Animal Rights/Vegan Activists' Strategies Articles

Preserving the History of the Animal Rights Movement

May 2023

Preserving the History of the Animal Rights Movement is a report whose title says what it is.

Kim Stallwood

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
~ George Santayana (1863-1952)

Fifty years ago, I was a student working the summer in a chicken slaughterhouse. Three years later, I was a vegan working for Compassion In World Farming and its campaigns against imprisoning egg-laying hens in cages and confining pigs in stalls too narrow for them to turn around.

As my career in animal rights began, working in various capacities for some of the world’s leading organisations, I joined and collected their newsletters, magazines, leaflets, videos, badges, posters, and display materials. I bought and read books. I built a library of files on the projects I worked on. My collection grew and became a comprehensive and unique library and archive. The larger it grew, the more I understood it had a greater purpose.

My collection came to represent my life in animal rights—not only as a repository of knowledge and insight from which I draw for my animal rights work (now as an independent scholar and author) but also as a reminder that campaigns for animals started long before I became involved in the 1970s. I knew nothing about the people, organisations, and actions that came before me, but the more involved I became, the more I learnt about them and the vital roles they played.

Today, with the insight of half a century of campaigning for animal rights, I want to rewrite Santayana. Those who cannot remember the animal rights past are condemned to repeat the mistakes of animal activists who came before them.

I explain my role working with such institutions as The British Library and North Carolina State University and organisations such as the Animals and Society Institute (formerly the Animals Rights Network) and Tier im Recht to collect and preserve research materials, publications, audiovisuals, artefacts, artwork, and much more.

How can we know where the animal rights movement wants to go if we do not understand where we have been? as philosopher George Santayana (1863-1952) said.


Please read the ENTIRE REPORT HERE.


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