Not all animal advocacy is created equal. Some approaches are evidence-based, while others are based on opinion or ideology. But what is the difference between evidence-based animal advocacy and opinion-based advocacy and which is more effective?
Evidence-based animal advocacy (EBAA) is a systematic approach that uses scientific research to inform animal advocacy efforts. It involves evaluating available evidence and making decisions based on the best available information. In other words, EBAA seeks to use evidence to determine what works and what does not work in animal advocacy.
For example, if an animal advocacy group wants to reduce the number of animals killed in shelters, they might turn to research to find out what strategies have been effective in other communities. They might look at studies that have evaluated the effectiveness of spay and neuter programs, or programs that promote adoption. Based on this evidence, the group might decide to focus their efforts on promoting spay and neuter programs.
Opinion-based animal advocacy (OBAA) is an approach that is based on personal beliefs, values, and ideology. This approach often involves a passionate commitment to a cause or a belief system. Advocates who use this approach may rely on anecdotal evidence, personal experience, or a general sense of what they believe to be true.
EBAA is important because it allows animal advocates to make informed decisions about how to allocate resources, choose strategies, and measure outcomes. By using evidence, animal advocates can be more effective in achieving their goals and reducing animal suffering.
EBAA also helps to build credibility with stakeholders and the public. When animal advocates can demonstrate that their efforts are based on rigorous research and evaluation, they are more likely to be taken seriously by policymakers, scientists, and other decision-makers.
The ethical treatment of animals is an important issue that requires thoughtful and strategic advocacy. Evidence-based animal advocacy offers a systematic and effective approach to reducing animal suffering, while opinion-based advocacy can be less effective and possibly even counterproductive. By using evidence to inform our advocacy efforts, we can be more effective in achieving our goals and building credibility with stakeholders and the public.