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The Animal Activism of Henry Spira (1927-1998)

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This paper profiles the animal activism of the late American animal activist Henry Spira, whose campaign strategies and tactics suggest a number of links with the nineteenth century pioneers of animal protection as well as with approaches favored by contemporary animal activists. However, the article argues that Spira's style of animal advocacy differed from conventional approaches in the mainstream animal movement in that he preferred to work with, rather than against, animal user industries. To this end, he pioneered the use of "reintegrative shaming" (J. Braithwaite, 1989) in animal protection, an accommodation strategy that relied on moralizing with opponents as opposed to the more common approach in animal advocacy of adversarial vilification, and hence, disintegrative shaming. The article describes the framing of some of Spira's best-known anti-cruelty campaigns and his use of reintegrative shaming to induce animal users to change their ways.


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