Why Animals Matter
Why Animals Matter
For these guidelines to be taken seriously, people must be convinced that animals and their media representation matters. To make that point, this section profiles the animal cognition research that shows nonhuman animals are individuals with personalities, thoughts, and preferences, yet they are vulnerable to exploitation, neglect, and cruelty due to lack of strong legal protection. We explain animals rights viewpoints that challenge human entitlement to routinely use other animals for our own purposes and instead let them live freely in coexistence with humanity. Coexistence is also necessary based on ecological principles of interdependence and shared habitats. Finally, we explore how animals’ lives are impacted by the cultural values and information shared (or ignored) by the media and why media-makers have a responsibility to reduce harm and be more inclusive of the animals with whom we share the planet.
We have articulated guidelines designed to help editors and journalists craft cutting edge, important stories on animal-related issues in ways that meet journalistic criteria of accuracy, fairness, and completeness. Read the full journalism guidelines here.
While advertising plays an important economic and informative role, it can also be harmful if it distracts or dissuades consumers from engaging in sustainable and compassionate practices. Advertisers can be more socially and ecologically responsible by following our Advertising Guidelines. Read them here.
Communicating with key publics is not only essential to businesses but is also the backbone of much animal and environmental protection advocacy as well. Learn how to earn the public’s trust, and create open, honest dialogue that fosters informed decision-making through our PR Guidelines here.
Entertainment is a core activity in public life, which means it is fair to inquire whether entertainment programming contributes to the problem and whether it can be part of a solution for positive social change. Our Entertainment Media guidelines found here provide suggestions.