This most recent survey shows that "there is generally a high level of support for the animal protection movement and concern for animals" in certain situations. But, that support -- and attention toward animal protection issues and legislation -- is declining.
Americans still have strong support for animal welfare. And, of several social causes (including environmental, homeless, immigration reform), favorable opinions about animal protection rank at the top.
Despite this good news, because of lack of knowledge and awareness, and because of increasing economic and political struggles, attention and support for animal protection are decreasing.
Here are a couple of highlights from HRC:
- There is a high level of support for the animal protection movement. The animal protection and workers’ rights movements were rated favorably by more respondents than any other social movements listed in the survey, each receiving a “favorable” opinion by 68% of respondents. Further, only 7% of respondents rated their opinion of the animal protection movement as “unfavorable.”
- There is a lack of discussion and knowledge of animal protection issues among U.S. adults, indicating a need to educate the general population about animal protection issues. Fewer than half (45%) of U.S. adults discussed animal protection on at least a monthly basis.
- The amount of importance placed on the protection and welfare of animals in various situations has declined in 2012 compared to 2009. Even so, the welfare of animals is still important to a majority of U.S. adults. At least 75% of respondents rated the welfare and protection of animals as “very” or “somewhat” important in all situations addressed in this survey. This even includes situations in which animals are used for economic benefit, such as animals used for food and horses and dogs used for racing.
Comprehensive humane education is the only education-based social change movement that recognizes that animals should be included in the effort to create a more peaceful and just world. Humane education helps reveal our inconsistent relationship with animals, reminds us of the powerful connection we have with nonhuman animals, and inspires us to expand our circle of compassion to include all beings.
We need humane education to be an integral part of every system and every social cause, so that concern for animals -- and consideration for their needs and interests as individuals, not just as species -- only grows larger and deeper.
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