RSPCA launches ‘For Every Kind’ campaign to ‘rethink animals’ in 200th year

The RSPCA says we need to “radically rethink” our relationship with all animals as it launches its new For Every Kind campaign to mark its 200th year.

The charity reveals new polling by Savanta which shows a stark difference in the way we see animals, depending on whether they are in our homes, in labs, on farms or in the wild and says we have become disconnected to many of the animals around us.

Polling of more than 2,500 UK adults reveals 90% of people think dogs can experience positive emotions like happiness but only 34% think rats can and just 42% think chickens can. But in reality, both experience lives rich in emotions – rats love to play and even giggle when tickled, and chickens can count and some show empathy for their flock mates.

People were also more likely to think pets deserved a ‘happy and healthy life’ compared to animals used in science – with nearly nine in ten believing a pet rabbit deserved such a life, compared to just under seven in ten thinking it mattered for a rabbit in a laboratory. 

Just one in 20 thought dogs don’t deserve happy, healthy lives, which rises to one in four for rats in labs and one in five for foxes living in the city.

Today the RSPCA is now launching a new campaign For Every Kind, urging people to care about the lives of every animal and carry out one million acts of kindness for animals to mark its 200th anniversary.

Chris Sherwood, Chief Executive of the RSPCA, said: “We are devoted to our cats and dogs, but we often don’t realise we are connected to billions of other animals in our lives, through the things we buy and the choices we make. All animals are amazing, but sadly we’ve come to see many creatures as commodities and we value their lives differently because of it.

“As a society, we love our native birds, but turn a blind eye to the suffering of billions of meat chickens; we love the hedgehogs who visit our garden, but treat rats and foxes as pests. We need to realise that all animals have feelings and emotions, many can feel joy, anger, fear, and more, and whether they are pets, wildlife, on farms or in labs, they deserve to have a fulfilled life of their own.”

The survey also revealed people are more likely to see a dog as a ‘friend’ (75%), and are more likely to see pigs or rats as ‘useful’, possibly due to being found on farms or in labs. The majority of people saw foxes, who are often seen as vermin, as a ‘threat’ or ‘pointless’, suggesting they don’t recognise their right to a good life.

Chris continued: “All animals deserve our kindness and respect and the first step to changing the way we treat animals is changing how we see and feel about them. Which is why we are launching our For Every Kind campaign to mark our 200th year. A world that is better for animals, is better for us all.”

The For Every Kind campaign is launching with a new brand for the RSPCA – for the first time in 50 years – and a new advert which sees singing animals performing Aretha Franklin’s iconic hit to call for Respect.


Celebrities including RSPCA President and conservationist Chris Packham and RSPCA ambassadors champion ballroom dancer and TV judge Shirley Ballas, actor Brian Blessed, JLS singer and TV presenter JB Gill, and TV personality Pete Wicks, are all supporting the campaign and lending their voices to the warbling creatures.

Shirley Ballas, who plays a Chihuahua in a handbag in the film, said this important campaign was close to her heart and urged people to get involved and find out how they can do more to help all animals.

She said: “I love my dog Charlie with all my heart. He has always been there for me, just like I’ve always been there for him. When I lived in the United States, my son called me and said ‘Mum, you have to come and get this little dog’. I remember seeing him for the first time at the rescue with all his wired and unkempt hair. He’d been hit by a car that left him with a broken hip. I saved him from the green mile. Our bond is super strong and I can’t ever imagine why anyone wouldn’t show kindness to the animals around them.

“I voiced a small chihuahua in the advert which shows how, often without realising, we’re not treating the animals around us with respect. It’s not just dogs, that is why For Every Kind is such an important message – we need to be treating all animals, from those that visit our garden, to those on farms, with kindness.

“Everyone can do their bit, big or small, to help animals, which is why I’m proud to take part in their campaign and help them achieve a million acts of kindness for animals to celebrate their 200th year.”

“I am so proud to be an Ambassador for the RSPCA, especially at this moment in their 200-year history and I will be doing my bit and taking part in the RSPCA’s Million Strong Movement for Animals. It is so important that we show them all kindness.”

The changes for the RSPCA come as it celebrates 200 years of changing animals’ lives and the charity says the challenges facing animals are ‘bigger than ever’.

Chris said: “This year marks our 200th anniversary – that means 200 years of changing laws, attitudes and behaviours towards animals. But animals are now facing some of the biggest threats in our history, from climate change to intensive farming, from the cost of living to the effects of the pandemic. Unless we act urgently, we risk animals’ lives getting worse, not better.

“The RSPCA has a critical role to play, but we can’t do this alone. We need as many people as possible to join us to build a better world for animals, which means we need people to look again at the RSPCA and what we can all do for animals. We hope a new, bolder and brighter brand will inspire everyone, whoever they are, to get involved with animal welfare so we can rise to the challenges facing animals now and for many years to come.”

This year, the RSPCA hopes to inspire one million acts of kindness for animals to celebrate its 200th anniversary. Find out your kind of kindness and turn it into action for animals.

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