I recently finished reading the book “Jonkun on uskallettava katsoa: Animalian puoli vuosisataa” (“Someone has to dare to look: the half century of Animalia”) by Tiia Aarnipuu (2011), which depicts the history of Finland’s biggest animal protection organization, Animalia. At the same time it also gives a picture of Finnish animal protection and animal rights history in general.
For me, who is still relatively new in the animal advocacy movement, reading the history behind it is both interesting and gives me a better understanding of the situation we are in now. I appreciate more the work that has been done for the animals long before I was even born; the struggles that the organizations and individual animal advocates have gone through during the years, and the victories that have been celebrated. As in every other movement, knowing the history is very important if you want to be able to move forward.
Some important happenings in the Finnish animal advocacy history, based on the book, include:
- 1901 – the foundation of Uudenmaan Eläinsuojeluyhdistys, today SEY (Suomen Eläinsuojeluyhdistys)
- 1961 – the foundation of what later became Animalia
- 1971 – the foundation of the Juliana von Went Fund for Research Without Animal Experiments
- 1991 – Peter Singer’s book “Animal Liberation” was first published in Finnish
- 1995 – the foundation of Oikeutta Eläimille
Another interesting book, which depicts the rise of the new animal rights movement in Finland in the 1990’s, and the creation of the animal rights organization Oikeutta Eläimille, is “Ulos häkeistä! Kaksi näkökulmaa uuden eläinliikkeen sisältä” (“Out of the cages! Two perspectives from inside the new animal movement”) by Salla Tuomivaara and Joni Purmonen (1998).
Are there any other good books on the history of animal advocacy – especially in other countries – that you would recommend?