The Animal Rights movement has two goals; one is short term, the other is long term.
Our short term goal is the alleviation and prevention of suffering of animals in the here and now. Our long term goal is to secure for animals the rights not to be enslaved, exploited, or murdered. Most everything we do on a day to day basis is in service of our short term goal. We rescue, we work to pass legislation which will eliminate cruelty, we engage in demos and direct action, we impact corporate and public policies, we educate, proselytize, and organize.
Working toward our long term goal is almost exclusively a function of education. Animal Rights will only be secured when we have a political climate receptive to the concept and our numbers have reached a critical mass sufficient to ignite and sustain a political drive powerful enough to ensure the adoption of Animal Rights by whatever government is then extant.
To achieve our long term goal I believe we need a socialist government in place. A capitalist one will not allow animals more deference than profits, and capitalist governments have proven their hostility to both animal rights and animal welfare.
Our long term goal is truly long term. It won’t be realized in our lifetimes, perhaps not for centuries. Our short term goal similarly requires a receptive political atmosphere. In the US the political choice is between Conservative Republicans and Democrats. Democrats, unfortunately, are not all Liberals, but Republicans are exclusively Conservatives. And Conservatives are the enemies of all we do in the Animal Rights movement. Local city and county Conservatives oppose no-kill shelters, bans on pet shop animal sales, mandatory free spaying and neutering, neutering and release; at the state level, they are advocating new horse slaughterhouses, wolf and bear hunts, opposition to bans on puppy mills, etc.
At the national level, Conservatives carry water for the slaughter industries, environmental polluters, loggers, coal and oil companies. They oppose the Environmental Protection Agency and the listing of endangered species. The favor wolf kills, Mustang roundups, the killing agenda of the infamous Wildlife Services, a wholly owned government subsidiary of the cattle industry. Conservative politicians are the enemies of animals, even if our Conservative friends don’t know it!
Like every social movement in history, ours is a political one. And we cannot win protection for animals, or ever achieve rights for animals, without winning their political struggles. And both short term and long term, that means the success of the political Left.