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Advocacy Strategies

 

Resonance of Moral Shocks in Abolitionist Animal Rights Advocacy: Overcoming Contextual Constraints

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This article examines the use of shocking depictions of animal suffering and its role in recruiting for the animal protection movement. Results of a literature review indicate that the effectiveness of graphic depictions of suffering—particularly by those who advocate solely for the elimination of animal exploitation (as opposed to its amelioration)—is still up for debate and is likely influenced by a number of complicating factors. This study touches on important strategic implications for advocates.


How to Break a Stalemate on Animal Issues

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It’s now official: the laboratory mouse is a miserable failure as a model for human disease. In an article aptly titled "Mice Fall Short as Test Subjects for Humans' Deadly Ills," The New York Times confirms that vivisection – at least experimentation on mice – doesn’t help with issues like burns or trauma and doesn’t cure major human diseases like sepsis.



The Powerful Impact of College Leafleting

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Advocates have gravitated towards the popular trend of leafleting (particularly on college campuses) as a tool for promoting veganism, yet the effectiveness of this approach has remained untested until now. New data from Farm Sanctuary and The Humane League has begun to fill this gap in advocates’ knowledge. For their study, the team distributed thousands of leaflets to students at two large state schools and returned two months later to administer an in-person survey to assess changes in the consumption of animal products. The main finding was that there was a 2% conversion rate to vegetarian or pescatarian diets for those who received a leaflet, while a considerable reduction in the intake of animal-based foods was experienced by 6% to 12% of those surveyed (differing based on the specific food in question). The study’s write-up also highlights more detailed findings and translates the data into the number of farmed animals left off dinner plates in the U.S. as a result of leafleting.

Determining Adrenocortical Activity as a Measure of Stress in African Elephants in Relation to Human Activities

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This study of elephants residing inside and outside of protected areas found significantly lower levels of stress for those elephants residing within parks and reserves. Using fecal samples found within and outside of protected areas, researchers measured higher fecal glucocorticoid metabolites levels in elephants outside of the protected areas, indicative of higher stress. The authors conclude that "the reason for the higher (stress) level in the high-risk areas (is) thought to be a result of long-ongoing hunting activity, which has led the animals to associate humans and vehicles with detrimental effects."

Why is 13 Lucky for Animals (and Advocates)?

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Number 13
Let me tell you why 2013 will be a good year for animal advocates. In most western cultures, the number "13" is considered bad luck. But not so in China, where (in Mandarin) the number 13 often translates to "definite life" or "definite living." Can a billion people be wrong? As an animal advocate, you've chosen a "definite life." And HRC has definite plans in 2013 to help you make significant advancements for non-human animals. Read below about how Animal Tracker, our brand new veg recidivism study, and Humane Trends will bring you information to transform the future for animals.

An Inquiry into Animal Rights Vegan Activists' Perception and Practice of Persuasion

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This thesis paper investigates the strategies of "animal rights vegan activists," with emphasis on their persuasive practices and why they have failed to convince large numbers of people to become vegan. The author examines a wide range of tactics and explores two case studies involving the "Holocaust on Your Plate" campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the college leafleting promoted by Vegan Outreach.

Exploring Health and Environmental Costs of Food

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This paper describes the proceedings from a workshop on the true costs of food and summarizes dozens of presentations from scholars and experts on related topics. The presentations cover a wide range of health, social, environmental costs that are inherent in modern agriculture but not reflected in food prices. The authors also discuss the concept of "externalities" in general and debate whether or not they are the best way to frame the problem.

Problem-Elephant Translocation: Translocating the Problem and the Elephant?

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Elephants are often moved to different areas to reduce the potential for human-elephant conflict (HEC). This study sought to understand the outcomes for 16 Asian elephants relocated to national parks in Sri Lanka. The results showed that two elephants died in the parks, but most left the parks, resulting in an increase of HEC. The authors conclude that relocating "problem" elephants only increases the likelihood of conflict with humans.


Thank Yous and Goodbyes

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The last day of 2012 marked my last official day as an employee at the Humane Research Council. I served as the Research Director for two years and have stayed on part time for the last several months to help with a smooth transition as the organization seeks a new Research Associate. Being a part of the HRC team has been an amazing experience, as there is no other organization like it.

Tracking Data, Helping Animals

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Thanks to James Hettinger and Animal Sheltering Magazine for letting us reprint the interview James conducted with HRC’s Executive Director, Che Green. It was a wonderful opportunity to spread information about what HRC is doing to lead the revolution in smart animal advocacy.




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