Working to protect the rights, welfare and habitats of animals.
Founded in 1983 by Dr. Elliot Katz DVM, In Defense of Animals is an international animal rights and rescue organization dedicated to protecting the rights, welfare and habitats of animals.
We are supported by a network of tens of thousands of determined activists, dedicated volunteers, interns and donors. We work to expose and end animal experimentation; protect wildlife and restore balance in their natural habitats; end the exploitation and abuse of wild species living in captivity, protect domestic and wild species worldwide from abuse and slaughter for food, conduct cruelty investigations and rescue operations, and provide veterinary care for sick, abused and orphaned animals in our natural habitat sanctuaries.
FIGHTING APATHY, BUILDING EMPATHY: In Defense of Animals works to educate the public to fight apathy, build empathy and take concrete action to end all forms of animal exploitation worldwide. We work to ensure that decisions made involving animals, from the legislative level to the dinner table, are made with consideration of their needs and interests.
We seek to redefine the role of animals in society on local, national and international levels by elevating human perception of animals from that of mere property, objects and things, to that where animals are recognized to be individuals, with feelings, needs and interests of their own. Through our work to inspire and shift the way people think about non-human beings, we believe a positive change will result in the way people treat them today and in the future.
Animal Rights and In Defense of Animals
Humans and other animals share many similarities, despite our differences in appearance, forms of communication and ways of living. As feeling beings, we are united by our desires to seek pleasure and enjoyment, and to avoid pain and suffering.
When we speak of animal rights, we are not referring to political rights or rights that we presume to bestow as the dominant species on Earth.
The rights of animals are birthrights, similar to those we claim for ourselves—the right to live our lives free of subjugation and institutionalized violence, where the random and special joys of being alive can be experienced.
The Golden Rule is not a ‘do-gooders’ slogan. We need to treat others as we want to be treated not only for their sake, but also because our own good is interwoven with the good of others, including other species. Animal Rights and Human Rights are linked at their core, because how we treat those most affected by our actions is the best reflection of who we are as a species. We must strive to do right when our actions, needs and interests intersect with those of other species.
IDA is unwavering in our promotion of actions that support doing right for animals and their interests, and our opposition to doing what is wrong, harmful or malicious.