International Animal Rights ConferenceInternational Animal Rights Conference

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Sunday, 10.09.2023   12:30-13:10  Central European Time (CET)   Room A
Maintaining self-care and self-compassion is pivotal for sustainable animal advocacy work
Kathrin Herrmann

Animal advocates and activists are attempting to establish a new moral understanding of the human-nonhuman animal relationship, from welfare to rights for nonhuman animals, which is a challenge in the anthropocentric world we live in. Thus, one of the biggest threats to our capacity and capability to advocate for nonhuman animals long-term is our increased risk for burnout and compassion fatigue. Many must continuously deal with potentially traumatizing violence against nonhuman animals in, e.g., slaughterhouses, farms, and laboratories. Animal advocates and activists generally have a deep empathic connection with nonhuman animals and, hence, are prone to enormous distress and secondary traumatization, which they often do not properly deal with. Thus, we started to facilitate support workshops for state veterinarians who inspect animal use facilities. In addition, we recently commenced offering mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and resilience training workshops for animal advocates and activists. The goal is to help them stay mentally healthy and strong and create a support network that will ensure more sustainable long-term activism and, thus, a stronger movement.










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