Our Promise to Grassroots Activists

Amy Meyer, May 17, 2019

NEAVS works with local grassroots activists across the country who are dedicated to ending cruel animal experiments. Everyone who wants to stand up for animals in labs should feel comfortable and confident to join NEAVS actions.

That’s why we defined our Grassroots Principles, a set of principles that directs how activists with NEAVS organize, and how we interact with each other. They serve as a reminder for why we fight, and how we can work together to win.

NEAVS Grassroots Principles

1. We believe we can save animals from suffering in labs.

We may be taking on a multi-billion dollar industry, but a majority of Americans now agree that experimenting on animals is wrong. This win is within reach.

2. We tell the truth.

The truth is already on our side – millions of animals in labs are suffering and dying for needless experiments every year. Since 1895, we’ve been doing our homework. We scour through scholarly journals, file public records requests to learn more, and use this information to inform the public. We’re also grateful to take guidance from our peers and advisors so that we can better convey how animals suffer in medical experiments.

3. We view everyone as a potential ally, and treat them as such.

We value learning from people who are skeptical of our mission or tactics. We stay committed to the ‘golden rule’ and treat others as we would want to be treated, and aim to always find common ground. We don’t believe in singling out individual animal experimenters out for ridicule, as some former animal experimenters have come to support us. We view vivisection as an institutional failing.

4. We stay focused on our mission.

When we are at an action or event, our minds stay focused on one thing: the animals we are working to save. For that reason, our supporters keep their remarks focused on the problem at hand and always consistent with the NEAVS message: Animals should not be suffering in experiments. Our conversations with the public and media stay rooted in our reason for being there together.

5. We pursue a diversity of voices in our movement.

We share our stories, actively listen to others, and believe strongly that no progress can be made in a climate that is not inclusive, diverse, and equitable for all.

6. We stand with other organizations to end animal testing.

Historically, the animal rights movement has had its greatest achievements when like-minded entities banded together in support of specific campaigns. To that end, we believe strongly in supporting the work of our peer organizations, and we appreciate the growing spirit of partnership helping to advance change for animals. Whenever appropriate, we partner with other organizations, from student groups to national animal advocacy organizations, to advance our mission.

7. We welcome a variety of creative grassroots campaign ideas.

Some of the best ideas for how to raise awareness come from our grassroots volunteer supporters. When considering messaging ideas and effective tactics, consider how they will  bring us closer to the campaign’s goal, grow our base of support, and develop leadership or other skills within our community. We don’t engage in civil disobedience (100% of our efforts are protected under the First Amendment).

8. We build each other up.

An ongoing problem across social justice movements is that grassroots activists often “burn out” after a few months. We aim to build this movement differently so that people feel empowered to persist for the long haul. We aim to inspire others – fostering a collaborative environment of learning, building relationships with one another and creating the next generation of leaders. One way we do this is by supporting nascent animal rights groups being started at colleges and universities via grassroots trainings.

Visit our animal advocacy page to find all the ways you can help animals suffering in labs.