Why Activists Matter

Posted by on June 11, 2019 | Permalink

Animal activists are ordinary people from various walks of life who are trying to end cruelty to animals. As the renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” The dedication and commitment of animal rights activists are undoubtedly changing the world. Our campaigns and protests are causing people’s attitudes to shift away from speciesism – and this, in turn, results in significant changes in the way animals are treated.

Around the world, governments are ending cosmetics tests on animals, the number of vegans is growing exponentially, fur farming is being banned, and animal circuses and zoos are closing.

Westminster protest for circus animals

Sometimes, it takes years for campaigns to yield results. Our campaign for a ban on wild-animal circuses in England spanned several years and included e-mail actions – in which PETA supporters contacted their MPs before key debates on the issue – as well as eye-catching, hard-to-ignore protests by activists outside Parliament. After dragging its feet on this important issue for years, the government finally listened.

Protest at Benetton

Other victories are won virtually overnight. Less than 24 hours after we kicked off a national day of action to persuade Benetton to stop selling angora – which workers yank out of rabbits while they’re fully conscious – the retail giant bowed to the pressure and banned the material from all future collections sold in its approximately 6,000 stores worldwide.

Every voice matters: 20,000 supporters like you helped persuade Greggs to introduce its now-iconic vegan sausage roll by signing our petition.

In another sign of the times, after PETA members and other activists from around the world converged on Pamplona, Spain, for the annual protest against the barbaric Running of the Bulls, the city’s mayor spoke out in support of the campaign for the first time ever. “[T]his is a debate that sooner or later we will have to put on the table,” he said. “For a very simple reason, and that is that basing the festival on the suffering of a living being, in the 21st century, is something that, at best, we have to rethink.”

Local activists are also crucial to helping create positive change for animals. In 2018, plans for cruel factory farms in New Brancepeth, Rufforth, and Rugby were all scuppered, thanks to PETA petitions with over 55,000 signatures in total. These actions helped prevent up to 6,250 pigs and 144,000 chickens at a time from being exploited and eventually slaughtered.

As more and more compassionate people take action, society has no choice but to listen. All around the world, millions of people care deeply about animals and are doing everything they can to end cruelty. Our individual actions can be hugely powerful, but when we act together, we can achieve even more!

Here are some of the best ways to help animals: