PEACEFUL PROTEST TACTICS
Using the right protest tactics, demonstrations, marches and protests can draw attention to animal cruelty issues.
By bringing a cause to a wider audience through protesting, support can
be gathered from other members of the public who previously did not know
about the issue. Signatures can be collected on petitions from these
people during the protest.
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If the support of enough people is gained, the target of the protest
often feels under sufficient pressure to stop causing the animal
suffering. Protests embarrass the organisation and attract unwanted
publicity to them.
Protests work best if they are done in conjunction with other campaign tactics.
The media can sometimes report on protests, bringing publicity to the
cause, especially if it is an unusually creative protest. People
sometimes protest naked or topless.
However, while trying to draw
attention to the cause, it is important not to offend people you would
like to gain support from, as this will only alienate them from the
Below: Protestors demonstrate against a pet shop selling puppies supplied by cruel puppy mills
Table of Contents
You can click on the titles below to go straight to that section of the page
- Street Demonstrations Really Do Work!
- Size Does Not Matter!
- Different Ways To Protest
- Give Vegan Food Samples & Information Away At Demonstrations
- Things That Detract From Demonstrations
- Hostile People
The targets of public protested can find being demonstrated against very embarrassing.
For instance, the South Korean Dog Meat Festival was cancelled this
summer due to outraged people within the country protesting against it,
as well as international campaigns being mounted against it.
The protests, telephone calls, emails and letters of complaint were so
frequent that the organisers felt it would be impossible to run the
event, which promotes the eating of dogs.
They also could not find
anyone willing to rent them suitable premises for the event, as they did
not wish to be targeted by protestors and campaigners telephoning or sending emails and letters. Protests against them is publicity people do not want.
Below: Protests in South Korea against eating dogs played a large
part in getting the dog meat festival cancelled there this summer. The
festival aims to promote human consumption of dog meat
Below: The left hand image shows protestors who demonstrated
outside a shop which sold furs. It lost money for the whole time they
were there because it did not open. The protest was reported in the
media, so the message of how cruel the fur trade is was spread that way,
as well as in the streets while the protest was on. (credit:
heraldsun.com.au). The image above right shows protestors who have
climbed on to the cat walk at Melbourne Fashion Week to demonstrate
against fur. As a result, the fur that was due to be shown in the show,
was not shown
When it comes to holding a demonstration, the most important thing is
getting your message across clearly, rather than how many people take
part in the protest.
Although it is true that the larger protests are,
the more impact they tend to have, having any impact at all is better
than having none. Therefore a small protest is better than none at all.
Below: Smaller protests against animals being forced to perform in circuses and against animals being used in experiments
There are straight forward public protests and demo’s where people stay
in one place, and then there are marches, which you could view as a
demonstration which moves through the streets.
Large placards with big, clear text on them are important to get your
message across. Calling out or chanting your message can also help with
this. Having a loud haler to amplify your voice helps to spread your
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA) are known for using
elements of eye-catching creative street performance in their protests.
They often use their own bodies to depict the suffering of animals.
Below: Peta’s protest tactics: In the image above left, nude
human bodies are packaged the way meat is sold in supermarkets. Above
right, naked PeTA protestors wear bear masks outside St. Paul’s
Cathedral in London, protesting against the use of bear skins to make
the hats of the Queens Guards.
Below: PeTA Protest tactics see protestors put themselves in a
cage to protest against the fur trade in the image above left. Above
right, in a topless protest, the protestors enclose themselves in small
stalls similar to those in which many pigs spend their entire lives in
The more creative and eye-catching public protests or demonstrations
are, the more attention they can draw. Some interesting and public
protests even get press coverage, mainly due to their creativity.
Below: A joint campaign from Lush and the Humane Society involved a
creative performance for shoppers of a young lady volunteer taking the
place of an animal, apparently being experimented on. The point of the
display was to emphasize the fact that animals have the same capacity to
suffer as humans
You can use street protests as an opportunity to show people how lovely
vegan food and drink can be by giving away free samples. protests and
demonstrations are also an opportunity to give out information to the
Depending on numbers, this could be done from an information
point, such as a table, by the protesters themselves, or both.
People who protest against issues of animal cruelty usually feel
extremely strongly about them and it is sometimes difficult to keep such
strong emotions under control.
However, instead of winning supporters,
certain behavior can sadly turn people against the cause. Violent
conduct, vandalism, or similar illegal behaviour is likely to lose
support for the cause and gain sympathy for the opposing side.
Below: An example of a violent protest
It is also a fine balance to achieve to draw as much attention as
possible to your cause, without offending the people you wish to gain
support from. For instance, a nude or topless protest may get your
protest noticed, but it may also offend.
An option is to try to minimise any offence caused by painting the naked
bodies as animals and cover any potentially offensive body parts with
placards / protest signs!
Below: Peta protest tactics sometimes involve willing and
passionate animal rights protestors protesting nearly nude – topless
wearing only bikini bottoms and tiger style body paint. They use
placards / protest signs to preserve their modesty
Not everybody is as compassionate, empathetic and emotionally
intelligent as most animal activists who campaign against animal
cruelty. You should be aware that you may receive some negative remarks.
This is because of some peoples’ lack of understanding, lack of ability
to understand or feel compassion, and their ignorance about animal
Some people apparently have the impression that people who protest only
do so because they are unwashed hippies that do not have jobs, and have
nothing better to do.
Another common assumption is that animal activists are hypocrites that
will protest and campaign against one form of animal cruelty, such as
the fur trade, but fund another by wearing leather shoes and eating
burgers while they protest!
A lot of people, however, have their eyes opened by the information they
learn from protests, and compassionate people have nothing but praise
for the protestors highlighting the issue of animal cruelty.
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