PANEL: Mainstreaming Our Movement: From Special Interest to General Interest


Rebecca Aldworth, Executive Director, Humane Society International Canada
Other panelists TBA

Public opinion polling proves that Canadians overwhelmingly support the animal protection movement’s objectives. Yet, some animal use interest groups have sought to marginalize and isolate our movement, representing it as a fringe cause. Our challenge is to build bridges and find common ground with powerful sectors in our society, demonstrating that animal protection is a mainstream, shared societal concern we must advance together. In this panel, representatives from the corporate, political, religious and non-governmental sectors will discuss strategies for broadening and strengthening our movement to achieve lasting victories for animals in Canada.


  1. Better understand the motivations and techniques of our opponents in marginalizing animal protection ideology.
  2. Gain an appreciation of the many powerful sectors that share our goals and the key opportunities for coalition building.
  3. Learn the importance of broadening our reach and bringing the mainstream into our movement.

Rebecca Aldworth is the executive director of Humane Society International Canada. For 18 years, she has been a firsthand observer of Canada's commercial seal hunt, escorting more than 100 scientists, parliamentarians and journalists to the ice floes to witness the killing. She has testified extensively before international government committees in support of prohibitions on seal product trade and has published multiple articles and reports on the welfare, economic and environmental aspects of commercial sealing. She is a recipient of the 2004 Jean Taymans award for animal welfare and, in 2006, was named one of nine Eco Heroes by Alternet. In 2011, she was named Activist of the Year in the Canadian Empathy Awards.