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Does it matter what Animal Advocates call themselves?

In 2004, HRC (The Humane Research Council) conducted a comprehensive research study for the National Council for Animal Protection (NCAP), a coalition of U.S. animal protection groups. The research involved multiple phases including a large survey supplemented by eight focus groups and fifteen individual interviews. The goals of the study were to understand public awareness and opinions of animal protection activities, including the perceived image, credibility, and effectiveness of the animal advocacy movement in the United States. Now, for the first time, the NCAP research is generally available (upon approval) to advocates and scholars.


Some of you may recall, as recently as ten years ago, that animal advocates often used the terms “activists” and “animal rights” to describe themselves and their activities. The NCAP research found that these terms were off-putting to a large segment of U.S. adults, for various reasons, and suggested that it would be better to use the terms “advocate” instead of activist and “animal protection” instead of animal welfare or rights. Since the NCAP study was released to its members, which included most of the major national groups in the U.S., the language and tone of the animal protection movement has changed.

Please read the whole thing here:

What do you think?? Please leave a comment below.

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This is very interesting Tim. I wonder might the softening of language (ie animal rights becomes animal protection etc - if I've read that correctly in the article) reflect a softening of attitude (ie animal rights becomes animal welfare becomes happy meat etc). I think its always interesting to see if language leads attitude and mindsets or vice versa.

Personally I've never really come across the term 'animal protection'. I would be afraid that if we lost the term 'animal rights' then the fight for non-human rights would be lost / forgotten. To me the term 'protection' sounds a bit patriarchal or matriarchal.

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