A new grassroots animal rights group was launched today. It’s called the Animal Justice Project and its founding statement says it “is an international, non-profit organisation dedicated to the ending of animal experimentation and other forms of speciesism” and will endeavour to “create a society where all animals are treated equally, with compassion and respect, as well as an end to their exploitation in laboratories and farms”.
From the its website, it appears the emphasis will be on campaigning against vivisection. Since the state clampdown of the mid noughties, quite a few groups have tried to re-energise that part of the movement but most have failed. One of the exceptions has been the British Heartless Foundation which has held days of action against BHF charity shops.
For decades the AR movement in Britain was measured by the strength of its anti-vivisection activism and direct action groups like the ALF. Both have suffered in recent years but any attempt to revive that spirit of radicalism has to be applauded. The AJP’s campaigns have still to be announced and news of them is awaited with interest.
Of course any organisation is only as good as its supporters. If it inspires people to take part and gives them hope they can bring about change, then it can be a force to be reckoned with. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by being inclusive and participatory and holding meetings. Bringing people together, exchanging views, listening to ideas – there is no substitute for that. We may live in a world of social media but there is nothing like direct human contact.
Good luck to the Animal Justice Project and all those involved in it. Here’s hoping it is just the fillip that animal rights in the UK has been waiting for.