In your concern for animals, you are not alone. Nationwide Mutual Insurance, an industry giant, recently conducted a survey among a sample of Americans and asked them to rate the social causes they consider most important. Concern for animals came in second, behind children's and youth causes and ahead of concern for education, seniors and the environment (you can see the full list here). The results are stunning, and affirm the powerful bond Americans have toward animals and their emerging status in our culture.
A separate survey, by a food industry group, asked restaurant goers to list the five social issues of most importance to them. Results included the environment, minimum wage, sweatshops and corporate giving. Here, animal welfare placed third, behind health insurance and paying people a living wage, but again ahead of the environment.
Most Americans love animals, and they do not countenance cruelty. There's no question in my mind that social concern for animals is building, especially among young people.
Our job at The Humane Society of the United States is to foster appreciation for animals and to harness and direct this affection and appreciation in order to achieve changes in the law, corporate behavior, philanthropy, dietary choices and other personal behavior.
These survey results make it plain that the public is ready for our message. Please help us package and deliver that message. I promise you the yield—measured in terms of suffering reduced or prevented—will be dramatic.