The Internet has added a new dimension to activism and allowed for more people to come together to create pressure for change. When it comes to social justice issues and animal rights issues, the ability to create awareness of problems and to generate momentum behind petitions for policy change has never been stronger. Not all of the online petitions work, but some do work better than others. The key is in combining the forces for two issues, which have more in common than you think.
Why certain issues go hand in hand
Social rights issues and animal rights issues are related by their underlying theme of how we perceive those with less than what we have. One of the common themes for both causes is transparency and accountability. Whether you are talking about the Ashley Madison fiasco or Cecil the Lion, there is a separation of the haves from the have-nots. The “haves” feel entitled to certain behaviors that fly in the face of conventions of ethics as long as what they are doing remains hidden from the public eye. Both big game hunting of endangered animals and advertising for extra-marital affairs has its root in entitlement that only feels right if it remains unseen. One of the goals of an online petition is to force what is hidden into the open when the public can weigh the impact of the action against the agreed-upon communal ethics that guide society.
What creates effective activism
Just pointing out an ill isn’t enough to make a change. With coordinated effort many voices can come together and create an action that demands a response. The difference between online petitions created by an individual and one created by a membership like that found on Lady Freethinker is the latter represents a block of informed voters. Getting a pile of signatures on a petition isn’t enough these days to get a petition taken seriously; there has to be reason to believe that the people behind the signatures have a vested interest in following through on the action.
Targeting the policymakers while increasing public awareness
When you combine a membership that is actively engaged with educating itself with updates and reports, as well as actively sharing reputable news stories with their social media connections, you have a much stronger petition. It transforms one signature into a block of 5 in the world of statistics. The policymakers know that whoever signs a managed petition knows that each person listed is also engaged with their community with social action. By connecting education and information with action, you can become part of a powerful voice for those who have none in today’s world.
Stay strong and choose to act
If you want to make your voice heard on the issues you care about then choosing to join a community that has a focus on the issues that emphasize speaking for those with no voice is essential. By aligning yourself with a community of people who put education and information first, followed by coordinated action, you can become effective. It’s hard to give action to your passion as responsibilities build, but the Internet is now providing a way to maximize your time so you can keep advocating on the social rights issues and animal rights issues that have always been close to your heart.