Animal Rights: History and Scope of a Radical Social Movement

By Harold D. Guither | Go to book overview

8
Expanding the Crusade for Animal Rights

In actions to advance their movement, animal rights activists have created confrontations with hunters, compromised with filmmakers, criticized horse and dog racing, picketed aquariums, debated the value of zoos, objected to circuses, campaigned against carriage horses, and boycotted fur. The anti-fur campaigns have brought together reformists and abolitionist groups, who do not believe that fur in coats and other wearing apparel is necessary. Pets present a special dilemma for the most radical animal rights activists. Several groups work actively to place animal rights literature in the classroom.

T he actions to enhance animal rights and animal welfare have expanded to include animals in sports, racing, trapping and hunting, entertainment, circuses, zoos, aquariums, and rodeos. Some groups focus their efforts on protecting wild animals, reducing overpopulation of pets, boycotting animal products in clothing and apparel, and reducing live animal use and dissection in education including elementary, secondary, college, and professional classes.
The Crusade Against Hunting
The crusade against hunting has provoked intense controversy. Animal rights groups and most animal welfare groups strongly oppose hunting because they believe:
Hunting is cruel and inhumane;
it is not necessary for gathering food;
it may destroy threatened or endangered species; and
it is not necessary to balance food supplies with deer population since deer, like any other mammals, are regulated by natural factors such as disease, extreme weather, predation, and availability of food. Deer, like other mammals, slow their reproduction rate in times of stress, producing fewer young when food is scarce.

Activists also oppose "canned" hunts. Private landowners and managers in rural areas of the South and West provide housing and the opportunity for hunters to pay a fee

-100-

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