Visitor:

About ALF > History

THE ANIMAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

This is a handout prepared by April Medici, Jody Prusan-Goldstein, Marisa Romanelli, Susane Horatio James, and Melanie Caparino (all students in the fall 1994 class)

I. EARLY HISTORY

    The animal rights movement can trace its roots back to the late 18th century and early l9th.

    This movement began out of organized efforts to abolish cruelty to animals in England and America.

    In England, a man named Richard Martin tried to convince the English Parliament that some animals have some rights. A bill was passed for the prevention of cruel and improper treatment of cattle

    After this bill was passed similar anti-cruelty laws were passed in NY (1828), Mass. (1835), Connecticut and Wisconsin (1838).

    Also during this time the "Anti-vivisection" movement began in England. Vivisection" - to cut an organism while it is alive.

II. FORMING OF THE SPCA
(SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS)

1824: The first Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was formed (SPCA) in England.

1866: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was formed.

1867: SPCA formed in Philadelphia.

1868: SPCA formed in Boston.

III. MULTI-ISSUE AREAS OF CONCERN

Animal Testing

    Animal activists have been pressuring cosmetic companies to stop testing on animals.

    They want to stop the Draize Eye Irritancy Test -- which was invented in 1944 and is the standard method companies use to test cosmetics and household products for eye irritation, rabbits are used the most in this test.

    Companies who have stopped animal testing are: Avon, Elizabeth Arden, Charles of the Ritz, Max Factor, Revlon, Faberge, Amway and Shaklee.

    The Body Shop, a British based company is dedicated to cruelty-free body care products.

Factory Farming

    Animal activists feel that these conditions are considered inhumane. Animals are crowded into pens and cages and fed large amounts of antibiotics to counter the diseases that run rampant under those conditions.

    Grazing rights were guaranteed for cows, larger cages for chickens, and separate bedding and feeding places for pigs.

Entertainment /Sports

    Animal activists are against hunting, the circus, and zoo's.

Fashion

    Animal activists feel ranching and trapping by using steel jaw and leg traps is inhumane.

     

    Fur trade journals reported that the "harvest" of wild fur has dropped as much as 80% since anti-fur campaigns began.

Environmental

    In 1988, it became illegal for any ship to dump its plastic trash in U.S. oceans or navigable waters to protect marine wildlife from getting entangled, caught, and strangled in the plastic.

IV. ANIMAL PROTECTION GROUPS

These groups were formed during the 1970's and they varied in their tactics and philosophy. There are three kind of groups:

    Welfarists

    Pragmatists

    Fundamentalists

Welfarists

These activists accepted most current uses of animals, but seek to minimize their suffering and pain.

ASPCA is an example

Pragmatists

These are more radical. They feel certain species deserve greater consideration than others, and agree with animal use if the benefits of using such animals outweigh their suffering. They aimed at reducing animal use through legal actions, political protest and negotiations.

Henry Spira is an example

Fundamentalists

These are more extreme in their tactics. They believed people should never use animals for their own pleasure or interest, regardless of the benefits.

ALF (Animal Liberation Front) is an example: They used illegal means (by breaking into labs, freeing animals and damaging equipment) and rejected existing animal protection laws. Many fundamentalists don't believe in having pets and are also vegetarians.

IMPORTANT EVENTS IN ANIMAL RIGHTS HISTORY

1866: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was formed (ASPCA). Henry Berg was the founder.

1892: Laws passed by The American Humane Association "prohibiting the repetition of experiments on animals for the purpose of teaching or demonstrating well known accepted facts." 1950s: Formation of:

    The American Welfare Institute

    The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

1966: Congress passed Animal Welfare Act. It regulated the use of animals in labs.

1975: Peter Singer's publication of Animal Liberation released. It depicted the harsh conditions and cruelty of animals in farms otherwise considered "mass producing factories."

Peter Singer - a philosophy professor was one of the first to start using dramatic and expressive public means to attract new recruits to the Animal Rights Movement.

1979: A lawyer named Tischler organized (AFAR) Attorneys for Animal Rights. This group worked full time on animal rights issues.

1984: ASPCA called for a boycott of Ringling Brothers after it tried to pass off goats w/horns surgically implanted in their skulls as "living unicorns."

1987: Revlon agreed to stop animal testing and contributed millions of dollars to alternate research.

1995: New fur law was passed. Any country who exports fur to Europe must either ban leg hold traps or adopt international humane trapping standards.

 

Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin, annxtberlin@gmail.com