I have a friend who is working for a
company that tests on animals. He is thinking about quitting. Should
I encourage him to quit or should I mind my own business?
If you know someone who is working for a company that abuses animals, and if they are thinking of quitting for moral reasons, please ask them to reconsider. Tell them that it is much better to have a spy/informant within a company than to have them replaced by someone who doesn't care. Mention, however, that they should quit if they can't help from the inside of the company and/or if their quitting would disrupt the company (but these cases are rare, although it's difficult to admit we are replaceable).
Tell them that you know it is difficult to work for a company that goes against their principles. But that the company won't be as likely change if they leave. Almost certainly they can do more good from the inside.
There are many examples.
1. An accountant became an ARA after 20 years of working for a company that abused animals (at another division, in another location). Note: Ironically it was after he started expressing opinions about AR that someone told him about the other division.
He found another job. But after much introspection and analysis he continued working for the company that he knew abused animals. He provided inside information to activists. He
subtlety enlightened his coworkers about animal cruelty. And he donated a lot of money to an animal shelter (the money that he would have lost each year by taking the job he was considering). All of these were significant to the lives of animals.
The hardest part for him was that other activists, whom he respected, called him a hypocrite. Of course he couldn't trust anyone with much of his story, so he took the criticism.
2. A 20-year-old girl was torn about working for a Pet Store that sold parrots. It was a pet store that AR groups frequently protested against. Rather than quit, she worked from the inside. She made sure that anyone coming in to look at parrots was told how much attention parrots required, how they bonded for life, how long they lived -- this added up to a lot more
commitment than most potential buyers had realized. The girl was friendly, courteous, and informative. Parrot sales plummeted. If the store noticed, they didn't say anything. Now the other sales clerks give the same information they learned from her. And they all think it's natural, although you won't get the information at most other pet stores.
The store is still occasionally picketed by protestors. Sometimes they call her names. She just smiles at them and wonders if any of them have touched as many animal's lives as has she.
3. One hunt saboteur is unbeknownst to his friends and family, many of whom go on an annual deer hunting trip. Because he could never admit to them that he was sickened by their killing, he always gave an excuse to skip the trip. It was usually a work-related excuse so they couldn't argue. They always went without him. Six years ago he was outside when they arrived at home with dead deer. He saw it up close. And he thought about that deer for the next year. He decided to go hunting with his friends the next year, but he had a plan. On the trip he did everything wrong that was imaginable for a hunter, including getting drunk, telling jokes, and even laughing inappropriately as friends were about to shoot. His friends didn't kill one deer that year.
Last year he missed the hunting trip (he had influenza) and his friends killed three deer, but they also admitted, even though they did better without him, that they had had more fun when he was along. He says he's never going to miss another hunting trip even if he gets the flu again.
He says the hardest part of is telling his coworkers that he is going deer hunting. The people he respects the most are the people who are disgusted by what he is doing. But he'll never tell anyone (who knows him) what he is doing. He says "Lives are at stake."
Conclusion: It doesn't help as much to preach to the choir (other ARAs) as it does to preach to the heathens (but to do so, you may need to join them).