There seems to be a growing phenomenon within the animal advocacy movement where activists seem to be under the impression that as long as they are doing something, then that has to be good for the animals.
Whilst these activists may believe that every little bit helps, I do wonder if they have put any thought into the possible damage that their “little bit” may do.
Let’s consider the following example for a minute and see what you think.
Shanae Wyatt is a leader of a Facebook group, Shore To Shore Animal Buddies, that claims to be ‘for the animals’. The group is made up of anyone who wants to call themselves an ‘animal lover’, despite whether they eat/use them or not. Unbeknownst to most of the people in that group, Ms Wyatt and her husband, who is also active in the group, consume a ‘mostly vegetarian’ diet. I am guessing that means that they are vegetarian except for the times a piece of steak ‘accidentally’ falls into their mouth, or whilst hubby is out fishing with his mates.
Somehow Ms Wyatt is able to whip other advocates in the area into such a frenzy that they will all fly off half cocked and do whatever it is that Ms Wyatt wants them to do. After being bored at home one night Ms Wyatt is surfing the internet where she comes across a group that says that We Fly You There Airlines is involved in the transportation of Animal X for research purposes. Ms Wyatt knows that it has to be true because it is on the internet, and the internet is NEVER wrong.
Later the next day Ms Wyatt rounds up her posse of other activists and tells them that We Fly You There Airlines has an office in Brisvegas. It is highly unlikely that Ms Wyatt would have told the rest of her posse that the office is only a corporate one, and probably has no input or control over what offices in other countries do.
None of that matters anyway, because the posse is fired up and ready to ‘do something’, and off they go. Brandishing vuvuzelas and air horns, they barge into the office of We Fly You There Airlines, announcing that they are part of another irrelevant group. This is where they begin to berate the staff with blah, blah, ‘you can’t do this’, ‘you have blood on your hands’, murderers, and other ‘catchy’ slogans.
After sustaining the barrage for about 5 – 6 minutes, they scurry on out of the office into a waiting lift, all the while patting themselves on the back for a job well done.
Being the attention seekers that they are, they had recorded this ‘action’, and proceed to upload it to the site LookHowAwesomeIAm.com for all the world to see.
- Now based on the above scenario, do you think the activists did a good job?
- What about if the information they got off the internet was wrong and this airline no longer transports animals to used in research?
- Could basing an activity on the wrong intel set the movement back a year or two, or even more?
Look how bad a similar tactics turned out for the US and Australia regarding the stockpiling of WMD’s in Iraq.
- Considering that those who are advocating for other animals are in the minority, with the majority supported by the media, government and public opinion, isn’t it in ours and the animals best interest to ensure that our actions are above reproach?
- Something else that these activists need to consider is that just because something has worked overseas, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work here in Australia.
Remember, ‘we’ don’t like being told what to do, though we do like to feel ‘morally superior’ if we are doing something. This is why the “Ban Live Export” campaigns have been so successful.
Don’t we owe it to those animals we are supposed to be advocating on behalf of, to make sure that we are doing the best that we can, and leave our egos and overinflated level of self importance out of it?
After all, we are supposed to be doing this for the animals, aren’t we?
All characters, companies, and organisations appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.