About ARI | Farm Animals | Action Alerts | European Farm Laws | ARI Campaigns | Henry Spira

ARI grew around a simple concept: making the public aware of animal suffering is not enough. By turning words into action, real change is possible and animal suffering can be measurably reduced.

ARI was the first organization in the modern era to achieve an animal rights victory and it has remained one of the most successful in bringing about genuine structural change.

ARI was founded in 1974 by the late Henry Spira, after he attended a course on “Animal Liberation” given by Peter Singer at New York University. At that time decades of loud protest by animal protectionists had achieved nothing. In fact, the numbers of animals used in research during the previous 50 years had climbed steadily from thousands into the tens of millions. If a modern animal rights movement was to grow and move forward, a victory was a fundamental and psychological necessity.

ARI achieved this unprecedented victory in 1976 when, after a twenty month campaign, New York’s American Museum of Natural History shut down a series of experiments involving the mutilation of cats. Subsequent campaigns halted Amnesty International's torture of pigs for research purposes and reversed New York State’s Pound Seizure Law. In 1979, with growing credibility, ARI took on the Draize rabbit blinding test with a campaign targeting Revlon—one which has led to a worldwide adoption of non-animal tests in the cosmetic industry and the common availability of “cruelty free” products.

Campaigning by ARI led corporations, organizations and the US Government to reject the classic LD50. By 1983, the Director of the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) wrote to ARI saying that the classic LD50 “is now an anachronism…the NTP does not use the LD50.”

In the eighties, ARI broadened its focus to address the institutionalized abuse of billions of animals factory farmed in the US each year. Campaigns against the shackling and hoisting of large animals during slaughter have resulted in the virtual phase out of this cruel practise in the US.

ARI's 1994 campaign to halt the US government’s face branding of cattle resulted in more than 12,000 letters to the Secretary of Agriculture and over a thousand phone calls to his office in two days. As a result, USDA abolished all face branding of animals in the US.

ARI seeks to reduce animal suffering by reducing the consumption of animal products, as well as by refining animal agriculture methods. In 1996, in an effort to broaden the scope of this philosophy, ARI approached Johns Hopkins School of Public Health with a proposal for a center to address and solve problems created by the close linkages between meat-eating, factory farming and such social ills as poor public health, world hunger and environmental destruction. In 1997, Johns Hopkins created
The Center for a Livable Future which brings an interdisciplinary approach to these and other problems. The center will be a credible voice in making the argument for a diet low in animal products.

For a fuller account of ARI's history, click here.

Farm Animals | Action Alerts | European Farm Laws | ARI Campaigns | Henry Spira