all started in 1975, when an author named Peter Singer traveled to Hawaii
to speak about his new book, Animal Liberation. Inspired by Singers work,
a small group formed to work on animal issues, in affiliation with a national
animal-protection group. Very quickly, however, the small group realized that
it wanted autonomy, and one of the most well-respected and proactive grassroots
animal liberation organizations was born: Animal Rights Hawaii.
Goeggel, president of Animal Rights Hawaii (ARH), is one of the founding
members. Cathy remembers a time when Beauty Without Cruelty was the only
source of cruelty-free personal care products, a vegetarian meal on [United Airlines]
was an apple, and the only non-leather shoes available were rubber slippers.
And although times have changed in many respects, ARH continues to spearhead campaigns
that raise awareness in the community and demand liberation for animals on the
Melissa Rosenberger and Dan, relative newbies to the
group, are determined to make just as many waves as the more experienced ARH activists.
Recruited at an event where ARH was tabling, Melissa and Dan had little prior
experience with animal rights groups but have found ARH to be very welcoming.
ARH has some of the kindest, most sincere and humble people we have
ever come into contact with, Melissa told No Compromise.
Hawaii has a board of directors that meets bi-monthly. They recruit their
members through a variety of means: tabling, a weekly public access television
show and school education programs.
The reputation Animal Rights Hawaii
has built over the years is impeccable. ARH has become a safe haven for those
working in animal industries who want to come forward to help expose the abuses
they face every day. They trust in ARH to never reveal their identities. They
are the first stop for media who want comments on animal issues.
have established ourselves as honest and thorough, and we check our facts,
ARHs primary focus as of late has been on promoting veganism
and opposing animal agriculture. In addition to factory farming issues, they have
also defended feral animals by opposing snares, poisons and other cruel population
controls. Members of ARH regularly speak on behalf of animals imprisoned in zoos,
marine parks and labs as well, by working on both local campaigns
and (when there is a target in Hawaii) participating in campaigns that are
active on the mainland.
aspect of our work here, of which I am very proud, is our research & investigation.
We have exposed massive violations at the labs at the University of Hawaii;
our investigation of abuses at Molokai Ranch was followed by the Ranch closing
its safari park. Our probe of the Maui Zoo hastened its closure, says Cathy
of ARHs accomplishments. We are currently scrutinizing the government
support of the livestock industry and the horrible cruelty committed by government
agencies in the name of endangered species conservation.
groups, Animal Rights Hawaii is always trying to seek out more money and
more people. Unfortunately, because of its somewhat isolated location, it doesnt
have the advantage of being able to rely on large numbers of activists from other
areas to attend events. And they still face the same problems that are plaguing
many groups, especially in terms of governmental repression.
Hawaii is about as close as you get to a police state; in fact, it is the
only state that has ever been under Marshall Law (after Pearl Harbor), states
Melissa. We have an astronomical amount of military presence, which often
brings major aggression at tabling events. It takes three hours to drive the circumference
of the island, and there are well over ten military bases.
these hardships, however, Animal Rights Hawaii continues to battle for animal
When Cathy was asked what she would like people to know about ARH,
she offered this: We are a small group we have no office; we are
all volunteers; we have taken on government agencies, multi-national corporations;
we have litigated against the circus industry, the local meat industry and others.
We dont win often, but we are a force with which to be reckoned.
Rights Hawaii has been a major force in the movement for animal liberation
for over a quarter of a century. Heres to another twenty-five.