I've seen the animal-focused work in EA been framed as "animal welfare" and as "animal advocacy". For example, lots of the animal-related posts on the EA Forum are tagged "Animal Welfare" and/or "Effective animal advocacy", the latter being a commonly used term to refer to the animal-focused work in EA.
I imagine there to be pros and cons to using each of the two terms:
- "Animal welfare" may be a less accurate description of what EA animal-focused work does, since there's a significant portion of it (e.g. alternative protein, vegan advocacy) that doesn't focus on improving welfare. Using this term may risk alienating those who don't agree with welfarism. However, animal welfare is more mainstream, and thus meets less objection from the wider society.
- "Animal advocacy" encompasses welfarism, abolitionism, and other approaches that don't fall into either category (e.g. promoting reducetarianism). Therefore, it seems more accurate and less alienating. But due to the inclusion of abolitionism, it may be less accepted by the mainstream of society.
Note that it's not only (or even, not mainly) about making our work look better. Different framings may turn away different groups of people who would otherwise join our effort. Therefore, a better framing could make our work done better.
Finally, my questions are:
- Are there other considerations regarding which term to use?
- Which one of the two should EA use, and on which occasions?
- In particular, the EA Forum (and some other major EA websites) currently uses "animal welfare" more than "animal advocacy", for example in the naming of the core topic tag; should that be changed?
- Is there a third term that's better than both of them?