Hoping for a more robust understanding of how people become dedicated organizers, my colleagues at Pax Fauna and I designed a study. In it, I interviewed 38 current and former organizers in the animal rights movement. I hoped to learn how they got involved, how they were recruited and by whom, and how they have stayed motivated despite the enormity of the cultural forces we’re up against. I was also curious about the factors influencing their decision or temptation to quit the movement. In this report, I share what I learned about what it’s like to be an animal rights organizer as well as advice on how organizers and groups can better recruit and retain activists.
This study follows in the footsteps of a 2020 survey experiment by Faunalytics, which surveyed 167 paid and unpaid animal advocates on many factors affecting retention.