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Careers in animal welfare/ rights...

1 - 9 of 9 posts

Cate. Cate. NSW Posts: 1
1 16 Mar 2011
I am currently studying architecture at uni, and I am enjoying it. But I was thinking the other day about what I am passionate about.. and they only thing I am really passionate about is animal rights/ veganism. Then I was thinking about how I wish there was a degree I could do about animal welfare...
which got me thinking what careers you could have involving animal rights and welfare. A lot of it seems to be voluntary, but Animals Australia and PETA and stuff must have people working for them who are full time and being paid (even a modest salary, I just want to make a difference!!)
I don't want to be a lawyer, or a vet... What could I do that would make a big difference for my animal friends? I am very happy to be an architect, I am planning on designing really super sustainable and eco friendly buildings... and doing animal rights stuff on the side. But I would love to dedicate my life to it if I could.

Alyssa Alyssa VIC Posts: 296
2 16 Mar 2011
I wonder about this all the time! It seems like the only career I would ever really "enjoy". Even a career with human NGOs is appealing. No idea about what skills etc you need though.

Jacqui T Jacqui T NSW Posts: 796
3 16 Mar 2011
You can do courses to become park rangers, or work at the WIRES call centre to take rescue calls (don't need to go to uni and you're helping)

Its hard with welfare because usually you have to start by volunteering to get the job and when you get that job you hold onto it for aslong as you can so nobody else gets it haha.

Alyssa Alyssa VIC Posts: 296
5 16 Mar 2011
Alyssa said:
I wonder about this all the time! It seems like the only career I would ever really "enjoy". Even a career with human NGOs is appealing. No idea about what skills etc you need though.
hahaha just read this back! "human NGOs" lol

Catyren Catyren WA Posts: 542
6 16 Mar 2011
What about becoming an investigative reporter/journalist? or a nutritionist? a conservation biologist? marketing/advertising? there are plenty of things you can do to contribute to the cause and help animals.

Shonnie Shonnie NSW Posts: 237
7 16 Mar 2011
What about working on the front line and getting involved in the RSPCA, animal shelters or wildlife rescue? Unfortunately yes a lot of the time you do have to start out volunteering but Inspectors are paid reasonably ok and a car + plus expenses (fuel, servicing etc) is provided.

However when you are working on the front line you do witness some pretty terrible things and thats what you have to be prepared for. Same as vet work, nursing or surgery.

Jesse Jesse VIC Posts: 1117
8 17 Mar 2011
Unleashed Admin
It really depends what you want to be doing for an organisation (eg. campaigning, PR, fundraising, outreach, management, design, IT, donor support, etc), or if you're talking about a group that works hands on with animals, then there would a whole host of other possibilities.

As far as general skills for advocacy work, here's my 2 cents. These are the things that I think helped me get a job working for animal charities:
- a lot of volunteer work (and a wide variety of it)
- reading a lot of books on animal rights and advocacy
- an internship (I spent 3 months interning with PETA. And there are sure to be other groups that have similar programs.)
- face to face fundraising (ie. frontlining)

In particular, I think that doing face to face fundraising was invaluable to learning how to present professionally, relate to people, and how to 'sell' a message (all very important skills for any advocacy). The plus to learning these skills by doing face to face fundraising is that you are fundraising for a charity and earning a living whilst you get the skills.

Here are some other general skills that would put you in good standing to get a job with many NGOs:
- writing skills (especially being able to write for a variety of audiences/contexts)
- sales skills
- a good understanding of the issues
- some understanding of a variety of campaign strategies (here are a few good books on the topic:
- marketing background
- PR background
- fundraising skills
- organisational skills
- web/graphic design skills

Suzi Suzi NSW Posts: 3
9 16 Aug 2011
There actually are degrees and jobs you can do in animal welfare, you just gotta be resourceful and inquisitive to sniff them out. I found finding a degree really hard, but eventually got into a Masters at USYD through the Vet Faculty with the awesome support of the Post-Grad Co-ordinator there. She basically built a degree for me with subjects from all over campus and then got the lecturers and the dean to sign off on it. clap And I'm sure she'd do the same for you!

Even with an architecture degree there is still cool stuff you could do, like looking into the design and build of animal shelters (I think there is a guy called 'baxter' already involved in this), and also for livestock stuff (e.g. read about temple grandin's design for leading cows to slaughter to help make it less stressful).

Just play with the ideas of what you want and think outside the square a bit. Something good should pop up eventually. If you like arch. and animals you can make it happen...somehow