1998 is a breakthrough year for NAIA!
Eureka! In 1998 NAIA moved to a position of national leadership
By: Date: 12/31/1998 Category: | From the Offices of NAIA |
How do we know?
How do we know? We know, because during 1998 the number of incoming contacts and requests for information increased to more than an average of 300 per month. And we weren't just preaching to the choir. The calls and letters came from journalists, animal professionals, trade associations, educators, students, pet owners, dog trainers, lawyers, lawmakers and just everyday people who care about animals.
Some Fundamental Problems
One reason animal rights activists succeed in advancing their agenda is because they are able to get the various animal interest groups - research scientists, dog breeders, farmers, animal trainers, and others - to believe the worst about each other and therefore to distance themselves from each other. Naturally, we recognize lies told about ourselves, but strangely, many responsible and otherwise intelligent people uncritically accept the most damaging and flagrant lies that are told about others. Without first-hand knowledge of what others do, animal rights misinformation campaigns succeed. Once prejudices are established, getting the partisans to engage in mindless, moral one-upmanship and finger pointing is an easy next step. It also keeps the various animal-interest groups ignorant and isolated from one another and assures that the animal rights machine stays in charge of the agenda -- controlling public perception by framing (sensationalizing, and even fabricating) the issues and continuing to rake in the dough.
Recognizing that ignorance breeds narrow mindedness and intolerance, NAIA made education, diversity and inclusion primary objectives. We set out to examine prejudices, to learn if the foundations of our own individual and collective beliefs were genuine or based on trumped-up half truths that were originally sensationalized and exploited for fundraising purposes. To overcome prejudices so we could focus on solving real problems, NAIA members agreed to define themselves by the values they shared rather than dwelling on the ones that divided them. NAIA's first board of directors was comprised of a research scientist, a dog breeder and a retail furrier.
Representing an entirely new type of animal welfare organization, NAIA faced unusual organizational challenges and obstacles: opposition from extremist groups, prejudice among animal interest groups, confusion about complex issues, and at times even competition from trade groups concerned more with turf than doing the right thing.
If you build it, they will come
But no more! Today NAIA's constituency spans the globe and includes urban and rural, academic and lay, scientific and practical, business and hobby interests. There is no other group like ours in the US. We've met the challenges and overcome the barriers that slowed our progress initially. The diversity of membership is now an organizational strength. Our scope, once a challenge to our focus and direction, is now a political strength. Our commitment to the factual portrayal of controversial animal issues has earned us the kind of credibility with the public and media that is impossible to achieve by short-term strategies aimed at fundraising. We're on our way. Despite difficulties, we remained true to our ideals. And guess what: the political correctness of last year is out the door this year, but we're still standing. We're the real thing, and it shows.
Integrity is our stock in trade.Our newspaper is superb; our award-winning website grows more popular with each passing week; our national conferences draw rave reviews and wonderful media coverage; and educators, media and policy makers routinely call on NAIA for the facts about animal use. Most important, a glance at our roster shows a line-up of members who are among the most respected people in their fields, people of vision and proven integrity. To all of you from all of us at NAIA, thank you for sticking with us during the hard times. The best is yet to come! Happy 1999!
It's time to say thanks!
NAIA has a talented and dedicated workforce! Today we deliver the latest information about animals in all phases of society, helping to improve and preserve the many wonderful and historic relationships people have maintained with animals down through the ages. The people laboring in NAIA's trenches day-in and day-out are: Norma Woolf, NAIA News Editor: Shirley Landa, NAIA National Research Director; Leita Estes, Conference Director; Jane Garvin, NAIA's accountant; Adrian Morrison, DVM, PhD, NAIA President; our newest staff member, Patti Webb, Director of Education; and finally, yours truly, Patti Strand, NAIA National Director.
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