Apr 5 – A History of Animal Care Progress – Stay Positive

Senior Principal Strategist, Communications, the Humane Society of the United States https://humanepro.org/authors/bernard-unti

I attended a powerful session yesterday on the importance of remembering all the change that’s been accomplished to-date and moving forward more skillfully when discerning how these changes were made. Bernard Unti, PhD of Philosophy from the American University provided a rich history of animal protection progress starting in Europe and then through the U.S. Here’s a few highlights of what he said:

“Organized animal protection is now 200 years old … skillful use of our history can help us engage more supporters in the future.” Dr. Bernard Unti, presented on the four key themes from a historical and contemporary perspective and showed how these themes have led to real (but not-yet-complete) improvement in our human-animal relations.

The four themes are:

  • relationship between cruelty to animals and interpersonal violence (e.g., how we treat non-human animals leads to how we treat fellow humans – beat your animals = beat your spouse, kids, elders, …)
  • connection between animal causes and other social justice causes (e.g., temperance, feminism, work safety …)
  • embedded and socially sanctioned cruelties (e.g., CAFOs – meat production, unsafe transportation, …)
  • social values and communicating change (e.g., Black Beauty, Be Kind to Animals Week, Scouting …)

Bottom line: change comes from communicating what we are for versus what we are against and wear our values gracefully (i.e., recognize incremental improvement and patiently win one person at a time).”

Today’s senryu: Stay Positive

ancestral wisdom:

catch more flies with honey and

be patient, see good


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