Grassroots groups are vital to our movement, something I've known since my earliest days of on-the-ground activism during college. But even then, while hosting educational events and organizing demonstrations, I held the view that the most important element needed for the success of the animal protection cause was to have a large, powerful organization that could help unite the disparate strands within our field and drive results from lawmakers, the courts, and business leaders. The HSUS is that group, and there's never been an organization quite like it, getting results and engaging millions of members and other supporters who are working collectively to secure tangible gains for animals.
Our movement is rich with devoted, self-sacrificing advocates doing remarkable work in their communities. But it is critical that our movement, while never forgetting the individual animal in need, also attack the root causes of problems, so that animals are not put into a situation of distress in the first place. In today's blog, I provide a rundown of the issues that captured the most public and press attention in 2014 – propelled by an organization with the muscle and knowhow to turn ideas into practical reforms.