Nonprofit organizations actively shape the political agenda and engage in the public discourse around animal protection. The landscape of animal welfare and animal rights associations in Germany is diverse. A way to cluster the variety of organizations is to analyze their ideological approach. Organizations can be ascribed to the animal welfare or the animal rights movement. Although both are animal advocacy movements and try to pursue animal interests in human society, they are ideologically distinct. Furthermore, the organizations use different advocacy activities, attempting to influence politics in line with the organization´s goals. The paper compares advocacy strategies of animal rights and animal welfare organizations in Germany by focusing on the ideological distinction between both movements.
The first part of the paper discusses ideological differences between animal rights and animal welfare organizations. Secondly, the concept of advocacy is introduced to define categories for analyzing advocacy strategies of respective social movement organizations. Finally, the third part of the paper conducts a qualitative comparative case study of four German social movement organizations.
The findings indicate that the advocacy strategies of animal rights and animal welfare organizations are different due to distinctive ideological approaches. On the one hand, the animal welfare movement is a moderate movement with an anthropocentric approach, seeking to reform existing policies to enhance animal welfare. Hence, animal welfare organizations pursue a balanced mix between insider and outsider advocacy activities. On the other hand, the animal rights movement has a radical approach, which includes fighting for abolishing all animal exploitation in human society. Consequently, animal rights organizations primarily focus on outsider activities to reach as many people as possible.