|Animal Rights: Moral Crusade or Political Movement?|
Animal activists seek their objective of moral and legal rights for animals by promoting the adoption of personal choice cruelty-free, vegan/vegetarian lifestyles. This strategy is informed by personal transformative moments (PTM), which are individual, powerful situations when the veil of institutional animal exploitation is lifted. The transformation to an animal activist is profound. Animal rights becomes a moral crusade. The animal liberation objective which animal activists seek will be achieved, they believe, by creating similar situations for others to experience PTMs. These are moral shocks triggered by public educational campaigns (e.g., protests, information dissemination, publicity stunts). Thus, people become animal activists. It is naive to believe, however, that everyone will care about animals as deeply as animal activists do. Consequently, animal activists need to understand how society responds to change, particularly from social movements and, then, apply this insight into achieving animal rights.