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I've seen this question posed a few times here. I've often wondered myself if protesting and demonstrations work? It rarely shuts down something or creates mass awareness. However, I have found that even making one family walk away from the circus or having someone read some anti fur literature is a step in the right direction.

Here is an article that was in the L.A. times about some local activists and pony rides in Santa Monica. They have not succeeded in shutting down the pony rides, but at least awareness has decreased the business there.

GRAB A COPY OF THE CURRENT LA WEEKLY (page 26/28 april

15-21 edition, or read below), for a story that

highlights that we CAN be effective, with minimal

resources, little time and only two dedicated people!

Pony Polemics

Nazi Mah and Colin Walkden, Mahs London-born

boyfriend, are the kind of couple you might expect to

see at the Sunday Farmers Market in south Santa

Monica. They live on raw food, quote Jello Biafra and

drive a car plastered with lefty slogans. The Sunday

market has been their shopping ritual for years.

Tawni Angel, 24, is also a regular at the Sunday

market. Since 2001, shes brought in six to eight

miniature Shetland horses from her ranch in Moorpark

and gives pony rides to the many kids who inevitably

get restless tagging along while their parents look at

fruits and vegetables.

For a long time, Mah and Walkden took no notice of

Angel and her Tawnis Ponies concession; like the

cooked-food vendors, musicians and usual petition

gatherers, the ponies were just part of the markets

festival atmosphere.

But last fall, the two started watching the ponies,

animals they consider to be our brothers and

sisters, not servants to man. In an era of spectator

malaise, when so many shrug and accept stolen

elections and illegal wars while consuming organic

tangelos, Mah and Walkden like to think of themselves

as the kind of people who fight for their convictions.

By November, they decided to fight for the ponies.

They made signs, wrote up petitions and began

distributing leaflets every week to the customers of

Tawnis Ponies. Over the last five months, theyve

collected close to 1,000 signatures, which they plan

to thrust upon the Santa Monica City Council. But one

of their key tactics has been to taunt Tawni Angel.

Slave owner! shouted Mah one drizzly February

morning as her eyes narrowed on Angel. Even in her

baseball cap topped with a stuffed toy horse, Mah, 32,

looked fierce.

Other protesters, who along with Mah descended on the

market holding signs decrying the evils of pony

servitude, chanted and gesticulated toward the parents

around the corral, incensed that a miniature horse

breed should be shackled for the entertainment of

their giddy preschoolers.

That ones pregnant! screamed Walkden.

Angel, used to all kinds of accusations from the

protesters, rolled her eyes. Hes a male, she said.

The parents laughed.

Walkden admits their cause seems frivolous, but says,

Early life lessons lay the foundation for how we

live. If theres any chance for us to live in harmony

with our fellow beings, it has to begin with the

children, and if one of their first experiences is

riding a pony, then they will always remember that

animals are here for our use.

The irony is that Angel considers herself an animal

lover too. She originally rented her ranch so she

could live and work among horses. Whats more, she

says that her ponies work just six hours a week. The

rest of the time they roam free on 10 acres. Recently,

hurt by the protesters accusations, Angel created an

informational poster to educate customers about her

facility and how she treats her animals.

But Mah and Walkden are unmoved, and some weeks the

protests get particularly tense. One Sunday, dozens of

protesters shouted, Shame on you, JJ! at a mounted,

bewildered preschooler, and there have been

accusations of assault on both sides. Walkden was even

jailed overnight in early January for protesting the

market. He insists he wont stop until the ponies are

free.

Last Sunday was calm, with gorgeous weather and a

packed market. Mah and Walkden marched alone,

gathering signatures and distributing leaflets. One

warned of the E. coli risk inherent in pony poop.

Angel said that the claim smacks of desperation:

Theyre just plagiarizing the news.

Although the two sides have grown grudgingly

accustomed to one another, Angel is weary, and the

protests have affected her business. Look. Theres no

line, she said, pointing toward the corral. For the

last four years, it was 45 minutes long. Angel

estimates that she loses $600 a week because of the

protests but does not plan on quitting. There are

kids who come to see and ride their favorite ponies,

and I wont disappoint them. With a deep breath she

nodded toward her adversaries and said defiantly,

Theyll give up or cross the line and eventually get

arrested or banned. Im not going anywhere.

Adam Skolnick
 

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One person can make a difference. If that one person gets another to join them, and they get another, and so on...and so on...and so on....

Change begins with one person.
 

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Nothing changes unless people speak out. Speaking out isnt' as good as action, but that is a much harder commitment.

Speaking out in an organized public manner = protest.

It's better than nothing.
 

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your right even if you help change ONE PERSON it was well worth the effort. if everyone did that you could change billions of people
 

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I think doing protests against cruelty helps some, but only if the people who see it are rational. Some people are just lowlifes and will laugh at us for caring about the furry ones. But you can see there's been a slight move forward in respect for animal rights in the last twenty years. I guess we have to keep writing letters and talking to people, but we also have to accept that some people will not feel the same as we do.

 

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Yes it does make a huge difference because you never know who will be supporting you & who they know (connections). We got a chain store that was carrying fur to shut down here in Boston (Wet Seal).

People out there will always look & come up w/ their own thoughts but they see us & what we are doing & that makes a difference. You make a big enough stink & you end up in the papers.
 

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One person can definately make a difference. Many people can make a huge difference. Having said that I no longer believe that a whole bunch of people wandering down a city street chanting and waving placards make any difference at all. Whether or not protesting makes a difference truly depends on how you go about it. For example, the protesters in your article don't really sound the whole quid, do they? If you want to stop pony rides, fair enough, but shouting at little kids and acting like a moron is probably not the best way to go about it.
 

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I attended my first protest this past January. It was against a French Bistro in Pittsburgh, of which they sold Foie Gras. The group, voices for animals has an entire campaign for Foie Gras and the area of Pittsburgh.

Back to the protest. It was literally the coldest day of the season....below zero windchill.....but we stood outside this bistro for an hour....they were currently protesting this bistro every weekend because of their non compliance. About 2 weeks later, I received an e-mail from Voices For Animals, saying victory over Le Pommier. They have agreed to take Foie Gras off the menu for good. I was suprised, and impressed. This marked the 10th restaurant victory for Voices For Animals.

Go here to learn more

http://www.pghfoiegras.com/
 

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Do protests work? Well, I don't think this is the right question. You might as well ask "Do hammers work?"

A hammer is a tool used to set a nail in place, just like a screwdriver sets a screw in place. A protest is also a tool, and each tool has a specific function. The problem is when people when people limit their tool box and start building a campaign with only one tool. Would you build a house with just a hammer? Not likely. Sure, people some times get results by using a protest when it may not be the right tool. You can drive a screw with a hammer, but it isn't very effective and it causes some needless damage.

Also, there are times when you have the right tool, but you are using the wrong blueprint. Protests may be used effectively, but they can build to the wrong results. In this case the campaign is the problem, not the protest itself. For example, welfare reforms are not a tool for animals' rights, but a blueprint for animal exploitation. So a protest for "humane use" is like setting a nail in a coffin when we should be building towards something more life-affirming.
 

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P.S. There are all types of protests, just like there are all types of hammers. You wouldn't use a jackhammer for a job that requires little more than a tack hammer.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer View Post

Do protests work? Well, I don't think this is the right question. You might as well ask "Do hammers work?"

A hammer is a tool used to set a nail in place, just like a screwdriver sets a screw in place. A protest is also a tool, and each tool has a specific function. The problem is when people when people limit their tool box and start building a campaign with only one tool. Would you build a house with just a hammer? Not likely. Sure, people some times get results by using a protest when it may not be the right tool. You can drive a screw with a hammer, but it isn't very effective and it causes some needless damage.

Also, there are times when you have the right tool, but you are using the wrong blueprint. Protests may be used effectively, but they can build to the wrong results. In this case the campaign is the problem, not the protest itself. For example, welfare reforms are not a tool for animals' rights, but a blueprint for animal exploitation. So a protest for "humane use" is like setting a nail in a coffin when we should be building towards something more life-affirming.
That's a really good way of looking at it & great analogy to boot.
 

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Hammer said:
Do protests work? Well, I don't think this is the right question. You might as well ask "Do hammers work?"

A hammer is a tool used to set a nail in place, just like a screwdriver sets a screw in place. A protest is also a tool, and each tool has a specific function. The problem is when people when people limit their tool box and start building a campaign with only one tool. Would you build a house with just a hammer? Not likely. Sure, people some times get results by using a protest when it may not be the right tool. You can drive a screw with a hammer, but it isn't very effective and it causes some needless damage.

Also, there are times when you have the right tool, but you are using the wrong blueprint. Protests may be used effectively, but they can build to the wrong results. In this case the campaign is the problem, not the protest itself. For example, welfare reforms are not a tool for animals' rights, but a blueprint for animal exploitation. So a protest for "humane use" is like setting a nail in a coffin when we should be building towards something more life-affirming.[/QUOTE]

I agree with your analogy.


However I disagree with your comment that welfare reforms are not a tool for animal's rights. I completely believe that animals are not ours to use in anyway, but I also acknowledge that when AR groups argue for better treatments of animals (especially when veg living is a partner to the campaign) it puts the suffering they endure out there, and people are more sympathetic to the animal's plight. Realistically, a campaign right now to stop KFC from selling any chicken would have no hope for success, but a campaign to get them to improve the way they treat the chickens slaughtered for their food WILL eventually succeed. Obviously, this is not enough, I want empty cages, not larger ones. It is a step in the right direction though, and for that I am happy. I think the public exposure these campaigns bring is a step forward. Campaigns for animals that do not liberate them but make their lives a bit better, is a good thing. I don't think trying to minimize their suffering today is a step away from the future goal of animal liberation, I think it is one step closer.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris L View Post

I think doing protests against cruelty helps some, but only if the people who see it are rational. Some people are just lowlifes and will laugh at us for caring about the furry ones.
But not all animals are furry. People would laugh at me (or worse) if I showed up to a women's rights protest because "I care about the big boobied ones".
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauratiara View Post

Realistically, a campaign right now to stop KFC from selling any chicken would have no hope for success, but a campaign to get them to improve the way they treat the chickens slaughtered for their food WILL eventually succeed.
But will it succeed because of KFC's desire to change how they run business or because they've seen the error of their ways?

Have the protests affected KFC sales in a negative way? Seems to me the only people boycotting KFC are the ones who don't eat there anyways. ETA: I found the answer to my question. Their sales have gone up. http://www.bakingbusiness.com/headli...rticleID=74647
 

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I think protests are helpful, but not nearly as powerful as we think. Everyone's protesting something, everyone's boycotting someone.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by remilard View Post

But not all animals are furry. People would laugh at me (or worse) if I showed up to a women's rights protest because "I care about the big boobied ones".
:rofl:
 

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RE KFC:

Similar campaigns against McDonalds, burger king and wendy's were successful.

Why would I believe the same style campaign against KFC would fail?

It won't.

Protests are effective, though I think that 'tools in the toolbox' analogy is something to keep in mind. One clear example of the effectiveness of protests would come from my own experience working in a grassroots campaign with the group I am a volunteer campaign coordinator for, Delaware Action for Animals.

Through our protest @ a Cole Bros circus site, the owners of the property came out, and we discussed the inherent cruelty in animal circuses and the violations of the specific circus. Now, after one protest and a brief meeting, they pledged not to have animal circuses on their property. They had an animal free carnival the following year.

http://www.da4a.org/accomplishments.htm

Now, we are a small and all volunteer group, and the group has had success. We don't have the money of a national group, yet we are able to accomplish changes for animals in our community.

So, 'do protests work?' you ask?

Yes, they have. Soooooooooo, yes they do!

Do protests work all of the time?

No, almost nothing does.

Better look in ye olde toolbox for a different tool...maybe you should try a sledgehammer?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauratiara View Post

RE KFC:

Similar campaigns against McDonalds, burger king and wendy's were successful.

Why would I believe the same style campaign against KFC would fail?

It won't.
The cost to enforce humane standards for chicken would be higher for KFC (which sells a lot of chicken relatively) than for the other restaurants.

Did you just want one reason?
 
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