To better understand animals and inspire unified commitment to their protection and well-being
Thinking Animals United is a communications, advocacy and coalition-building organization whose purpose is to galvanize world-wide support for the care, protection and conservation of other animals.
- We accomplish our goals by unifying and amplifying the voices of other organizations;
- We work across multiple sectors, bringing together diverse groups upon which our treatment of other species has an impact;
- We mobilize global action through our work at the United Nations (UN), our Rethinking Animals Summits, and the development of public information campaigns.
What Animals Mean to Us
Most of us first learn about the wonder of nature from animals. Whether they be stuffed or real, on television, the movies or in museums, animals become our friends and teachers in learning about the natural world beyond our homes, malls, or computers.
Ancient cultures imbued the environment with agency, and spoke with animals on a daily basis, invoking their blessing, teaching and help. Even today, when we talk about the perils of declining ice in the Arctic, we frame it in terms of the loss felt by the endangered polar bear. In fables and fairy tales, animals were the vehicles used to express larger issues of character development and community.
We share not only neural and evolutionary connections with other species, but emotional ones. We empathize with other species. Beliefs and stories about them passed on by thousands of individuals are important factors in shaping in our understanding of the world. We now need to create new stories to address what is happening to our world. Animals, and their ability to move us beyond the limitations of our humanness, need to be a part of that narrative.
Climate change is the largest threat facing humanity. That our treatment of other animals has made them complicit is one of our most critical and unrecognized moral failings. That we have perpetrated such stunning cruelty on other animals signals a willful indifference to the fact they are sentient individuals who have the same will and right to live their lives as we do ours. Instead of regarding them as our respected partners, we have turned them into commodities to be purchased, abused and exploited at will.
In so many ways we have diminished our lives by having lost sight of the transformative power of our engagement with nature and our fellow animals. We see the world through silos of self-interest and are blind to what we are doing to the world around us and to ourselves. We need to rediscover and reintegrate the values of integrity, curiosity and humility.
To continue down any other path is to fuel our alienation from the very processes of life that sustain the planet. As humans, we decide whether the planet lives or dies.
By rethinking our relationship to other species, we could save it.