Legally Brief: How to Be a Voice for the Voiceless

Posted by Stephen Wells, ALDF's Executive Director on November 7, 2013

This Election, the Animal Legal Defense Fund is hosting a week of action regarding the Animal Bill of Rights. One of the most powerful ways to lend your voice to the cause of animal rights is to speak up for animals in public forums. Writing “Letters to the Editor” is a great way to do that.

For example, in September USA Today published a letter I wrote on the potential nightmare of antibiotic-resistant bacteria spreading through factory farms. And I am a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, on topics like betrayals by the American Kennel Club, our landmark “ag gag” lawsuit against the state of Utah,  and “greenwashing” by Tyson Foods, Inc.

Opinion pages are one of the most widely read sections of newspapers. If you don’t think the issue of animal abuse is getting sufficient coverage in your local paper, or if you want to applaud a particular reporter for going in-depth to cover a case of animal cruelty, a letter to the editor is a great way to do it.

Let your community know how they can join the campaign to fight animal abuse and to honor animal victims with a clear, concise, letter to the editor. These letters are short by design, so keep it brief, respectful, and focused. If you are responding to a recent news item, you will be more successful. Explain the problem in 100-150 words, and offer a solution. You can also refer readers to ALDF for more information by directing them to our website at ALDF.org. In this week’s case, we’d love for you to tell your community how to sign the Animal Bill of Rights, and why establishing animal rights is so important to safeguarding their interests within the legal system. Help us reach one million signatures!

ALDF’s website makes it easy to write your own letter to the editor with just a few clicks.

  1. Go to the “Letter to the Editor” section of ALDF.org to locate your local newspapers.
  2. Draft a personalized letter to the editor, using talking points provided by ALDF.
  3. Provide your contact information–the editorial page will need this to run your letter.
  4. If your letter is published, email the link to info@aldf.org, or mail a hard copy to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, 170 East Cotati Ave, Cotati, CA 94931. Include your name and address along with the copy of your published letter to the editor.

If your letter is published, we’ll send you an ALDF prize pack, including a tote bag!

Don’t just read the news… make it!


11 thoughts on “Legally Brief: How to Be a Voice for the Voiceless

  1. Luca says:

    Whwhat you do for the animals its very good.. ..respect and protect all creatures !

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Animal’s have a right to be safe from any harm and neglect!

  3. Virginia H. Holden, Esq. says:

    You said it well: “Deprived of legal protection, animals are defenseless against exploitation and abuse by humans.” We are their greatest enemy. More and more, science proves that animals have feelings, emotions and intelligence – some forms of which we human animals are not able to explain or understand. We have a moral obligation to respect, to protect and to help – not to exploit and negate the very essence of – all our fellow animals. We need to do much better.

    1. Belle says:

      Virginia, I think your comment was very eloquent and perfectly sums up what we are doing to our fellow animals. I feel the exact same way. I’m horrified at recently learning what our government allows , especially in factory farming. I am committed to working to change things.

  4. Jamie K says:

    Please keep animals safe from harm, they deserve to be treated humanely!

  5. Carlene Ridenour says:

    ALL animals have the right to have laws to protect them from abuse, neglect and bad treatment.

  6. Sandra Stoltz says:

    Animals deserve our love and protection.
    People who do evil acts towards animals need to be punished to the highest extent of the law.

  7. Rita says:

    I spoke out on a public online forum, years ago, to protest conditions at a PA cat sanctuary. The sanctuary’s lawyer slapped me with a ‘cease and desist’ letter under threat of a lawsuit. What can one do in that situation?

  8. mara koorse says:

    I have been an animal activist since the 70′s and supporter of ALDF since its inception. ALDF is the only representation against BIG CORPORATIONS and runaway government favors the animals have. Since I began raising my voice for animals I notice that it is like quicksand; not only have exploitative industries been flourishing, cruel unnecessary experimentation continuing, but the once highly moral American family has mutated and produced millions of unfeeling gleeful abusers! The icing on the cake is how our Government has actually been lending a hand in getting ranchers, farming, lumber, big oil and the NRA comfortably entrenched to rape and pillage our precious wildlife treasure! I believe this is widely unknown and should never be tolerated. Somehow everything has gotten out of control. Why do politicians turn apathetic faces away from the pleas of our letters to help wildlife? We have at least, a 5,000 strong Facebook rescue community. Why is Facebook trying to shut us down? We desperately need legal representation, as none of us SPAM while contacting each other to save shelter animals and support causes. Why is the media (thank God for Jane Velez Mitchell!!) so silent…except when they can report a pit bull bite or a dog shot by police? Where are they for the MILLIONS of animals abandoned by mindless cretins to die in shelters run by indifferent (and of questionable motives) cities? Where are their stories that I KNOW must be cropping up EVERY SINGLE DAY, yet they drop one here and there like flicking away a fly? Our best ammunition is the public. There are still good people out there. We must inspire them to step out of their comfort zone, break the silence and demand change in protection laws, penalties for abuse and abandonment, violation of “people’s trust”, disclosure and prosecution of violators including highly paid City, State and Federal officials!

    1. Belle says:

      I completely agree with you Mara. I think it’s up to us, the ones who really care, to become activists and work to make a difference. One day the public will come around, but it won’t be soon enough.

  9. maria mellado says:

    I am glad there are people who fights against animal abuse…we have to add also as an abuser city governments or municipalities that want to take away the right of pet owners to live with their dogs

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