Established in January, 1993, LCA (Life Conservationist Association) has served to protect animals in Taiwan for more than twenty one years. With its core belief that “all living beings are equal,” LCA aims to advocate for animal rights, to care for animal welfare, to conserve wild animals, and to maintain ecological balance. Philosophically, organizationally, and strategically, LCA can be treated as a “hybrid” NGO organization that strives to realize its founding vision and missions through the synergy of ethical dialogues with the society, effective social-civilian movement strategies, and comprehensive measures to promote its ideals while transforming public attitude toward animal welfare and ecological justice. Although its achievement may appear to be slow and slight, and its efforts may sometimes seem powerless due to the overwhelming dominance of its adversary in the social-political, economical, legal, cultural, and even institutional structures, LCA has demonstrated how a contemporary NGO can synthesize the power of modern civilian movement mechanism and ethical discourses (especially Engaged Buddhist theories and practices) so as to facilitate comprehensive social transformation to create a more animal friendly world with ecological justice and balance. This paper shall introduce the founding vision and missions of LCA, outline the five categories of its animal protection efforts, analyze its major projects and strategies, and finally reflect on its impact and significance as a “hybrid” NGO.
Keywords: LCA, animal protection, civilian movement, Engaged Buddhism