“Weak & lazy,” by Steve Hindi; “At different stages” by ANIMALS 24-7
Steve Hindi, founder, Showing Animals Respect & Kindness:
The rodeo issue, either Mexican or American style, again brought to public notice by ANIMALS 24-7 in Beating a live horse: who calls rodeo performers to account for doing it?, is just one issue demonstrating the incredibly paper-thin resolve of the animal protection cause.
Rodeos are occurring all across the U.S. in what the military would call a target-rich environment. Were there any depth to this movement, to the degree that it can even be called a movement), there would be significant wide-ranging engagement with the opposition. It is an easy task, because there are so many targets to choose from.
“A weak and lazy bunch”
What is lacking in the extreme is the will to make change, and the lack of a healthy work ethic. In other words, animal protectors generally are a weak and lazy bunch. There is no question that the determination of animal abusers to hurt animals far exceeds our will to save them.
During the rodeo season, Showing Animals Respect & Kindness [SHARK] – a very small organization that deals with numerous additional issues – engages with anywhere from one to three rodeos every week.
SHARK’s consistent effort, which has been ongoing for decades, is matched by no one, not because we are superhuman, or possess special authority, and God knows our resources are bare minimal.
“Supposed animal protectors are not there”
The fact is that animals are literally getting beaten, injured and killed in public venues, and the supposed animal protectors of this “movement” are not there. There are a whole bunch of other individuals and organizations who could and should be involved as well, especially those big, loud organizations. If you aren’t embarrassed at this preposterous scenario, I think you haven’t been paying attention.
Where is the Humane Society of the United States [HSUS]? Where is People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [PETA]? Where is the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals [ASPCA], or add the names of the next 50 largest organizations in the U.S.
No-shows, each and every one of them. Shameful.
The beagle issue
Perhaps they are in the cockfight pits? But no – they are not there either. I know because SHARK is working the pits across the country, and we have never seen them there.
The Humane Society of the United States walks in for photo ops after the feds have done a bust, but that’s about it. It reminds me of the Marshall Farms beagle issue. SHARK was there first, exposing what was going on by way of our drones, but HSUS has no drones, in spite of having untold thousands of times our resources.
Nevertheless, after we worked the issue to a point of prominence, HSUS, thanks to its political connections, walked in and collected millions for their minimal effort.
“PETA can give a celebrity hell”
PETA can give a celebrity hell for buying a puppy who is not a rescue, which gets them what they really want – attention – but work in the killing fields, or the arenas of torture, seems to be of no interest to them. So long as this screwy movement operates like that – wasteful, inefficient, lazy, fraudulently, etc. – our cause will proceed at a snail’s pace, if at all.
I have been involved long enough (about 35 years) to have witnessed a great deal of change. That is just an accumulation of time. Had this been a real movement, we would be light years farther ahead. Instead, we still have Alex Pacheco hawking his fictitious cookies, and Will Potter was never, and never will be held accountable anywhere except by ANIMALS 24-7 for scamming the movement for drones that never materialized beyond a couple of toys.
By the way, PETA pulled the same scam for a while.
“If you want to see change, be that change”
I don’t write about this much anymore, because it frankly isn’t worth my time. Very few if any people pay attention or care. SHARK is working on real issues, like stopping rodeo animal abuse, cockfighting, and pigeon shoots (another issue abandoned by both HSUS and PETA when the financial returns dried up). There are lots of people, especially the old timers, who are well aware of the nonsense in this movement, but are afraid to speak out. They are part of the problem.
If you want to see change, be that change. Rodeos are occurring around the U.S. and into Canada and Mexico, and down into Central and South America. Stop complaining about animal abuse, and start doing something about it. Feel free to call us for advice, based on our decades of frontline experience.
“At different stages” by ANIMALS 24-7
Wayne Hsiung, founder of Direct Action Everywhere, has voiced similar, albeit less specific complaints to those expressed by Steve Hindi, above, in recent installments of his blog, Wayne Hsiung from the Simple Heart. Hsiung, for example, asserts in his July 28, 2023 posting that “The vegan movement has failed. It’s time to build a movement for rescue,” meaning “open rescue” of farmed animals from factory farms and slaughterhouses.
That the “vegan movement has failed” is an exceedingly odd claim in view that plant-based food products are now available practically everywhere, eaten in lieu of animal products and byproducts by more people than ever.
The “Movement Action Plan”
No one has published more exposés than ANIMALS 24-7 of the failings of the animal rights and vegan movements over the past 35 years, nor of the chicanery, corruption, and frequent bureaucratic ineptitude of many of the biggest animal advocacy organizations.
At the same time, ANIMALS 24-7 in fairness must point out that Hsiung and Hindi are working at different stages of activism from the big organizations and from the vast majority of animal advocacy activists and donors.
ANIMALS 24-7 refers readers to the eight-stage “Movement Action Plan” developed by the late Movement Empowerment Project founder Bill Moyer, who was a longtime strategic advisor to Martin Luther King Jr., discussed in greater depth by Ed Duvin in his June 5, 2021 guest column Good is not good enough!
The eight stages
The eight stages of a typical movement, as outlined by Moyer, are:
1) Normal times as defined by the lack of political unrest.
2) Establishing the failure of relevant institutions to meet societal needs in a just manner.
3) Identifying cultural conditions favorable to initiation of a new movement.
4) Movement “take-off,” precipitated by a dramatic and highly publicized triggering event.
5) Powerholders establish roadblocks that impede momentum, dampening activists’ high spirits.
6) Movement regroups and launches ongoing struggle to achieve majority support for change.
7) Success is finally realized by intense pressure and education, achieving new social consensus.
8) Consolidation of success by building on gains and setting the stage for new change initiatives.
Eight stages repeat themselves
These eight stages typically repeat themselves time and again within a successful movement as pursuit of individual goals splits into sub-movements that achieve the innumerable small “victories” that gradually become the building blocks for major societal change.
Hindi and Hsiung are working within the first five stages outlined above, trying to achieve “movement takeoff” on specific fronts involving farmed animal species.
The big organizations, though, are still working at stages 6, 7, and 8 of the “movement” of 20 to 40 years ago, much of which involves lobbying and litigation to keep gains already won in public opinion, but still vehemently opposed by influential animal use industries.
All eight stages of a movement are necessary to furthering change.
Competition for resources
There is, inevitably, competition for resources among activists and organizations working at different stages. Inevitably, as well, those working at stages 6, 7, and 8 will raise more money and attract more volunteers, because their messages are more familiar to donors and potential volunteers.
Often, too, those working at stages 6, 7, and 8 overlook, disrespect, steal credit from, and even directly undercut the continuing efforts of activists whose work at stages 1-5 developed the issues that have reached stages 6, 7, and 8.
Not mentioned by Moyer, but also evident in every cause, is that individuals as well as movements tend to progress through the eight stages, from evangelical activism in youth to more passive roles as donors and voters as senior citizens, usually going through long phases of diminished activity in midlife while pursuing raising children and pursuing careers.
None of this is indicative of laziness, or cowardice; it is simply part of being human.
“Small unit guerrilla action”
ANIMALS 24-7 suggests to both Hindi and Hsiung that instead of railing at older people for not doing what Hindi and Hsiung believe they should be doing, having already accepted their goals, they need to inspire younger activists to enlist as participants in their organizations.
Alternatively, if transforming their small, closely focused veteran teams into youthful armies with necessarily decentralized control is inappropriate and impractical, as may be the case, accept that their role is “small unit guerrilla action,” which can kindle a revolution in human perception and behavior, otherwise known as a “movement,” but is a forerunner to the “movement,” not the movement itself.
(For a more complete understanding of Bill Moyer’s analysis, see www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/moyermap.html.)