Legally Brief: How to Be a Voice for the VoicelessPosted 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.
- Go to the “Letter to the Editor” section of ALDF.org to locate your local newspapers.
- Draft a personalized letter to the editor, using talking points provided by ALDF.
- Provide your contact information–the editorial page will need this to run your letter.
- If your letter is published, email the link to firstname.lastname@example.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!