A maned lion, released by Born Free, pauses to look at the camera person after exiting his transport crate.

In a March 2, 2000, press release from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) entitled, "VICTORY! IFAW Applauds Decision by Mexico and Mitsubishi to End Baja Salt Plant Project," Joel Reynolds, senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), said:

This is a major victory for IFAW, NRDC and our millions of supporters around the world and shows what motivated people can do in the face of an horrendous environmental threat. It also shows that new models of activism, using the Internet, to get the unfiltered truth to environmentally concerned citizens can work.

According to IFAW, Mitsubishi Corporation had planned to build the world's largest salt plant at Laguna San Ignacio, in Baja California Sur, Mexico, which IFAW said, "is the last pristine breeding ground of the California Gray Whale and home to numerous other endangered plant and animal species."

Response to animal and environmental groups' calls to help stop the plant were tremendous. IFAW said:

More than a million people wrote to Mitsubishi to protest the salt plant. More than 40 California cities passed resolutions against the proposed project and 15 mutual funds played a critical role in persuading Mitsubishi to cancel the plant. More than 30 leading scientists and a coalition of environmental organizations, including more than 50 in Mexico, have shown that a united effort can produce this sort of landmark result. (VICTORY!)

As Reynolds said, that result was facilitated by online communication.

Other animal welfare organizations are making use of the Internet to take action at international, as well as local levels. In April 2000, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) used its Web site to urge the public to protest the World Trade Organization (WTO), at a Washington Rally. According to HSUS' web site:

There is now a campaign to include China in the WTO and offer the country Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status, which would eliminate annual congressional review of China’s animal and environmental protections. These changes would also encourage U.S. companies to relocate production to China to evade U.S. environmental, animal welfare, and labor laws. China has few animal protection laws, and they are poorly enforced.

HSUS even invited protesters to reserve sea turtle costumes for the event, via e-mail. (Come)

HSUS promotes activism for many animal-related causes online in several ways. One direct way to urge action, HUMANElines, is an e-mail listserve that sends subscribing activists weekly news and information about they can help animals in urgent situations. (HUMANElines)

HUMANElines' student version, I-CAAN (Inter-Campus Animal Advocacy Network), is another HSUS project, networking college and high school student-activists. Through I-CAAN, young people can share ideas and strategies, recruit members and carry out campaigns. (Join)




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