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What influence do animal rights activists have?

Since the 1990s, there has been a considerable trend away from animal protection to animal rights movement, especially in North America, Europe and Israel.

Through clever public relations work, animal rights groups create themselves as the actual animal protectionists, although they completely reject the classic animal protection. In the US, they get more donations than the traditional animal protection organizations. In 2014, PETA alone received approximately $ 52 million through donations and merchandising. The webpages of PETA are clicked annually by more than 60 million people, according to self-report. The number of membersis dominated by animal rights activists. Since its founding in 1980, PETA has grown to three million members and sponsors in the US and maintain offices all over the world. Due to the many prominent supporters, PETA is constantly present in the media. This advance has led to the fact that traditional animal protection organizations are increasingly turning to the apparently more successful line. Whether it’s the “Humane Society” in the USA or the “Deutscher Tierschutzbund”: they are increasingly similar to their demands and publications of PETA and other animals rights activists.

In New Zealand, the Great Ape Project has already been able to obtain legislation. Animal rights organizations are also influencing politics in Germany and other countries. The association “Menschen für Tierrechte – Bundesverband der Tierversuchsgegner”, for example, a member of the Federal Animal Welfare Commission, which advises the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection in animal welfare issues. Thus, the organization can already influence the creation of laws. The association is also represented in animal protection councils of the federal states and advises state Ministries. It tries to promote animal rights as “an integral part of curriculum, examinations, teacher training and teaching materials” in order to bring children into contact with animal rights ideology.

In universities, especially in the English-speaking world, but also increasingly in Germany, the so-called Human Animal Studies (HAS), which are strongly characterized by activists in the animal rights scene, are established as research areas. Lectures, seminars and work groups can be found at faculties for sociology, psychology, history and education, philosophy, anthropology, cultural, literary and media sciences of various German universities. In Germany, several groups are seeking greater acceptance of the HAS as an academic direction, such as the Berlin Chimaira Working Group, which was published with the book “Human-Animal Studies. “Über die gesellschaftliche Natur von Mensch-Tier-Verhältnissen”( “On the social nature of human-animal relations”), the first German-language basic publication on the subject. At the Kassel University, the first professorship for human animal studies has existed since June 2015. In Israel, vegans have made sure that there are not only vegan dishes in the army, but vegan-living soldiers also get boots without leather and caps without wool.

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