How Entrenched Is Bullying Within The Animal Advocacy Movement?

A few days ago editor in chief of Mashable, Lance Ulanoff, published and op-ed on bullying, and how social media has changed their behaviour. Of particular importance is one paragraph, which I have quoted below.

I would also argue that social media sometimes encourages gang behavior. Instead of one bully, we have ten or more. Instead of the natural bully, we have the casual joiner — weak-minded souls who follow the pack.

It would have been easy for people to think that in this modern animal advocacy movement, that bullying type behaviours wouldn’t be tolerated, unfortunately this isn’t the case. It is still alive and well, and possibly quite deeply ingrained in the attitudes and behaviours of those who claim to be advocates for other animals by preaching compassion and good will.

I have lost count of the number of facebook groups and pages that I have been barred from due to the admins having some sort of personal problem with what I say, it isn’t me that suffers because of it. After all, I still have this site and a few others that I write on. I am not talking singularly of the way that I have been treated when I say that it is the new advocate, the advocate who is open to discussions, the movement itself, and ultimately the animals who all lose out because of the behaviour of these bullies?

All you have to do is have a look around some of the comments that have been made on recent articles to see that it is still happening. Whilst not everyone may agree with the things that I have written, I do not think that it is any excuse for making threats. After a recent article, where I mentioned some ‘activists’ by name, a picture of me was spread around different groups warning people to stay away from me because I am a ‘snitch’ or ‘traitor’. Comments were made by some claiming that they had ‘sorted me out’ which resulted in me ‘pulling my head in’, others claimed they would ‘take care of me’ the next time they saw me at an event.

Needless to say, the people who told me about the posts also told me that they reported them, and the offending  posts were soon deleted due to them violating Facebook’s terms and conditions.

It is unfortunate that for a movement that is about others, so many people feel that their sense of identity can be that threatened by someone having a differing view point that they need to close ranks, and ostracize the non-believer from the group. It is worth noting that this is exactly the same behaviour of those in a cult.

[GARD]Granted, I occasionally write things or ask questions that makes some individuals feel uncomfortable, though is that a justifiable reason for being bullied and family and friends harassed?

If you think it is, and that the movement has that fragile a position that it is not able to be questioned by those who are inside it, I shudder to think how you would respond to questions asked by those on the outside.

Bullying is never right, and should not be accepted by anyone. We all need to stand up to those who are bullies within this movement, and not join in just because everyone else is doing it.

After all, we ARE doing it for the animals, aren’t we?

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2 Comments

  1. For a compassionate and caring movement, it is extremely disappointing to see many activists simply do not practice what they preach. Can they honestly expect change through bullying tactics? I would think not.

    Activists need to actively asses their advocacy efforts, to look at it from both their own perspective, the general public and the person or persons they are seeking change from. We must be held accountable for our actions and aim to be better people, Hate and Violence will get us nowhere and will only put the movement back.

  2. Hi Cameron,

    Unfortunately, most people, regardless of political or philosophical persuasion, are average everyday humans. They have no special abilities to rein in their aggravation or skills in rational thought and reasoned argument. What they do have is the ability to shove their ideas down the throat of anyone who opposes them; they have just as much capacity for abuse as anyone else.

    Most vegans are just as deluded as the rest of Western humanity in relation to some animal species: they uphold the rights of humans to own animals, while proclaiming that they are doing so for the good of the animal (whom they get to hug, care for (Munchhausen’s syndrome) and treat as a goofy child who so desperately needs them for survival. They think that they are more ‘ethical’ by forcing those animals to live by their rules, e.g. cats eating vegan food.

    You can’t expect people to give up their ‘furry babies’ without being lambasted, can you?


What are your thoughts?