Underpinning the efforts and culture of UARC, are five commitments that outline core values, and principles of the organization. These commitments are:
- Commitment to Veganism. UARC considers the advocacy and adoption of veganism to be a key ethical principle for any organization that advocates for the rights of animals. Consistent with this principle, UARC will not organize or sponsor any event where animal products – including meat, dairy, eggs, fur, or leather – are sold or made commercially available. UARC will also abstain from “endorsing” any product that is tested on animals, or that is inextricably dependent on the exploitation or killing of animals. Additionally, UARC will never support the false and counterproductive notion that any animal products can be produced “humanely” or “sustainably.”
- Commitment to Collaboration. The animal rights movement is stronger when activists from different backgrounds and representing different organizations unite, find commonality, and work together to pursue common objectives. UARC commits to collaborate and partner with other organizations on projects or campaigns, so long as those efforts do not ethically or logistically conflict with UARC’s mission statement or campaigns. UARC will strive to collaborate on overlapping efforts with outside organizations, even if the organization in question has other efforts or philosophies with which UARC disagrees. Where appropriate, UARC will recognize the contributions of other individuals or organizations in its news releases, websites, and other materials.
- Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The animal rights movement will only achieve success when those who make up its active members begin to reflect the broader society that it seeks to serve and change. UARC will seek to be conscious of entrenched practices, implicit biases, cultural norms, and systems of oppression that have perpetuated inequities, including those within the animal rights movement. UARC will align its culture, policies, and practices so that all passionate advocates have genuine opportunities to thrive and contribute to the organization, regardless of race, sex, gender identity, disability status, or socioeconomic status. UARC will create an environment in which everyone feels valued and respected, and confident that their perspective will be heard and considered, most especially if that perspective is a dissenting viewpoint.
- Commitment to Truth & Transparency. Credibility is an important but easily depleted asset for any organization or movement striving to make social change. The media, decisionmakers, and the public at large must have confidence that UARC is presenting facts and information in good faith and that accurately reflect reality. UARC takes responsibility for the factual accuracy of all of its public statements, most especially those that are reproduced in writing. This includes the content in all of UARC’s websites, news releases, leaflets, letters, policy briefs, and other materials. Whenever practicable, UARC will identify sources, provide citations, and make available any original documentation which substantiate factual claims. UARC will also promptly retract and correct any inaccuracies that are brought to its attention.
- Commitment to Non-violence. The moral foundation of the animal rights movement is the same that has undergirded the ethical framework of most world religions and cultures: The Golden Rule, which demands we treat others with respect, and as they want to be treated. It is a commandment to empathy. Although suffering and life are intertwined and can never be totally disentangled, we believe we must strive to minimize our harm to other sentient beings. To be effective ambassadors for this message, UARC is committed to nonviolence in all of its efforts. Nonviolence should not be confused with passivity or inaction; rather, it allows its adherents to maintain the moral high ground, and effectively reach the hearts and minds of others, without sparking fear or resentment, which inevitably produces division, backlash, and repression. UARC agrees with the sentiments expressed by Martin Luther King Jr.: “[nonviolence] is the only morally and practically sound method” and “the most powerful and just weapon…which cuts without wounding, and ennobles the man who wields it.”