About us

Animalia International is the English-speaking volunteer group within the animal rights organisation Animalia in Finland. We work to enhance the recognition of animal rights as well as to improve the status and the well-being of animals in our society. There are three main issues Animalia addresses: animals in experimentation, animals in factory farming, and animals in fur-farming. Our group is meeting in Helsinki about every 2 weeks, usually in Animalia’s headquarters near Pasila station. We are working in coordination with Animalia on some key events throughout the year and also organize our own fun and informative events: movie nights, cooking  evenings, lectures, book discussions. Our activities are only limited by our (and your) ideas.

If you would like to join us, send a request to join our Facebook group or send us an email: animaliainternational[at]animalia.fi.

A decalogue of what we believe in, stand for and take action about:

1) We believe that all animals, including humans, are different, special and therefore equal. The human being is NOT “more equal” than other animals.

2) We believe that the very only criterion on which ethical assumptions have to rely are the capacity of suffering and a manifest will to avoid it.
The species (or other taxonomic categories) one belongs to, the IQ, the practical needs of one’s life (unless empirically proved to be primary) are NEVER a good reason to inflict pain or cause death to anyone.
As humans, we started applying this very principle to our whole species, including women, infants, people with handicaps, and different ethnic groups.
We do not see any reason, neither ethical or scientific, why, after racism, sexism and else, we should not abolish all forms of speciesism too.

3) We believe that the daily human cruelty exercised on non-human animals, for all possible purposes, is the most uncivilized, cowardly and unjust action performed by modern society. We think there is no justification for it. Humankind cannot call themselves “civilized” as long as these repeated and systematic forms of violence are committed.

4) Although nearly all forms of human violence and exploitation on other animals can be avoided for a number of valid reasons that transcend animal rights (e.g., vegetarianism is ALSO a healthy choice; intesive farms are ALSO a very polluting activity…), we believe, and wish to make it clear, that our concern regards uncompromisingly the ETHICAL side of the issue. What we are against is the causing of pain and the killing of non-human animals, regardless of how beneficial that may or may not be for human beings.
Simply put, harming or killing non-human animals is NOT an option, period.

5) We believe that “violence” and “exploitation” are practices that human beings operate at the following levels:
a) physical: humans literally harm other animals in ways that may be temporary, permanent or letal, and that vary in degrees of (often gratuitous) cruelty.
b) psychological/emotional: humans reduce other animals to conditions that heavily alter their pyscho-emotional nature (e.g., inhibiting their social relations, destroying their self-confidence, provoking pathological behaviour…)
c) cognitive/linguistic: humans establish forms of “discourse” within their communities that encourage their perception of the two former levels as something acceptable, useful and just. In addition, such discourses shape an anti-scientific idea of other animals as non-sentient beings and individuals not worthy of dignity and respect.
As a group, we stand and act against ALL such practices.

6) We also believe that there are no hierarchies within these forms of violence and exploitation, and their specific applications (hunting, fur-farming, meat-eating, vivisection, etc.). It is our wish and goal to liberate our society from ALL of these practices. As a consequence, priorities in our actions are motivated EXCLUSIVELY by contingent factors (upcoming events, specific circumstances, etc.). Being a relatively small group, we can only operate in this manner.

7) We believe in legality and non-violence. We do not adhere (nor do we wish to be associated) to clandestine animal-rights groups of terroristic type. We believe that the spirit of animal rights and animal liberation has always been, and has to be, of pacifist type. In that sense, we are very proud to point out that notable animal right supporters and vegetarians in this and past epochs have in most cases been also supporters of peace and non-violence (see the cases of Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and many others).

8 ) In this sense, we believe in (and base our activities on) discussion, education, demonstrations, academic/scientific research, fundraising, campaigning, publications, boycotting and dialogue. For the same principle, our tactics are also completely non-invasive towards other animals: for example, we shall NEVER exhibit a non-human animal in a cage during a demonstration, even if that may result in an effective strategy for raising consciousness about zoos, farming, or else.

9) As a group of volunteers coming from different parts of the world and living in Finland, we believe in and follow the “Think globally, act locally” principle. Most of our actions will take place in Finland, and at the same time will have a global goal in mind.

10) Finally, we also believe and follow a principle we call “Think radically, act moderately”. Our ideal, as already specified, is the uncompromising abolition of all forms of violence and exploitation of non-human animals. However, we are aware that in this historical moment, addressing the issue in these terms may end up in failure, or even counterproductively.
Therefore, instead of opting for a “all or nothing” policy that most likely will lead to “nothing”, we prefer to achieve all what is possible to achieve, even if that will represent a very small (and almost unacceptable) portion of what we consider the real goal.
We think and do this with resignation and a degree of frustration, and we will always hope that humankind will instead come to senses and choose to become TRULY civilized and “humane”. We trust that this will happen sooner or later, exactly as it happened with racial, sexual and other forms of discrimination, but we are also aware that it will not happen today, nor tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.
That is why we opted for a realistic philosophy that will hopefully maximize our results and provide the most POSSIBLE benefit to our cause.
After all, we are not here to fight agaist windmills, but to do the best we can, and can be made, in order to help our fellow members of the Animal Kingdom.
With passion, compassion, and reason.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Tina on March 20, 2011 at 18:50

    Dario, I have to say once again how wonderfully you have written this decalogue of values. Thank you!

    Reply

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