The campaign to expose the harmful, violent, and destructive reality of the animal agriculture industry.

DO NOT DISTURB: Exploring the barriers to animal activism and the potential of ‘quiet’ activism


The research shows most people who care about animals are reluctant to get involved in 'frontline' activism (such as protests, demonstrations, and rescues), but are far more receptive to engaging in forms of ‘quieter’ activism (such as promoting dietary change and volunteering for local animal charity).

BRYANT RESEARCH: Defining animal activism can be difficult. Broadly, animal activists believe animals deserve to live happy, cruelty-free lives. However, what constitutes ‘activism’ can be more contentious. Dietary change in and of itself may be considered activism but others may only consider more direct forms of action like participating in animal rescues.

While all forms of animal activism are important, this article will focus on activism that seeks to change others’ behaviours, especially through quieter’ forms. There are a number of ways that individuals can participate in animal activism of this type. They can roughly be divided into five categories: online, everyday, charity, social, and frontline.

Frontline activism is the form most people think of when considering activism. It includes attending protests and demonstrations. There are also quieter forms of activism; charity activism includes working for or donating to animal organisations. Online activism includes sharing or creating pro-animal content, usually on social media platforms. Social activism can include talking to friends or family about animal welfare or dietary change. Finally, everyday activism can include wearing animal advocacy fashion…

Due to the scarcity of literature on the topic, indirect indicators were used to gain a preliminary understanding of the barriers and facilitators of animal activism, categorising barriers into internal and external barriers. Using this, a survey of 1,000 individuals living in the UK was carried out. It found that participation in animal activism is very low; however, most individuals were not wholly resistant to it. Rather, most participants either had not considered it before or would like to get involved…

Overall, this study provides valuable insight into the rates of animal activism participated in by the general population, the different forms of activism that are available and people’s willingness to participate in them, the barriers that people face whether they be internal belief-systems or external logistical constraints, as well as ways to facilitate solutions to those barriers…. As such, this report recommends highlights that:

1. People often associate animal activism with frontline activism, but are generally far more receptive to engaging in forms of ‘quieter’ activism that more aptly meet their skillset. Stressing the importance of these quiet forms of activism could greatly increase participation rates.

2. This could be effectively done with national campaigns. Individuals stressed the ease of using a campaign such as Veganuary to engage others about the topic in a more casual manner. These campaigns could promote trying to get friends and families to sign up together.

3. The same is true of charity activism; individuals find it easier to engage in activism when it is with the backing of a locally or nationally recognised charity.

4. The most prevalent barriers to activism are internal barriers, such as perceived lack of knowledge or confidence. Providing structured training and certification could provide a tangible way to overcome these internal barriers.

5. Those that eat meat feel like it is a barrier to getting involved in the animal advocacy movement, even if they are in the process of reducing their meat consumption. The animal activism movement should try to present an image that is welcoming to these individuals, and promote forms of activism which are accessible to them, such as charity volunteering and donations.

6. The animal activism movement may benefit, and gain more activists, if it has very clearly defined goals and reasons for them, as well as tangible smaller objectives. This will help people to have a clear direction and confidence when participating in animal activism. SOURCE…


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