Animal advocacy is concerned with improving the welfare and lives of animals, with advocates working across a variety of sectors to inspire change for animals. However, who decides what animal advocacy is and what it can be?

The aim of this highly participatory session is to begin a discussion (or continue one you have already begun) on how animal advocacy can be more inclusive. Before this session, you are asked to complete a pre-session activity to explore the relationships and experiences that have significantly impacted your advocacy practice (see linked file in the virtual space; this should take approx. 30 min).

In the first part, we’ll explore how animal advocacy is shaped by our lived experiences and by dominant societal groups and discuss the pre-session activity in breakout groups. In the second part, we’ll use a white innocence analytical framework to uncover possible biases in animal advocacy.

The presenters will reflect on their perspectives and how their lived experiences shape their humane education practices as a case study. In breakout groups, you will apply the framework to your area of animal advocacy, including, for example, policy, animal adoption, and community outreach.

Questions that we will ask ourselves include: What are the underlying assumptions? Who’s represented? Whose perspectives are missing? We can begin to hold ourselves accountable to a more inclusive animal advocacy practice by reflecting on our own lived experiences and recognizing our relationships with not only animals and their welfare, but also humans who live in these shared worlds.