As animal rights advocates, we have a duty to communicate animal rights education through evidence-based and enlightened methods.
What does it mean to be politically correct with respect to animal rights activism?
I recently found myself in a situation where I was unable to decide what to say vs what not to say. It is often said “be politically correct.” Well, I recently learned that it can be challenging to do that with topics that we care about most.
NOW. think of this blog post as an attempt to try to understand what it means to be politically correct in a non-animal activism friendly environment.
I think it can be helpful to first educate oneself on the issue from both points of view… including the opposition, this means being totally open about learning more about the views of people from the opposite perspective.
before we begin deciphering the two let’s differentiate two terms.
Animal Rights VS Animal Welfare.
Animal Rights – rights believed to belong to animals to live free from use in medical research, hunting, and other services to humans.
Animal Welfare –Animal welfare refers to the state of the animal; the treatment that an animal receives is covered by other terms such as animal care, animal husbandry, and humane treatment
So, how does one ensure to be politically correct when advocating for animal rights?
Accepting the doctrine of animal rights means:
- No experiments on animals
- No breeding and killing animals for food or clothes or medicine
- No use of animals for hard labour
- No selective breeding for any reason other than the benefit of the animal
- No hunting
- No zoos or use of animals in entertainment
For years extremists have been trying to fight the system with violent protests, graphic demonstrations, and other methods that intrude on the lives of others with these methods making people uncomfortable purposefully and pretty much getting nowhere with animal rights advocacy and education.
My argument is that we need more controlled methods of animal rights education to communicate our point across and get people on our side. The only way we are going to do that is through peaceful protests, leafleting, information booths, panels, workshops, expert talks, We have some non-profit animal rights organizations that do just that and successfully educate the public through these types of well-rounded methods.
Having said that, we need to find some ways to stay impartial when discussing this heavy handed topic because for some of us this may be our “life” and everything we work so hard for. I have made up some tips to maintaining a controlled conversation for both parties on this topic
- Do allow people to speak their minds on the subject
- Listen carefully and ensure to hear the content of their speech
- Try to take the “F” out (feelings). Although it may be hard to stop emotions temporarily, it does not mean oppressing your passion towards animal rights advocacy but simply taking out the negative feelings that cause unwanted conflict with others.
- Refer to real scientific based evidence in regards to vegan/vegetarian life style (i.e. I recently read in [insert name of scholarly journal here] that [insert animal advocacy fact here])
- IF you know that the information the other party is bringing to the conversation is false or uneducated then don’t react right away. Reacting immediately to emotional triggers can be an immense mistake. Instead, take a few moments to formulate your thoughts and ideas and respond after that time or let them know you understand their opinion but would have to do more research on the subject to comment.
- No comment is sometimes the best comment. Whether you know lots about the subject at hand or not, the best thing to do is sometimes to stay silent. Some say silence is a sign of intelligence. It does not mean conforming to the other person opinion but simply builds the image that animal advocates can be understanding and well-rounded individuals who are willing to hear other opinions. It makes others want to listen to what we have to say.
Try these useful tips at your next gathering in conversation and I am sure that you will less often feel targeted and stressed.
Thank you readers!