A Study Of The Motivations And Barriers To Participation In The Save Movement
The Save Movement is a network of animal advocates and groups that draw attention to the suffering of farmed animals en route to slaughter, most notably by holding vigils outside of slaughterhouses. The purpose of this study was to understand the motivations and barriers to different types of participation in The Save Movement as well as to determine the extent to which vigil-goers move along a continuum of increasing levels of involvement in the movement, from casual attendee to committed organizer.
These questions were explored through 24 semi-structured, in-depth telephone interviews with participants representing different levels of involvement in The Save Movement. Participants were recruited and interviewed between October 2014 and March 2015, and nearly all participants were from the Toronto area.
In terms of motivations for participation, the study found the most rewarding or meaningful aspects of attending vigils include seeing evidence that participants had changed people’s minds about farmed animals. Interviewees also noted being motivated by the feeling that they are a part of a movement that is raising awareness and ultimately changing the world. They also reported feeling motivated as a result of being in a community of like-minded people and the personal benefits gained by attending the vigils.
Most if not all interviewees also referenced Anita Krajnc when they talked about their involvement in — and commitment to — The Save Movement. The research suggests that the fact that participants come face-to-face with animals en route to slaughter is possibly the most powerful aspect of The Save Movement. The study also found that regardless of their individual status within the movement, all interview participants are favorable toward The Save Movement, and most of them are very enthusiastic about its effectiveness.
When it comes to barriers to participation, the most commonly mentioned personal challenge of attending the vigils was feeling powerless about not being able to save the animals. The second most frequently cited personal challenge was experiencing the negative reactions of passersby and slaughterhouse workers. Participants also mentioned logistical difficulties: time, distance, and health issues (for themselves or their family) were the most commonly cited reasons why participants who were not organizers or activists do not become more involved in The Save Movement.
In terms of whether vigil-goers move along a continuum of increasing levels of involvement in the movement, the interviews suggest there is no obvious trajectory. The study found that an individual’s journey does not necessarily follow the path of vigil-goer, participant, activist, and finally organizer. Some people became event organizers shortly after beginning their participation in The Save Movement, while others seem happy to continue attending events without increasing their involvement or responsibilities.