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As an animal rights activist, I can definitely identify with a few of the reasons on this list. It almost goes without saying that a lot of people really do love to hate animal rights activists. Sometimes we even annoy each other, even though we’re all in this movement for the same reasons. Share this with a friend who might be giving you a hard time, or a fellow activist that needs a laugh.

Let’s break it down now.

1. Even if we’re not trying, everyone thinks we’re in their face.

Often times, simply by eating “differently” around others, you’re challenging people’s values. A meat eater is just an “eater” until a vegetarian walks in.  Sometimes, it can go like this:

“Oh, you’re getting the veggie burger? Why? You don’t like meat?”

“No, I’m actually vegan.”

“Well, bacon is delicious.”

“For some people, but I choose not to eat it because of the conditions in which the pigs are raised. The veggie burger is really delicious too.”

“Sure, but bacon is the best. I even have this bacon themed iPhone case.”

Another scenario arises when sharing undercover footage. It’s a great way to get the word out, and it can wake people up to what’s going on in labs, fur farms, factory farms, and other places of animal  abuse. Just try and remember to respond to those negative comments by taking a deep breath and using kind words.


2. We can be self-righteous.

Merriam Webster defines self-righteous as “having or showing a strong belief that your own actions, opinions, etc., are right and other people’s are wrong.” As much as we may feel like this, it’s so important to be an educator rather than a preacher. Shaming others and causing them to feel bad won’t create change. Inviting others to share a meal you’ve made, telling them your story about activism in a personal way, or approaching issues with a sense of understanding (as hard as that can be) will be more effective.



3. Hippies seem to make people mad.

Some people apply the hippie label to animal activists, and others may use it themselves. You’re just doing your thing communing with the animals, and sometimes that can make others feel like, ugh. what. a. hippie. Perhaps it’s better to be seen as a hippie than incredibly angry, so we’ve got that on our side. However, in order to make animal activism accepted by the “mainstream,” it can’t be seen as a subculture. Thankfully, that seems to be the trend in society. Helping animals is surely something everyone can support!


Sister72 / Flickr

4. Why are you naked?

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Naked demonstrations distract from the core issues, and frankly give animal activists an “extreme” image. Instead of going naked to protest wearing fur this winter, talk with others about how warm your non-fur jacket is and where people can get it. Practical shopping advice works because, frankly, going naked is not really a viable option for most people in the winter, it’s cold.


5. Protests can make people feel that their livelihoods are threatened.

Let me explain. Activities that abuse animals are inherently wrong, but many people for whatever reason, are still working in those industries. Sometimes, it is choice, but sometimes, it’s because people see, or simply have, no other option. When we protest slaughter, animal research, the use of fur (to name a few), it’s important to avoid laying blame on the humans that are also exploited in these industries.

Flickr GillyBerlin

GillyBerlin / Flickr

Image Source: Takver/Flickr

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6 comments on “5 Reasons Everyone Loves to Hate Animal Rights Activists”

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10 Months Ago

I hate PETA entirely because of their stance on zoos. They believe that all zoos are prisons that are inherently horrible and cruel, which is patently not the case.

Thoughtful people everywhere need to acknowledge these fundamental problems: More than 3,000 species are endangered, and hundreds are lost every year. Some scientists predict that, within a century, 50% of large mammals will be extinct.

Wild animals and wild places will continue to disappear — in the greatest biodiversity crisis since the K-T event — unless humans awaken and take action.

In this impending crisis, the real enemies of wildlife are poaching, pollution, unsustainable human development and man-made disasters such as oil spills — not zoos and aquariums.

Good zoos take their responsibility to preserve wildlife in all corners of the planet very seriously. These institutions oversee robust and sophisticated breeding programs that nurture threatened species and sustain genetic biodiversity, aiming to ultimately reintroduce the animals back into the wild, with the Arabian Oryx, the black-footed ferret, and the California condor among the most notable examples of endangered species saved through the breeding programs of zoos and aquariums.

Zoos also donate money to preserve animals in their natural habitats - last year alone, AZA-accredited zoos spent over $160 million towards the further conservation of wildlife in all corners of the world. Conversely, no information could be found on PETA’s website about any conservation programs they are involved in or fund. In fact there is no information at all on their website on how any of their programs benefit animals in the wild.

4 Years Ago

And because they are LIARS. In a sworn court affidavit the man who skinned a seal alive admitted he was paid handsomely by animal rights activists to commit this atrocity so they could film it for shock value. According to PETA's own records they KILL two thirds of the dogs they rescue, and spent over $9000 for a walk in freezer. Because instead of doing what they believe in they feel the need to shove their opinion down everyone else's throat.

01 May 2014

ya, but did he PROVE it??
Anybody can swear in court and lie. Just because he SWORE on it doesnt make it fact.
I have a very hard time ANY REAL animal activist would ever promote the worst treatment just to push our agenda--especially since we can get all that documeted footage without talking to any of the killers.

Quincy Vegann Kirsch
4 Years Ago

I don't abstain from bacon / flesh etc. because of the way animals are treated . I abstain because of the fact that animals are used and murdered no matter how they are treated .

Melissa Smith
4 Years Ago

Nailed it.

Phil Jones
4 Years Ago

And here's Russell Crowe Cat

Lisa Johnson
4 Years Ago

OMG! My dear friend (who isn't a vegetarian), once asked me if "Is it considered Animal Cruelty because you buy Stuffed animals?" As in Teddy Bears, etc. I couldn't help but laugh though.

4 Years Ago

Outstanding article. I love the detailed ideas and explanations on how we may approach animal activism, differently. Gives me something to think about. Very well done. Best.


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