Protests aren’t really my cup of tea. Don’t get me wrong, I think protests have their place. And I certainly support anyone who holds a demonstration in support of animal rights. But I’ve had really mixed feelings about them lately and I just figured maybe it’s about time I spell it all out and do a little analysis.
Here are my pros and cons of AR protests:
- They can get a lot of attention; protests can make a difference for animals.
- There is often an energy that can make it fun and interesting. All the people at protests really do care about the issue. These are not people who sit at home and watch TV complaining, these are people who get out there and try to make a difference.
- You can make friends at protests.
- Most protests are outdoors so it’s a chance to get vitamin D. For people who work office jobs and spend most of their outdoor time in the evening, a mid-day protest might be good purely for health reasons.
- How effective are they really? I think it depends on the issue/target.
- When the issue is specific, like fur or circuses, there can be a lot of nonvegans in the crowd and that can get depressing for vegans because it’s hard to see people who are so passionate about certain kinds of animals but turn around and eat other kinds of animals.
- Standing around is boring and bad for your legs.
- The laws are not in our favor.
I go to protests every now and then, but I do it mostly just to support other activists. I see protests as a form of public education and I support them more on the principle that they promote public awareness of an issue and less that they produce a measurable difference for the particular animals of concern.
What do you think?