Since its founding in 1951, AWI has sought to alleviate the suffering inflicted on animals by people. In the organization's early years, our particular emphasis was on the desperate needs of animals used for experimentation. In the decades that followed, we expanded the scope of our work to address many other areas of animal suffering.
Today, one of our greatest areas of emphasis is cruel animal factories, which raise and slaughter pigs, cows, chickens and other animals. The biggest are in our country, and they are expanding worldwide.
Another major AWI effort is our quest to end the torture inflicted on furbearing animals by steel jaw leghold traps and wire snares. AWI continues its work to protect animals in laboratories including promotion of development of non-animal testing methods and prevention of painful experiments on animals by high school students. Representatives of AWI regularly attend meetings of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora to fight for protection of threatened and endangered species. Similarly, we attend meetings of the International Whaling Commission to preserve the ban on commercial whaling, and we work to protect all marine life against the proliferation of human-generated ocean noise including active sonar and seismic air guns.
AWI works to minimize the impacts of all human actions detrimental to endangered species, including the destruction of natural forests containing ancient trees, and pollution of the oceans destroying every kind of marine life.
The AWI logo, created in 1975, represents animals in their appropriate, life-sustaining environments of land, air, and water, enclosed in interlocking hexagons, which symbolize bee architecture.
While AWI’s mission is to alleviate suffering of nonhuman animals, the principle followed by AWI of compassion and nonviolence applies to human animals as well as nonhuman animals. The Animal Welfare Institute condemns violence directed against all living creatures. There are no exceptions.