Last approved by the Board of Directors on June 1, 2022. Originally created in 1998.
This document outlines the values that guide Compassionate Action for Animals in all of our efforts. They fall into three categories: Ethical, Organizational and Strategic.
Our ethical values are the cornerstone of our organization. We prioritize moral conduct in every step towards achieving our goals. Our mission, programs, and work style should always reflect the ethical values listed below.
Compassion for Animals
Non-human animals are deserving of respectful and compassionate treatment. They should be allowed to live their lives without being exploited for our purposes.
We believe that inclusivity and intersectionality are critically important to the animal protection movement. We recognize the interconnected nature of all forms of oppression and commit to building alliances with other social justice movements. We work to ensure that our advocacy for animals is intentionally anti-racist, environmentally sustainable, accessible to people of any age, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical ability or economic situation, and in alignment with other values that bring us closer to a just world.
We are committed to treating everyone, including opponents and other activists, with courtesy and respect. We will not engage in verbal or physical abuse, hostility, intimidation, or the destruction of others’ property.
We take responsibility for the accuracy of the information we present and the outcomes of our actions. Our commitment to integrity means that we will not use misinformation to further our cause, and that we will be open to new information even if it presents a challenge to our cause.
Our organizational values deal with those values which we believe are important to building a strong and cohesive organization capable of growing over time.
As an organization, we will always strive for consensus, and we will respect the voices of all of our volunteers and employees. We are committed to fostering equal opportunities for leadership and responsibility among our volunteers and employees.
We want to make CAA as welcoming as possible. This means being friendly and accessible to potential members and volunteers, and doing our best to make those new to CAA feel comfortable. We recognize that the people who make up our organization can make mistakes and will try to be patient and understanding as they happen.
It is important to us to use our volunteers’ time and donors’ contributions wisely. We will carefully track income and expenditures, budget cautiously, and be organized and effective with volunteers’ time. Additionally, we strive to be aware of societal, technological, and political changes, and will do our best to capitalize on these changes in the service of our mission.
Our strategic values are directives that help us decide what types of activism to pursue. Unlike the other two categories, we embrace these values because we believe that they make us more effective, and are willing to change them if we find that this is not the case.
Provide role models for change
Our image and reputation are important, as we are seen as representatives of the animal rights movement and the vegan population as a whole. We encourage others to move toward veganism, as opposed to taking an “all or nothing” stance. We believe this makes veganism more appealing and makes people more willing to listen to us.
Focus on factory farming
Because factory farming of animals for food is the cause of suffering for the greatest number of animals, we will focus our efforts here.
Focus on reducing consumption
We believe an effective strategy for reducing animal suffering is reducing demand for animal-based products. We will focus on the purchasers of products involving cruelty and attempt to move them toward a plant-based lifestyle.
We are proud of our grassroots origin and believe we can be most effective working within our own Minnesota community. We welcome wider reaching initiatives to expand our impact, but our primary focus is to build and strengthen our local connections.
We recognize the impact of partnering with other organizations and individuals that share similar goals. We find special value in working with organizations that promote veganism through a different lens, such as health or environmental reasons. Partnerships can allow our organization to more effectively implement an intersectional approach to justice as we inspire others to participate in our goals.
Consider long-term as well as short-term goals
The importance of a short-term reduction in animal suffering should not be ignored. However, long-term goals that would ensure greater future harm reduction are also important. We will strive to strike a balance between the long and short-term.