Can you share a bit about yourself, what you're passionate about, and what drives you in your work for animal advocacy?
Of course I'm passionate about animals. As a child I wanted to be a veterinarian because a wanted to be around animals and it was the only way I knew. One day my father told that as veterinarian, I was going see animals die, so I change my mind. Now I'm still not around all the animals that I would like, but I know I'm doing big things for them. Just to share a bit more about me: I really love board games.
Could you describe your journey in animal advocacy and how you're able to make a meaningful impact in your life and career?
I started my journey a long time ago. I used to volunteer at animal shelters while I was studying. I was still volunteering when I started working. I would never have thought of working in something related to animal advocacy, until I found the job offer through LinkedIn. Since then, I've been dedicated to creating content to stop animal suffering in factory farming.
What does your day-to-day life look like in your role?
I'm literally the meme of the cat typing non-stop on a keyboard. We have several meetings a week where we prioritize the work and, from there, I write all kinds of content: from articles, to web pages and social media posts. All of it, with previous research.
What initially inspired you to dedicate your time to animal advocacy? What keeps you motivated to continue?
Initially, what inspired me the most was to be able to help improve the lives of the animals themselves. But once inside, I understood that this is much bigger than the animals. There is a planet that depends on us and how we use it. And I don't know at what point we decided to use the resources in the worst possible way. My biggest motivation is to think that we still have time to change our way of doing things and be more compassionate and humble to create a healthy coexistence.
Are there any specific skills or areas of expertise that you find particularly valuable in your role?
I believe that empathy is especially important for content creation. To understand the people you want to reach, what their concerns are and what they would like to know. Sometimes you will have to tell them things they don't like, but bad news exists, you just have to know how to deliver them. I've always heard that you have to treat people the way you would like to be treated, but I think we should really treat people the way THEY would like to be treated.
Can you share some of the key challenges you've encountered in your animal advocacy work, and how have you overcome them?
The biggest challenge in my work with animal advocacy content creation has been the variety of opinions and ideals around animal advocacy. There is always going to be a sector that disagrees with your approach as an animal advocate, but if you are doing it this way, it is because you strongly believe in the positive outcomes you can have. We have the right to investigate different ways to advocate for animals, we have the right to follow a path that we believe is effective, and we have the right to be wrong and change to be as effective as possible.
You just have to explain that you are doing what you believe is best for the animals. And if your approach is not the right one, you will change your approach, because the important thing to remember is that there are beings whose lives are on the line. And we are doing our best for them.
Based on your own journey, what suggestions or advice would you give to individuals considering a career in animal advocacy or those seeking similar roles?
I repeat something important for me: be empathetic with everyone (not only with animals). And I add something more: don't try to be right. Listen to people's message and reasons to understand how to help animals.
Sometimes the steps are very small, but they are important for the animals. Many times we want to shout that animals are not to be eaten, but you have to start by understanding the other person's situation and what their motivation may be to start caring about animal welfare.
Would you like to get in touch with Itziar to learn more about their role and journey? Connect on LinkedIn.