Connecting Inequalities: Women and the Animal Rights Movement
This survey of female animal rights activists examines their motivations, beliefs, and experiences. The results suggest that gendered social learning, societal expectations and gender-based empathy may explain the high proportion of those involved in the animal rights movement who are women.
The animal rights movement has grown “exponentially” in recent decades and women make up the majority of advocates. Based on 27 interviews with female animal rights activists and observation of various organizations, protests, and conferences, this study finds that social learning, expectations, and empathy based on gender largely explain the high percentage of women activists. Additionally, this research finds that women animal activists experience negative repercussions from their viewpoints in their relationships with friends and family, but they also gain a greater sense of self esteem, confidence, and a sense of meaning in their lives. It is possible that women identify with both the oppression of other women and the oppression of animals.