Practical Issues > Actions to Take > Activism
International AR Day Action Guide

Candle-lit vigils at any site where the rights of animals are abused are powerful and dignified protests that attract a great deal of media coverage, especially when a local protest comes under such an international banner. The symbolism of the vigil can be as important as the amount of passers-by who see it -- more so if it is reported by the media. Vigils provide great opportunities for media photographs, which massively increases the amount of people touched by the protest. You may wish to conduct your vigil on Friday 9th or even Monday 11th when places are more likely to be open, people around, and the media more able to cover events.

Send news releases to local print, radio and television media in the week before your event.

Write to the letters sections of all local media (and websites) a week before IARD about the vigil.

Chase up the media a few days later with a phone call to see if they're interested (you may end up re-sending the release).

Conduct an IARD campaign stall during the day (see below).

Conduct your vigil from about 3.30pm to 6.30pm.

Collect candles and nightlights, and jam jars or lanterns to place them in, garden 'flares' and candles, and any other outdoor light sources (eg. outdoor fairy lights, large oil burning candles all available from garden centres etc.

Make banner(s) and/or poster(s) and placards highlighting IARD and the abuses at the site being targeted.

Take press releases for media and leaflets about IARD.

Rehearse some good quotes about IARD and the site for radio interviews etc.

Take photos of your event and send them to us with a short report.

Wrap up warm!

Campaign stalls are a great way to engage with the public and explain the philosophy behind IARD and the concept that underpins all campaigns against animal abuse. In this way we can reclaim 'animal rights' from the current paranoia about 'animal rights extremism.'

Contact Max for a 4 page 'How to' guide to stalls and street collections.

- Order IARD leaflets, posters, petitions from Uncaged using the form enclosed.

- Design posters/banners about IARD to display on your stall. Make your stall as visual as possible.

- Send news releases to the media about the stall and IARD about a week before the stall.

Write to the letters sections of all local media (and websites) a week before IARD about the stall.

- Have our new 'Animal Rights' leaflets, press releases, and other Uncaged leaflets available for people to take away from your stall.

- Have our new petitions allowing the public to sign up to the Universal Declaration of Animals' Rights.

- Conduct your IARD campaign stall from mid-morning to mid-afternoon on the 9th, 10th or 11th December (maybe preceding a vigil/protest).

- Send us a photo and short report.

Sample News Release:

1 December 2006 - For immediate use

9th International Animal Rights Day - 10 December 2006

Candelit vigil will remember animals who have suffered and died at [insert targeted establishment here]

On Sunday 10 December 2006, animal campaigners will gather for a candlelit vigil outside [name of establishment, e.g. University of Sheffield] during the evening rush hour (3.30pm to 6.30pm). The event is part of the 9th annual International Animal Rights Day, co-ordinated by national animal protection organisation Uncaged, and protesters will be lighting candles to remember the animals who have suffered and died at [describe the establishment, e.g. "the University's testing laboratories"].

[Give example of animal abuse at protest site.]

The aim of the campaign is to promote debate about the treatment of animals, and achieve international recognition for the basic rights of animals to life free from cruelty and killing. The 10th December was chosen to highlight the connection between human and animal rights as it is also the anniversary of the United Nations Human Rights Declaration in 1948. The campaign has been publicly endorsed by hundreds of animal rights and welfare groups across the UK and all over the world - as well as renowned poet, author and musician Benjamin Zephaniah, actress and comedienne Joanna Lumley, civil rights barrister Michael Mansfield QC, and actress Hayley Mills, amongst other UK celebrities.

[insert spokesperson's name] of [insert your group name] explains:

"The principles of respect and non-violence are at the heart of animal rights. Being for animal rights means public debate and passionate, intelligent opposition to cruel practices such as those at [the establishment]. It's not a question of putting animals before humans, it's simply about respecting life.

All animals, not just humans, are individuals in their own right, and can suffer emotional and physical pain. For example, even small creatures such as mice and rats endure psychological damage because of their barren existence in laboratory cages. No decent person would consider experimenting on or slaughtering the animals they share their homes with, so the basic ideas of animal rights have much greater support than many people realize. In a civilised society, there is no need or justification for the horrific abuse suffered by millions of animals.

We aim to campaign peacefully and democratically to turn that support into legal rights for animals to be protected from cruelty and killing, and we urge those who [describe cruel practice, e.g." experiment on animals at Sheffield University"] to search their consciences."

For more information and interviews please contact [insert spokesperson's name] on [insert contact telephone number], or email [insert email address]. Further information about International Animal Rights Day and the Universal Declaration of Animals' Rights is also available on the Uncaged website: or by calling 0114 272 2220.

Letter writing to all your local newspapers (including the free ones) is a great way to gain attention for IARD. Letters pages are the most commonly read section of a newspaper, so this is a great way to increase awareness of IARD and the notion of animals' rights. In addition to writing to all the local press and local news websites, try news and magazine websites too.

There are also hundreds of forums, discussion boards and chat-rooms on the internet. Some you have to register on before posting your animal rights messages. However, this is usually very easy and free. Your messages will cause a great deal of discussion and thought on the matter.

Sample Letter:


Dear [Letters Editor', Sir', Madam' etc. - follow the standard address for each paper]

It is sad that while the media sensationalises a tiny number of aggressive actions by a small minority of animal rights activists, there is little coverage of what really lies behind one of the biggest movements of modern times. Respect for animals is the scientific and fair-minded extension of the idea of human rights. The 10th December marks the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the United Nations in 1948. Now, this date has been designated "International Animal Rights Day" by animal protection group Uncaged, with the support of animal rights and welfare organizations across the United Kingdom and all over the world - from Australia to Austria.

The basic reasons why human beings deserve rights basic moral rights to ‘life, liberty and natural enjoyment' apply equally to animals. All animals are individual in their own right, and vulnerable to emotional and physical pain. Our species' potential to distinguish right from wrong imposes a unique burden on us to act ethically towards fellow sentient beings. There are laws designed to protect us, yet our society approves the systematic infliction of severe cruelty to on a gargantuan scale.

This year is the ninth annual International Animal Rights Day, and there will be candle-lit vigils across the world at places where the rights of defenceless animals are systematically abused - such as vivisection labs, abattoirs and factory farms - and campaigners will also be hitting the streets with information events about animal rights. [Include details of a local action if there is one]

I urge conscientious readers to think about this noble cause and attend a vigil if you can. You can sign up to the Universal Declaration of Animals' Rights on the Uncaged website at or write to Uncaged, 9 Bailey Lane, Sheffield, S1 4EG.

Yours faithfully

[Your name and postal address letters will not be published without these details  and telephone number if emailing your letter(s)]

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