SPA Canada – Who Are We?
The Society for the Protection of Animals (SPA) Canada is the largest Canadian non-profit organization dedicated to creating awareness and educating people on respecting animals.
SPA Canada is definitively an Animal Rights organization just like PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), HSUS (The Humane Society of the United States) and HSI (Humane Society International). We are not an animal shelter, it’s not our mission to find homes for unwanted pets.
We believe we can eradicate animal cruelty at the root of the problem instead of perpetuating animal welfare help to animals in the systems that abuse them.
We support current laws and regulations prohibiting rodeos, horse racing, circuses, hunting, scientific research on animals, livestock farming, zoos, marine parks, breeding of purebreds and any use of animals for industrial purposes, entertainment, sport or recreation.
We believe in the diversity of tactics to overcome animal cruelty and therefore the need to take care of animals that are prisoners of the current system. However, the long-term solution lies in animal rights and that is the position we choose to take on behalf of animals.
Animal Rights vs. Animal Welfare
ANIMAL WELFARE theories accept that animals have interests but allow these interests to be traded away as long as there are some human benefits that are thought to justify that sacrifice.
ANIMAL RIGHTS means that animals, like humans, have interests that cannot be sacrificed or traded away just because it might benefit others. However, the animal rights position does not hold that rights are absolute; an animal’s rights, just like those of humans, must be limited, and rights can certainly conflict. Animal rights means that animals are not ours to use for food, clothing, entertainment, or experimentation. Animal welfare allows these uses as long as “humane” guidelines are followed.
SPA Canada relies on a set of values that are at the heart of our strategic approach and that help us achieve our mission. The following core values guide each of our actions and guide our day-to-day decision-making.
Antispecism is a way of thinking that refuses the domination of man over animals. Animals have a capacity for suffering, have emotional reactions, value their lives and live according to a social organization peculiar to their species. SPA Canada wants animals to be respected as equals with humans, and that there be harmony between our different species so that all can live according to their needs.
Veganism is an important value for the SPA Canada because it is the action that has the greatest positive impact in helping animals. Today, there are a multitude of ethical options for food, clothing, entertainment, household products and cosmetics. The SPA Canada is undeniably an essential resource to be informed on all subjects relating to veganism and it is our duty to transmit this knowledge to the public.
Even today, animals are categorized according to the use that humans make of them and are thus treated and protected differently according to their species. They are also seen as beings that belong to us and are exploited in many ways: agriculture, science, fur, fashion, entertainment and pets. To get rid of these ideas, SPA Canada is working to change the mindset of Canadians about this reality. Our goal is to decompartmentalize their minds to make them understand that this banality is not normal in the perspective of protecting all animal species in an equal manner.
An animal ethic is essential for SPA Canada. Its ultimate goal is to change the current society’s behaviour towards animals to achieve better coexistence and to include animal rights in a move towards a more balanced morality.
SPA Canada is not supported by any party and does not support any. This independence is essential to launch objective messages free from any political bias. However, given its mission, the Society enters into dialogue and / or collaborates with political authorities at all levels to inform them of problems, submit petitions, and to propose projects, solutions and actions.
On the Field!
SPA Canada has always advocated direct contact to raise awareness and mobilize the public. Focusing most of its time to organizing events, media stunts, fun educational events and in the past, managing public awareness teams, SPA Canada believes that human contact and our availability and ease of direct approach have a great impact as factors of change of mentality.
The founders of the organization have come to realize that no Canadian organization has as its main mission the advancement of legislation for animal rights and public education; therefore the SPA Canada wanted to fill this gap. This idea completes the mission of many Canadian shelters essential for animals.
Since its beginning SPA Canada has …
- Conducted investigations to reveal cases of injustice or cruelty towards animals;
- Had representatives available to raise awareness and mobilize the public on various topics related to the mission in the streets, festivals, concerts, etc.
- Organized volunteer days in animal shelters.
- Produced and distributed informational pamphlets.
- Developed educational websites.
- Intervened in the media during news events.
- Produced press releases
- Organized events and media stunts to get the public’s attention, especially the media to facilitate the diffusion of messages to better protect animals.
- Lobbied industries that use animals to change their practices.
- Mobilized the population through petitions or actions.
- Handled calls to answer questions from the public about animal issues. While discussing with them, we try to make them proactive to become actors of positive change in the situations for which they contact us. The SPA Canada hotline is a national reference system for Canadian citizens.
- Assisted people who called us to denounce a situation of animal cruelty or of a wild animal found in distress and referred them to the appropriate resources as needed.
- Promoted events and informative materials for animal rights on the web.
- Lent our premises and our material and financial resources to groups or individuals for animal rights for meetings and / or preparation of activities in connection with our Financial support program for animal rights grassroots projects.
- Hosted interns to assist with SPA Canada’s mission as part of our Internship Program for Students and Immigrants. All interns watch the documentary Earthlings or Dominion and participate in a discussion about animal rights. In addition to having a rewarding experience with SPA Canada, interns are sensitized to animal rights issues, issues often unknown to most of them.
- Welcomed community and compensatory work participants in partnership with the Department of Justice and the City of Montreal to assist with the mission of SPA Canada under our Compensatory and Community Assistance Program. All new participants must view the documentary Earthlings or Dominion and participate in a discussion about animal rights.
The SPA Canada’s mission is to promote respect for animals through education and awareness of political, economic, community and civil aspects about the following issues: ethics, public health and environmental impacts of the five main operating industries (agriculture, science, fashion, entertainment and domestic animals), to manage populations of different animal species or deal with any other human activity that may affect non-human animals. In addition, the agency also participates in the advancement of issues for human rights and environmental protection having an impact on animals.