruelty-free, for example, and each of us is working hard to abolish all forms of animal exploitation. For an excellent discussion of this topic, please see One-Track Activism by Norm Phelps.
As pattrice jones said:
“Every successful social-change movement has involved a multiplicity of people using a multiplicity of tactics to approach a problem from a multiplicity of angles. Some people push against the bad things that need to be changed while others pull for the good alternatives. Some people work to undermine destructive systems from within while others are knocking down the walls from without. We all need to recognize that and find our place within a multifaceted struggle, being sure to be generous and appreciative of those who are working toward the same goals using different tactics.”