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International Animal Rights ConferenceInternational Animal Rights Conference
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Thursday, 07.09.2017   16:00-16:50   Room A
Early Intervention Network: Striking at the roots of animal exploitation
Jens Tuider

Most current animal advocacy focuses on adults. By raising awareness and deploying rational and emotional appeals, animal advocates go to great lengths to change attitudes and behaviors in grown-ups. Our attitudes and behaviors, however, don`t just fall out of the sky. What we think about animals and how we treat them (and why we think we are justified in doing so) is mostly the result of a long process of learning and habituation, which starts early on in life. Yet, comparatively little activist effort goes into reaching out to children and adolescents during this formative period.

In this presentation, we argue the case for what we term Early Intervention (EI). Early Intervention comprises all forms of animal advocacy and vegan activism directed at children`s attitudes and behaviors towards animals. We consider EI an essential complement to existing forms of animal advocacy as it addresses the cause of animal exploitation rather than only its effects.

To this end, we first spell out the central arguments for EI before addressing some of the challenges facing this approach. We then provide an overview of the various forms of EI – from explicit moral appeals to attempts at creating a more veg-friendly environment for children to grow up in. After analyzing the current status quo of outreach to young people, we introduce the Early Intervention Network (EIN). The Early Intervention Network is a new meta-project dedicated to promoting, networking and professionalizing existing EI activism, aiming to make them more effective and sustainable. To launch this network, we are planning to host a first international Early Intervention Conference in Berlin this summer, bringing together advocates and activists specializing in this area of animal advocacy.




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