Anyone who has experience in the field of animal protection knows that for the majority of issues, from farmed animals, animal experimentation, pet overpopulation, hunting, animals in entertainment, to working animals, we battle vested interest groups which benefit economically from the use and abuse of animals. Unfortunately, many governments across the world operate under a paradigm that promotes human-centered economic growth. Because of the contribution of animal-use industries to economic growth, economic considerations of animal use are generally given primacy over animal welfare considerations. Thus, government structures, systems and processes are developed which support animal-use, despite the fact that these generally do not reflect public opinion on animal welfare. This paradigm prevents an overarching animal welfare ethic from being incorporated, the result being a marked lack of progress by animal advocates.
Think it’s impossible to stand up for animals at the voting booth? You may wish to reconsider. From politicians who vocally support strong animal protection legislation, to citizen-directed animal protection initiatives presented directly to the voting public, opportunities for putting the ballot to work to improve the lives of animals abound. Public discourse around animals and politics is also becoming more frequent, as illustrated by a recent conference in Bristol. There’s even a fully funded Ph.D. program that welcomes a concentration on the political representation of nonhuman interests.
The WAN blog allows us to share our expertise in the fields of policy, science, communications, management, and more in a manner that animal protection organizations can easily incorporate into their everyday work for animals. The blog also provides the opportunity to highlight important work of individual organizations and campaigns, and allows researchers, experts, and others outside of WAN to provide useful information to the animal protection community.