Chronology of humane progress
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2003:
Chronology of humane progress
(Part 2 of two parts: Mohandas to Maneka)
by Merritt Clifton
1947 — At request of Mohandas Gandhi, Jawaharal Nehru wrote
into the constitution of India as Article 51-A[g] that “It shall be
the fundamental duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve
the Natural Environment including forests, lakes, rivers and
wildlife, and to have compassion for all living creatures.” This
was reinforced by the 1960 Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
1947 — Defenders of Wildlife formed as an anti-trapping
organization, but was taken over by hunters in 1957 and became a
mainstream hunter/conservationist front.
1948 — Minnesota adopted the first law requiring public
shelters to make dogs and cats available to laboratories for
biomedical research, testing, and teaching. Similar laws were
passed by 1960 in Wisconsin, New York, South Dakota, Oklahoma,
Connect-icut, Ohio, Utah, and Iowa. The New York law was repealed
in 1977. Thirteen states, including Connecticut among nine
contiguous northeastern states, outlawed selling shelter animals for
lab use between 1977 and 1985.
1948 — David Sheldrick founded Tsavo National Park in Kenya.
His young wife Daphne began rehabilitating wildlife, and eventually
became the first person to successfully rehabilitate orphaned
elephants. Daphne Sheldrick was acquainted with another young
rehabilitator, Martine Colette, the daughter of a Belgian diplomat
who was stationed in Kenya. Colette later founded the Wildlife
Waystation sanctuary near Los Angeles. David Sheldrick died in 1976,
six months after a forced relocation to Nairobi National Park to
accommodate the interests of well-placed ivory traffickers. Daphne
Sheldrick persevered, however, eventually winning a national ban on
sport hunting and the thus far resolute opposition of the Kenyan
government to resumption of international trade in ivory.
1951 — Christine Stevens founds the Animal Welfare
Institute, influential in winning passage of most of the present
federal animal welfare and endangered species conservation
legislation, often with the help of Washington D.C. journalist Ann
Cottrell Free, who covered the White House during the Eisenhower
administration. Stevens headed AWI until her death in 2002.
1954 — Formation of the Humane Society of the U.S. by former
American Humane Association National Humane Review editor Fred Myers,
Cleveland Amory, Helen Jones, and others, mostly formerly
associated with the American SPCA or the AHA; formation of the
North Shore Animal League by Elizabeth Lewyt and friends. HSUS,
founded largely in opposition to the ASPCA and AHA acceptance of the
use of animals in biomedical research, later led opposition to the
use of decompression chambers to kill homeless dogs and cats, but by
the mid-1980s was a leading voice of tradition in humane work.
No-kill sheltering, meanwhile, had existed before North Shore only
in the care-for-life paradigm of retirement homes for privileged pets
and horses. North Shore introduced the use of paid ads to promote
adoptions, and initiated interstate transport of adoptable dogs and
cats from animal control facilities where they would be killed to
high-volume adoption centers. At peak, circa 1990, North Shore was
adopting out as many as 45,000 dogs and cats per year (about twice as
many as in recent years.) North Shore funding has also increased the
U.S. pet sterilization capacity by about 70,000 surgeries per year.
1954-1955 — The San Francisco SPCA formed the Northern
California SPCA and the Western Humane Education Society to promote
“appropriate and humane kenneling” and “humane education.” By this
it apparently meant teaching the use of decompression to kill
animals. Both subsidiaries folded and the SF/SPCA was nearly
bankrupt by 1976, when exposes by TV reporter Marilyn Baker brought
a regime change. New executive director Richard Avanzino scrapped
the decompression chamber on his second day, introduced high-volume
dog and cat sterilization, returned the San Francisco animal control
contract to the city in 1989 after a five-year phase-out, and in
1994 introduced the Adoption Pact, under which San Francisco became
the first city in the U.S. to practice no-kill animal control.
Baker, who died in 2001, went on to found Orphan Pet Oasis, in
Palm Desert, California.
1954 — Soviet premier Nikita Khruschev introduced the first
Soviet animal protection law in 1954, a year after the death of
Joseph Stalin, as part of an effort to introduce at least a
semblance of compassion to the Soviet police state.
1957 — Alice Harrington founded Friends of Animals, whose
initial project was operating the first low-cost dog and cat
sterilization clinic in the U.S. at Neptune, New Jersey. FoA later
opened a second clinic in Miami, Florida, and then started the
first national low-cost sterilization program, still the largest
program of the organization. FoA evolved into the present
multi-purpose animal advocacy group during the 1980s. Splits within
FoA during that era indirectly produced Animals’ Agenda magazine
(1981), the Doris Day Animal League (1986), the Rutgers Animal
Rights Law Clinic (1987), and Spay/USA (1990), among many other
groups whose founders or cofounders were FoA staff just before
starting their own projects. Splits within Animals’ Agenda
eventually produced Animals’ Voice (1987), E Magazine (1988), and
ANIMAL PEOPLE (1992).
1957 –The Soviet Union scored a space-race first by shooting
into orbit a small stray dog named Laika. She lived only a few
hours, according to recently released Soviet archives, but at the
time the world believed she had lived long enough to be burned alive
in re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere. Somewhat naive horror at
the fate of Laika outraged animal advocates everywhere. The public
was then largely unaware that pound dogs were being experimented
upon, electrocuted, decompressed, shot, or gassed by the tens of
millions, throughout the world, while the Soviet propaganda machine
made Laika probably the most famous dog in history before discovering
that millions of people were more upset about her plight, isolated
in space, than were thrilled at the scientific triumph that she
represented. Soviet premier Nikita Khruschev responded by
authorizing the formation of the Animal Protection Society, the
first and only Soviet humane organization. It was disbanded and
supplanted by independent nonprofit humane groups after the 1990
collapse of Communism.
1958 — Congressional passage of the Delany Amendment, which
mandated animal testing as part of the assessment of consumer
products for cancer-causing properties. The Delany Amendment was
repealed in 1996, at request of leading chemical manufacturers,
including Procter & Gamble, with virtually no input or even
awareness from the animal advocacy sector.
1958 — Pet theft for laboratory supply emerges as a
hot-button issue. After reading about pet theft by lab suppliers in
a popular magazine, which provided few hard facts, Minnesota
schoolteacher Lucille Aaron Moses began doing her own investigation,
eventually as a field representative for the Humane Society of the
U.S. Her work and that of other investigators in other parts of the
U.S. prompted the 1966 Life magazine expose that resulted in the
passage of the Laboratory Animal Protection Act. Moses retired,
married, and moved to California, where she continued animal
advocacy work as Lucille Moses Scott until her death in 1991. Her
anti-pet theft work was continued in Minnesota by Mary Warner, who
moved to Virginia circa 1976 and formed the anti-pet theft group
Action 81. It was absorbed in the early 1990s by the Animal Welfare
Institute. By then pet theft for lab supply had become an
anachronism. The passage of the1990 Pet Theft Act gave the USDA
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service the legal tools it needed
to close the U.S. border to imports of random source dogs and cats in
February 1993, and to initiate vigorous prosecution of random source
animal dealers within the U.S. who could not document the origins of
their animals. Seven USDA Midwest Stolen Dog Task Force agents were
killed in the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building by
white supremacist terrorist Tim McVeigh, but by then many of the
most notorious alleged sellers of stolen pets had already been put
out of business. Lab demand for random-source dogs and cats
plummeted, meanwhile, with the advent of genetic research, which
requires the use of animals with known genetic histories. Of more
than 300 sellers of random-source animals to labs in 1980, fewer
than 30 remained active by 2000. Total U.S. lab use of dogs fell
from 211,104 in 1979 to 70,541 in 1999. Total U.S. lab use of cats
fell from 74,259 in 1974 to 23,238 in 1999. Pet theft post-Pet Theft
Act is mostly associated with dogfighting and acts of individual
sadism and abuse.
1959 — Joy Adamson, wife of Kenyan game warden George
Adamson, authored Born Free, about her rehabilitation for release
of the lioness Elsa. The story became an influential hit film. The
Adamsons and George’s brother Terrence remained active in wildlife
rehabilitation and protection for the rest of their lives. Joy was
murdered by a former employee in 1980, Terrence died from natural
causes in 1986, and George was killed while defending a German woman
from a gang of poachers and marauders in 1988. Their legacies
included establishing the Elsa Appeal and the Born Free Foundation,
and helping many other noted African wildlife conservationists to get
started, among them Esmond Bradley Martin and Tony Fitzjohn.
1959 — Jane Goodall became the first of “Leakey’s Angels,”
a trio of young women sent by anthropologist Louis Leakey to live
among and observe wild great apes. Goodall’s observations of wild
chimpanzees, Dian Fossey’s observations of wild gorillas, and
Berute Galdikas’ observations of wild orangutans substantially
revised human perception of our closest relatives. Fossey was
murdered in 1985. Goodall and Galdikas remain highly active
advocates for animals of all species. Goodall in particular
revolutionized the techniques of wildlife study.
1959 — Formation of the Blue Cross of India. Cofounder
Chinny Krishna in 1964 introduced the first neuter/return program for
street dogs in the world, which he called “ABC,” short for “Animal
Birth Control.” In 1997 the Indian goverment accepted the
recommendation of the Animal Welfare Board of India that ABC should
become national policy, and endorsed the goal of abolishing animal
control killing throughout India by 2005.
1959 — Congressional passage of the rarely enforced Humane
Slaughter Act, 85 years after Switzerland became the first of 14
nations to pass similar laws before the U.S.
1959 — Breaking with HSUS, Helen Jones founded the National
Catholic Humane Society, renamed the International Society for
Animal Rights in 1981. The National Catholic Humane Society, an
early advocate of no-kill sheltering, was for about 20 years the
most militant major U.S. animal welfare organization.
1961 — Ohio canceled the deer hunting season due to a
scarcity of deer. This led to the rapid adoption nationwide of “buck
laws,” which promote the hunting of bucks only, ensuring that the
wintering deer population will consist mainly of pregnant females–
who because of the lack of food competition from bucks are more
likely to bear twins. In less than 30 years the U.S. goes from a
deer shortage to alleged deer overpopulation.
1961 — The World Wildlife Fund was founded by trophy hunter
Sir Peter Scott and cronies, among them captive bird-shooters Prince
Philip of Britain and Prince Bernhardt of The Netherlands, the
whaler Aristotle Onassis, and then-National Rifle Association
president C.R. “Pink” Guter-muth. Simultaneously, trophy hunter
Russell Train founded the African Wildlife Leader-ship Foundation,
now called just the African Wildlife Foundation. A primary goal of
both WWF and AWF was to promote funding of wildlife conservation
internationally by sales of hunting permits, as the National
Wildlife Federation had already achieved in the U.S. This, it was
hoped, would prevent newly independent former colonies of European
nations from following India and Kenya in banning sport hunting
(which was not finally accomplished in either India or Kenya until
1977, although attempts began much earlier).
1962 — Miami Seaquarium staff including trainer/diver Ric
O’Barry evaded the first anti-dolphin capture protest on record to
capture Snowball, an albino dolphin who lived for three years at the
Seaquarium. O’Barry left the Seaquarium in 1967, after production
of the Flipper TV series ended. He became a semi-recluse for a
while; became a vegetarian; traveled to India to seek his soul;
returned to the U.S. to participate in marine mammal intelligence
research; and was called one day to try to save the life of one of
the Flipper dolphins, Kathy, who died in his arms from conditions
O’Barry diagnosed as consequences of stress and neglect. On Earth
Day 1970, O’Barry tried unsuccessfully to free a captive dolphin
from the Lerner Marine Laboratory in Bimini. He learned from his
failure, and has been freeing captive dolphins, with increasing
success, ever since. His work in recent years has been sponsored by
1963 — Canadian naturalist and author Farley Mowat published
Never Cry Wolf, which with A Whale For The Killing (1972) and Sea of
Slaughter (1989) are among the most influential books in the history
of animal advocacy.
1963 — William Allen Swallow, a lifelong humane worker,
authored The Quality of Mercy, a “history of the humane movement in
the United States,” published by the Mary Mitchell Humane Fund,
which made no reference to dog and/or cat sterilization, and
envisioned running pet cemeteries and rest homes for horses as the
future of the cause.
1965-1978 — Frederick L. Thomsen, former USDA director of
marketing research, founded Humane Information Services, with a
lobbying arm called the National Association for Humane Legislation.
The chief activity of Humane Information Services was publishing the
quarterly newsletter Report to Humanitarians. This expanded into a
quarterly newspaper, The Humane Report, circulating 19,000 copies,
but ended with his death. Henry Spira introduces financial
accountability reporting about leading humane organizations as a
guest essayist in 1976. Ironically, Humane Information Services
itself dissolved in scandal, and eventually surrendered its
remaining fiscal assets to a humane agricultural research project at
Texas A&M University.
1966 — A Life magazine expose of conditions at facilities
that sold impounded (or stolen) dogs and cats to research produced
more mail to Congress that year than any subjects other than Social
Security and the Vietnam War. Public outrage over the Life expose
brought the passage of the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act. This was
expanded into the present Animal Welfare Act in 1971, and was
strengthened by amendment in 1985 and 1990, but was weakened by the
permanent exclusion of rats, mice, and birds from laboratory animal
welfare standards in 2002. Rats, mice, and birds were previously
excluded in the enforcement regulations, but not by law.
1967 — Greenpeace was founded as the Don’t Make A Wave
Committee, a Quaker peace group, and became Greenpeace in 1971
after several years of disrupting nuclear tests in the South Pacific.
Canadian volunteer Paul Watson created the international reputation
of the group with dramatic high-seas confrontations against Russian
whalers and on-the-ice clashes with New-foundland sealers, but left
Greenpeace in 1977 to found the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Post-Watson, Greenpeace dropped anti-sealing and anti-fur campaigns,
and backed away from total opposition to whaling –although some
chapters outside the U.S. and Canada continue in the Watson mode.
1967 — Cleveland Amory and Marian Probst founded The Fund
For Animals, out of frustration with the failure of the Humane
Society of the U.S. and other leading humane groups to oppose sport
hunting. By the early 1980s they all opposed sport hunting.
1968 — Former Humane Society of the U.S. California office
chief Beltan Mouras founded the Animal Protection Institute, one of
the first animal advocacy organizations built primarily by direct
mail. A 1986 split impelled Mouras to found United Animal Nations,
which he left in 1996.
1969 — Privatization of the U.S. Postal Service led to the
introduction of bulk mail presort discounts, enabling the growth of
the direct mail advocacy fundraising industry.
1969 — Best-seller The Year of the Whale, by Victor B.
Sheffer, took whale-saving from the pursuit of a handful of
scientists (most influentially, Sheffer himself and Sydney Holt) to
the rise of an global Save the Whales! movement.
1969 — Brian Davies founded the International Fund for
Animal Welfare, which grew into a web of 14 organizations operating
in 10 nations. Spinoff organizations and projects include the
International Wildlife Coalition (1985), International Aid for
Korean Animals (1998), the Kenyan group Youth For Conservation
(1999), and the Animals Asia Foundation (2000).
1970 — Dog and cat killing in U.S. pounds and shelters
peaked in frequency at 115 per 1,000 human citizens. By 2002 it was
down to 15.7 per 1,000. Steep drops followed public acceptance of
sterilization of pet dogs during the 1970s, sterilization of pet
cats during the 1980s, and sterilization of feral cats during the
1990s. How rapidly the numbers can fall once high-volume dog and cat
sterilization begins is especially evident in North Carolina, whose
shelters in the mid-1980s were killing 238 dogs and cats per 1,000
humans, but by 2000 were killing 35 per 1,000–still, however,
more than twice the U.S. average. Gross numbers of animals killed in
U.S. shelters are less indicative than rates per 1,000 humans because
of human population growth, but also show a steep decline, from
circa 23.4 million in 1970 to 17.8 million in 1985 to 4.4 million in
1971 — Film Bless The Beasts & The Children more-or-less
prophesied the rise of the modern animal rights movement.
1971 — Passage of the Animal Welfare Act and Wild And Free
Ranging Horse and Burro Protection Act, followed by the Marine
Mammal Protection Act (1973), the Endangered Species Act (1973),
and U.S. ratification of the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species (1973). Polarized by the Vietnam War, President
Richard Nixon, a Republican, and Congress, dominated by Democrats,
found that animal protection was a topic popular with voters, that
they could agree upon without political risk. Opposition to the ESA
and other federal laws protecting animals did not emerge as a
Republican “wedge” issue until the 1980 Presidential campaign of
1972 — Eleanor Seiling founded United Action for Animals.
The UAA library assisted Peter Singer during the writing of Animal
Liberation. UAA also encouraged the formation of the Animal Legal
Defense Fund (1978) and many other activist groups, mostly in the
New York City area.
1973 — Mercy Crusade, of Los Angeles, opened the low-cost
dog and cat sterilization clinic which became the first in the U.S.
to receive a municipal subsidy.
1973 — Martine Colette founded Wildlife Waystation,
possibly the first and certainly the most emulated U.S. sanctuary for
captive wildlife, near Los Angeles. Also in 1973 the U.S. adoption
of the Endangered Species Act and endorsement of CITES together cut
off most zoo access to replacement stock from abroad. The American
Association of Zoological Parks & Aquariums urged members to reduce
the size and variety of their animal inventories, and allow their
animals adequate space to facilitate captive breeding. The result,
from 1973 until AAZPA charter amendments in 1986 and 1991 cut off
most of the flow, was a mass exodus of “genetically redundant” zoo
animals into private hands. This in turn fueled a boom in exotic
petkeeping, roadside zoo start-ups, speculative breeding schemes,
canned hunts, and eventually, the creation of sanctuaries to try to
cope with the overflow. At least six organizations formed between
1991 and 2003 to attempt to establish a unified voice and standards
for the fast-growing sanctuary movement. The Association of
Sanctuaries (1991), American Sanctuary Association (1996) and Animal
Centers of Excellence (2003) are attempts to elevate standards; at
least two of the others appear to be defensive responses from
facilities that would not meet the TAOS, ASA, and ACE requirements.
1973 — French screen star Brigitte Bardot retired from
acting to promote animal welfare. Her efforts were viewed at first
as a publicity stunt. Thirty years later, she has been a fulltime
animal advocate for more than twice as long as she was involved in
film making, and her Fondation Brigitte Bardot is a leader in
helping the humane movements of impoverished nations. Swedish-born
actress Tippi Hedren made a similar career change in 1972, founding
the Shambala Preserve near Los Angeles to house exotic cats and two
elephants, but the Hedren project grew out of her own animal
purchases in connection with making a film about African wildlife.
1974 — Success of books Animal Liberation by Peter Singer
and Man Kind? by Cleveland Amory begins the process of coalescing the
animal rights movement.
1976 — In a message to news media while awaiting arrest,
research assistants Steven Sipp and Ken Lavasseur coined the term
“Animal Liberation Front.” Sipp and Lavasseur had just released two
dolphins from the marine science laboratory headed by Lou Herman at
the University of Hawaii, as an act of peaceful civil disobedience
for which they accepted both the credit and the consequences.
1976 — Shirley McGreal founded the International Primate
Protection League in Thailand. IPPL and the Blue Cross of India in
1978 won a ban on the export of monkeys from India to foreign labs.
Similar bans were later won in other Asian nations and in parts of
1976 — Protests led by Animal Rights International founder
Henry Spira forced the American Museum of Natural History to halt cat
experiments–the first time
anti-vivisection activism ever stopped a funded research project.
This is recognized as the first victory of the modern animal rights
movement. Spira followed up by persuading Avon and Revlon to abandon
animal testing (1980), and then won a 1984 agreement from Procter &
Gamble to fund research and development of alternatives to animal
experimentation, and then phase them into use as rapidly as
possible. As P&G was signing the agreement with Spira, word of it
somehow leaked out to PETA, Peter Singer recounts in his 1998
biography of Spira, Ethics Into Action. Trying to claim a piece of
the “victory,” PETA declared a last-minute boycott of P&G, joined
by the Humane Society of the U.S. (which dropped out of the boycott
in 1997), In Defense of Animals, Uncaged Campaigns, and many other
animal rights and antivivisection organizations. They were all
ignored. During the first 10 years of the boycott, P&G tripled in
size, and it has continued rapid growth, while reducing in-house
animal use since 1984 by approximately 75%. In June 1999 P&G
announced that it had ended all use of animal tests for current
beauty, fabric, home care, and paper products, except as required
by law. “This announcement covers roughly 80% of P&G’s total product
portfolio,” said P&G spokespersons Mindy Patton and Amy Neltner.
After the P&G campaign, Spira formed the Coalition for Nonviolent
Food and focused on farm animal issues.
1976 — Richard Morgan formed Mobilization for Animals.
Among the most influential animal rights groups of the era, it is
best remembered for a 1983 report on the budgets, assets, and
spending of 16 leading animal welfare and advocacy organizations.
The report was the direct ancestor of the annual “Who gets the
money?” reports produced by ANIMAL PEOPLE since 1991.
1978 — Founding of Primarily Primates, the first sanctuary
to rehabilitate ex-laboratory primates.
1979 — Emergence of covert “ALF” activity in Britain.
Parallel actions began in the U.S. two years later.
1979 — Paul Watson and crew ram med the Portuguese pirate
whaler Sierra on the high seas, the first of 10 whaling vessels sunk
or incapacitated by the Sea Shepherds and allies during the next 14
years. The Sea Shepherds went on to confront illegal driftnetters
and other maritime poachers, facing prosecution by government in
some jurisdictions, emulation by government agencies in others, and
encountering both in Atlantic Canada, where Watson served jail time
in the mid-1990s for challenging foreign fishing vessels two years
before the government itself did.
1979 — Leo Grillo founded DELTA Rescue, eventually the
largest care-for-life dog and cat sanctuary in the world, housing
only animals he personally rescues from the Angeles National Forest
and other locations around Los Angeles. (Programs to aid horses and
wildlife were later added.)
1980 — Stephen Kellert published American Attitudes Toward
and Knowledge of Animals, a study based on interviews done in 1977
with 3,107 randomly selected Americans. Commissioned by the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service, the study was meant to help promote
sport hunting. Kellert identified a generational shift in attitudes
from utilitarian views predominant among people raised on farms to
more empathic views found mainly among people who do not use animals
in connection with making their livings. Franklin Loew, formerly
dean of the Tufts University and Cornell University veterinary
schools, pointed out nearly 15 years after Kellert published the
data that in retrospect it had not only predicted the rise of the
animal rights movement but also the eventual success of it in
achieving a cultural transformation, as the holders of the
utilitarian viewpoint die out. Kellert also identified a
“dominionistic” attitude toward animals held to a significantly
greater degree by hunters, trappers, and rodeo and bullfight fans,
characteristics of which, Kellert wrote but later denied, are that
the individual’s “primary satisfactions [are] derived from mastery
and control over animals.” Measuring the influence of dominionism on
a scale with a maximum possible score of 18, Kellert found that
humane society members rated 0.9, anti-hunters 1.2, the general
public 2.0, livestock farmers 2.7, fishers 3.0, meat hunters 3.3,
and sport hunters from 3.8 to 4.1. Among the sport hunters, trophy
hunters–whom studies by University of Wisconsin sociologist Thomas
Heberlein have identified as being especially dedicated to
hunting–were most inclined toward dominionism. Trappers, Kellert
found, were twice as dominionistic as recreational hunters, at 8.5,
and more than four times as dominionistic as the general public.
The desire for mastery and control are also recognized leading
characteristics of sadists and pedophiles, who typically reinforce a
weak self-image through their dominance of their victims. Kellert’s
findings reinforced to the humane community the importance of
publicizing the frequent association of violence toward animals with
violence done to human victims by the same perpetrators. Even major
humane groups, however, have tiptoed around the 1994-1995 ANIMAL
PEOPLE finding that rates of convicted pedophilia and child abuse
closely parallel the rates of hunting participation at the county
level in the states of New York, Ohio, and Michigan.
1981 — Number of licensed hunters in the U.S. peaks at 21
million. As of 2002, it is down to 13 million. Number of licensed
trappers also peaks in 1981 at 800,000, but falls under 100,000 by
1994 and has hovered just over 100,000 since then.
1981 — Existing overseas programs of the Royal SPCA of Great
Britain, Massachusetts SPCA, and Humane Society of the U.S. are
merged to form the World Society for the Protection of Animals.
1981 — Debuts of People for The Ethical Treatment of
Animals, Trans-Species Unlimited, Farm Animal Reform Movement, and
Animals’ Agenda magazine, produced by the merger of two newsletters
that debuted in 1979. Formed within the next five years were many of
the other groups that are generally considered to be at or near the
core of the animal rights movement: In Defense of Animals (1983),
the Humane Farming Association (1985), the quasi-PETA subsidiary
Physicians Committee for Respon-sible Medicine (1985), and Farm
Sanctuary (1986). PETA, founded by former Washington D.C. animal
control chief Ingrid Newkirk and former Fund for Animals volunteer
and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society crew member Alex Pacheco,
became the dominant U.S. animal rights group in part due to the
prominence of the “Silver Spring monkey case,” in which researcher
Edward Taub was prosecuted for cruelty as result of an undercover
investigation by Pacheco. Taub was convicted on six of 17 counts,
but the convictions were reversed on jurisdictional grounds. The
case was in court from August 1981 to May 1991. Belonging to the
National Institutes of Health, the monkeys remained in NIH custody
until all either died or were used in terminal experiments.
1982 — The first Best Friends Animal Sanctuary opened near
Prescott, Arizona. Best Friends moved to Angel Canyon, near Kanab,
Utah, in 1987, and grew from an all-volunteer group just barely
surviving into a $15 million a year institution most noted for
teaching other animal advocates how to develop their own local
sanctuaries and anti-pet overpopulation projects.
1982 –The formation of the Korea Animal Protection Society
by Sunnan Kum and the rise of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society,
founded by Nina Hontiveros-Lichauco, began organized opposition to
dog-and-cat-eating in Asia. Taken up by IFAW and other international
groups, the campaign won unenforced legislative victories in Korea
(1991) and the Philippines (1997). KAPS thereafter struggled to
obtain real change in Korea almost alone until Sunnan’s sister Kyenan
Kum formed International Aid for Korean Animals in 1998. IAKA
revived global attention to the issue. Other Korean animal advocacy
groups started at about the same time, and more have since debuted.
1983 — The neuter/return method of feral cat population
control is promoted by the Cat Welfare Society of Britain, the
Universities Federation for Animal Welfare of Britain, and the Kenya
SPCA, apparently after some trial use in South Africa. It catches
on in the U.S. in a major way through the efforts of Alley Cat
Allies, founded in 1991, although several smaller organizations had
already been using it since the middle 1980s, and various
individuals were sterilizing feral cats on their own even before that.
1983 — Tom Regan publishes The Case For Animal Rights,
followed by The Philosophy of Animal Rights (1985), Animal
Sacrifices: Religious Perspectives on the Use of Animals in Science
(1986), and The Struggle for Animal Rights (1987). His works
distinguish between the concept of “animal rights,” which holds in
simplest form that “Animals are not ours to eat, wear, or
experiment upon,” as PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk puts it, and
“animal welfare,” which allows human use of animals so long as the
animals are not subjected to avoidable suffering.
1984 — Start of a 10-year suspension of the Atlantic Canada
offshore seal hunt. The hunt resumed in 1995, after the failure of
the depleted cod fishery to recover from overfishing left the
Canadian and Newfoundland governments looking for someone or
something to blame, and by 2002 was back up to near-peak levels.
1984 — Maneka Gandhi formed People for Animals, the first
national animal advocacy network in India, with active chapters in
nearly every major city. Many operate the local Animal Birth Control
1985 — Houston and Dallas were reputedly the last two U.S.
cities to stop killing shelter animals by decompression, nine years
after San Francisco was the first. Sao Paulo, Brazil, used
decompression until 2001.
1986 — The International Whaling Commission imposed a global
ban on commercial capture of baleen whales and sperm whales. Japan
formally accedes to the ban in 1988, but continues and steadily
escalates so-called “research whaling.” Norway resumed commercial
whaling in 1993.
1993 — Hit film Free Willy! and sequels brought a boom in
fundraising and other activity to free captive cetaceans. The boom
faded as more than $20 million was spent to try to return the orca
star of Free Willy! to the North Atlantic. In midsummer 2002 he
finally swam free for a prolonged time– to coastal Norway, where he
sought human friends and fish handouts. Ric O’Barry had warned all
along that this particular whale was too well socialized with humans
for successful release.
1994 — San Francisco became a no-kill city. (See 1954-1955.)
1995 — The first No-Kill Confer-ence attracted 65 people.
Within five years the annual conference drew 600. It became a
project of the North Shore Animal League America (a co-sponsor all
along) in 1999, and in 2002 was renamed the Conference on Homeless
Animal Management and Policy. The rapid growth of the no-kill
movement reflected the realization of activists that individual
action in response to homeless dogs and cats can cumulatively bring
about societal change; the emotional reinforcement that individuals
obtain by working directly with animals; and the relative ease of
fundraising for hands-on work. While the original conference went
mainsteam as CHAMP, Best Friends in 2001 initiated the regional No
More Homeless Pets conference series, which continue the early
No-Kill Conference focus on empowering new and small organizations.
1996 — A sequel March for the Animals drew barely 10% of the
crowd of the first one, and in effect marked the end of the first
phase of the modern animal rights movement. Opinion research by Dr.
Scott Plous of Wesleyan University discovered a generational shift in
priorities: while activists over age 40 still saw vivisection as the
most important issue, activists under age 40 saw the treatment
of farm animals as most important, followed by dog and cat
overpopulation. Most of the subsequent growth and accomplishment of
the cause has been in response to farm animals and companion animals.
The Plous findings coincided with meat industry research which shows
lower per capita meat consumption among both men and women in each
younger age group. The trend suggests a precipitous drop in U.S.
meat consumption with the passing of the World War II and Baby Boom
1998 –PeopleSoft computer software founders Dave and Cheryl
Duffield created Maddie’s Fund, dedicated to financing community
efforts to achieve no-kill animal control, with an endowment of $225
million investment fund–larger by itself than all of the other
investment funds dedicated to animal welfare. The Duffields hired
Richard Avanzino away from the SF/SPCA to direct it.
1998 — Deaths of Helen Jones, Henry Spira, and Cleveland Amory.
1998-2002 — Maneka Gandhi served as the first minister of
state for animal welfare in India, and the world. She was removed
from office after conflicting with the biomedical research and
pharmaceutical industries, as well as with practitioners of animal
sacrifice, and the authority of the ministry is significantly
The ANIMAL PEOPLE “Chronology of Humane Progress” pauses with
the major events of 1998 in order to give more recent events more
time to settle into perspective. Humane progress itself continues.
We hope to continue recording it through many more years and triumphs.