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"The movement is my life": The psychology of animal rights activism

By Harold Herzog

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1 used a qualitative research approach to investigate psychological aspects of involvement in the animal rights movement. Interviews were conducted with 23 rank-and-file activists, focusing on cognitive and emotional aspects of involvement with the movement, concomitant lifestyle changes, effects on interpersonal relations, and the happiness and well-being of the participants. Three main themes emerged from these interviews. First, there was a surprising degree of diversity in attitudes and beliavior of the activists. Second, animal rights activism usually entailed major changes in lifestyle: almost all interviewees strove to achieve consistency between their ideals and their actions. Third, there were several parallel.^ between an involvement with the animal rights movement and religious conversion. The potential for increased communication between the animal protection and scientific communities is discussed.


Deborah Maron

Publication Title Journal of Social Issues
Volume 49
Issue 1
Pages 103-119
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal rights
  2. Animals in culture
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Health
  5. Physical environment
  6. Social Environments