A problem of multi-issue groups illustrated as a Venn Diagram

… because who doesn’t love a good Venn Diagram?

CAA is committed to focusing on just one issue, and we avoid taking stances on other issues. Sometimes people question why, and I often see calls among the greater animal rights/social justice world for a multi-issue movement.

There are lots problem with any multi-issue group, and the bigger your scope the bigger the problems. For example, what are your goals, what are your strategies? How do you know you’ve won?

But I think the most serious problem is simply recruiting volunteers. I’ve illustrated that problem with this handy Venn Diagram.

Venn diagram of intersection of multiple issues

Each circle represents your potential volunteer base, and the intersections are the potential volunteer base of a hypothetical group, either an AR/anti-abortion group or an AR/pro-abortion group.

Now, some people might dispute the relatively small size of each intersection. That’s not the point (and I mostly did it so the text stayed readable). The real key is that the two intersections are mutually exclusive. Our hypothetical multi-issue group can only pick one of those two intersections.

Even in cases where the intersections are not exclusive, you still need to find people who fall into that intersection, and the more issues you add, the smaller the intersection becomes.

I consider this to be entirely proved by this blog entry, because it includes math. And math is always right.