For decades, PETA has been using campaigns and other actions to spread awareness of cruelty to animals, pushing for legislative changes, and helping win recognition of animal rights as an important social justice issue. Our goal is to help animals and persuade people around the world to adopt a cruelty-free lifestyle. PETA does not have affiliates or employees in most countries, so existing PETA offices try their best to support the animal rights work in countries located in their geographical proximity. PETA Germany supervises the group’s cooperation with countries located in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2017, we created the Year of Change grantee programme for projects developed in these geographical areas in order to support them in establishing sustainable animal rights work as well as to foster cooperation between PETA and other organisations.
We have been gratified to see that in recent years, more and more animal advocacy groups have been emerging throughout the world, especially in Eastern Europe. Bans are being passed on various animal agriculture practices (such as fur farming) in countries in Western Europe, so many businesses are moving their production farther east, where such bans have not yet been put in place. This and other factors have made countries in Eastern Europe a popular spot for animal-exploiting industries.
It’s wonderful that effective and professional animal rights groups have emerged – they’ve been successful in not only taking a stand against animal exploitation in its various forms but also actively informing the public about animal-friendly choices and promoting a cruelty-free lifestyle. In some of these countries, the organisations have achieved important bans on abusive and exploitative practises and other victories – so that the countries have become some of the first in Europe to vote on and implement animal-friendly changes.
We are also aware of the many difficulties and obstacles that Eastern European groups face. This is why we decided to launch our Year of Change programme – the first initiative of its kind, aimed solely at supporting the development of animal advocacy groups in the region. By funding this work, we aim to encourage the development of more and more successful organisations, thereby creating a better future for animals across all borders, all around the world.