FAERSA (Fellowship for Animal Ethics Reform in Southern Africa) is a forum for discussion of animal ethics issues and development of solutions as well as implementation strategies in the context of Southern Africa.
It is a Fellowship: a “community of interest, activity, feeling, or experience”
We think that those who love non-human animals have more reasons to engage with one another than reasons not to do so, especially given the challenges facing the animal community. All too often, there are serious divisions and these are created by social and organisational affiliations in most cases; in some cases the dividing line is ideology but rarely on the basis of a rational engagement with the principles underlying beliefs and practices – people tend to defend ideologies based on historical association rather than pragmatic principles.
The starting point of engagement is recognising that nobody is perfect; that everything is debatable and therefore negotiable; and that there is significant utility in including all those with interests in non-human animals in the conversation. Exclusion and isolation do not lead to sustainable solutions.
Solutions are the intended outcome of the discussions in this forum – there is no point in intellectual discourse unless viable, pragmatic, plans can be developed and implemented, with the necessary resources allocated.
The intent of this fellowship is to focus on
Principles: The values underlying animal sector policies and practices, which includes legislation and policing. Are there beliefs still extant that have overstayed their welcome, that have no scientific or logical justification, and yet still serve to influence policies and practices? Are there new principles that should underpin animal community attitudes and actions?
Policies: What policies are in place in the animal sector that are counter-productive? What policies should be in place, and if they were, would they have the effect of enhancing the lives of the animals for which we are responsible?
Practices: What are the actual practices, notwithstanding the existing policies, which may result in ‘workabouts’ because people secretly don’t agree with them or cannot see their practical value, leading to conflicts and disharmony.
We believe that who prefer to ‘do their own thing’, those who think they are the “Bosses” of animal issues in SA, and those who think they stand on the ‘moral higher ground’ with regard to animal practices, are mistaken. All of these separate and isolate themselves rather than work with others to create a better future.
We think the benefits of collaboration and coordination with a view to establishing a cohesive and coherent vision and mission outweigh the need for individual ego expression or organisational affiliation.
This is also not a place to target and criticise other organisations or persons. There are “good” people in “bad” organisations and “bad” people in “good” ones; this also applies to ideologies.
Anyone who has the interests of the animals at heart and is willing to contribute in a rational manner to creating a better world for the animals is welcome here.