Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Richard Walsh-Bowers

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This thesis begins with an overview of some published works concerning oppression, its alleviation and the interconnectedness of its various forms, as they relate to the diverse area which is loosely referred to as ‘animal rights’. In general terms, the ultimate goal of choosing to do this thesis in the area of animal rights is to further the defence of nonhuman animals. The purpose of this specific project is to document, compare, and contrast a range of examples of the process of changing relationships and becoming an advocate for other animals. These examples, the experiences and life stories of five members of an animal rights group were shared through in-depth, semi-structured, conversational-style interviews. Because animal advocates come from all walks of life, yet are so often stereotyped, this project does not involve a representative sample from which one expects findings that can be generalized to the larger population (e.g., the ‘typical’ animal advocate). On the contrary, the focus is particular, diverse examples. The project was carried out in collaboration with members of an informal, local-level animal rights group to which I belong. All interview participants were also Research Advisory Committee (RAC) members and were involved in guiding this project from its earliest beginnings of choosing a topic within the area of animal rights. While the experiences and process of change were unique to each individual, similarities were found regarding the direction and on-going nature of change, and its positive, pervasive impact on their lives. Many benefits were derived from the participants’ efforts to recall and reflect on their own life stories, suggesting that such a formal undertaking might benefit others as well. I conclude the thesis with a discussion of some relevant works from the literature and an outline of plans for utilization of the findings.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season