Some background and thoughts on animal advocacy terminology

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I recently wrote a series of three posts about terminology in Effective Animal Advocacy (EAA):

  1. Rights or Welfare for Animals? – here I go over the historical conflict within animal advocacy between animal welfarists and animal rights theorists, in particular by looking at some recollections by Gary Francione.

  2. Possible Resolutions to the Rights/​Welfare Debate in Animal Advocacy – here I discuss some ways that EAAs might escape the rights/​welfare conflict. I try (and fail, mostly) to answer two questions. Should EAA align itself with one particular animal ethic or remain agnostic as far as possible? Is EAA compatible with multiple animal ethics simultaneously?

  3. Dimensions of Animal Advocacy Terminology – here I try to get an idea of what terms/​phrases EAA organisations emphasise today, and also which ones are used in popular (online) discourse. I then discuss eight salient dimensions along which EAA terminology can vary:

  • Rights/​Autonomy versus Welfare/​Suffering

  • Politically Left versus Politically Right

  • Focus on Humans versus Focus on the the Other Animals

  • Links to Earlier, Human Struggles

  • Emphasis on Sentience

  • Moderate Asks versus Radical Asks

  • Concrete/​Local Concerns versus Abstract/​Global Concerns

  • Naturalness versus Unnaturalness

I would be happy to hear people’s thoughts on this – especially (but not only) people active in EAA, since I myself am an outsider (apart from reading and donating).

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