|Divide and conquer or unite and conquer?|
|Exploring different perceptions and approaches to animal activism and considering the extent to which collaboration to benefit animals is possible in the absence of a shared ethos|
Welfarism, abolitionism, conservationism, ethical veganism, animal rights, animal protection and animal liberation (amongst others) are all terms which might be used to describe belief systems or practical efforts which can to protect animals in some way. Some of the terms are used interchangeably and others share some common traits. Some, such as welfarism and abolitionism, are often characterised as in conflict with one another.
This presentation draws on information gleaned during interviews carried out with leading activists from the animal and human rights movements, as well as celebrities working as public ambassadors for animals, politicians (both past and present), individuals carrying out action for animals and even the owner of a UK-based zoo. The intention of the interviews was not to highlight differences between these individuals, but to seek common ground in order to establish whether it is possible to identify opportunities for collaboration between individuals and organisations who, on the surface, may subscribe to very different belief systems or practical approaches.
Whilst some potentially irreconcilable conflicts are identified, a number of areas of commonality are presented and suggestions as to how collaboration may be possible are made.
The interviews and presentation form the basis for an ongoing project which will end in the publication of a book which explores these themes and issues.