Recruiting failure

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1998:

CAMBRIDGE, U.K.––A heads-up for the U.S.
animal rights movement comes from researchers Shelley L.
Galvin of Mars Hill College in North Carolina, and Harold
A. Herzog, of Western Carolina University, whose findings
about movement participation appear in the spring/summer
1998 edition of Society & Animals, a sociological journal
published by The White Horse Press of Cambridge, England.
(10 High St., Knapwell, Cambridge CB3 8NR, U.K.)
Galvin and Herzog distributed questionaires to participants
in the 1990 and 1996 Marches for the Animals in
Washington D.C., getting back 231 responses in 1996––as
much as 10% of total March participation.

“Our demographic data suggest,” they report,
“that the animal rights movement was not successful in
broadening the gender distribution of its base over the six
years intervening between the two marches. Animal rights
groups continue to draw their support predominantly from
women,” by a ratio of more than three-to-one, “and there is
no evidence that men are currently attracted to the cause of
animals in proportion to their numbers in the population.
“The median age of respondents was slightly
greater in 1996 (34, up from 32), and participants claimed to
have been involved in the movement for about twice as long
(six years on average, up from three years). This suggests
the movement may not be attracting new recruits in sufficient
numbers to maintain the growth witnessed in the 1980s,”
Galvin and Herzog observed. “The fact that the 1996 March
drew markedly fewer participants than expected by the organizers
(who predicted 100,000) supports this notion.
Alternatively, this finding may reflect a more mature movement,
around for six more years.”
Galvin and Herzog cautioned that “more optimistic
activists may have been more likely to attend the March or to
mail back the survey than those with a more pessimistic outlook.
To date,” they noted, “studies of animal activists
have focused on those who join organizations, subscribe to
animal rights magazines, and attend meetings and demonstrations.
Nothing is known of the psychology [or demographics] of individuals who are sympathetic to the aims of,
and identify with, the animal rights movement, but remain
‘on the sidelines.’”

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