Animal activism is on the rise, or so it would seem with the declarations from the general dog loving public. Canine enthusiasts denounce puppy mills and backyard breeders as more and more citizens opt to adopt from shelters and rescues. Breed discrimination is another hot topic. ‘Blame the owner, not the breed!’ How far does one have to go from becoming an enthusiast to activism?
There are people who take a stand, attend protests, commit to a cause (or several causes). There are those who sit back, click their tongue and wish things would change. And there are those who turn a blind eye to the suffering. After all if it doesn’t affect them, why do anything.
Below are some questions to determine how involved a person is in their beliefs and how far they’re willing to go to defend animal rights.
Cruella DeVille; Villain or misunderstood fashionista?
“Fur is murder, but check out these amazing snake skin boots I just scored!” The wearing of any animal product is going to cause some discussion among animal lovers. Where does one draw the line to take a stand? Would you rather–
1) Acknowledge the cuter animals, but continue wearing the snakeskin boots.
2) Run a Dalmatian Foundation; taking care of the dogs and finding them homes.
3) Throw red paint on someone wearing fur while screaming about the slaughtering of innocent animals.
4) Change the channel when the depressing HSUS commercials come on.
PETA; Organization or pocket bread?
Some of the positions PETA takes may be laughable, but they are truly, 100% committed to taking a stand against animal cruelty. No matter where one is on the activist road, there is at least one cause they can agree with PETA on. How far would you go to end the senseless violence plaguing the animal world? Would you rather—
1) Sign a petition for a worthy canine cause.
2) Open your home to foster animals; saving lives one animal at a time.
3) Launch a protest; march on city hall; come up with a catchy chant; get arrested
4) Make a sandwich, isn’t that what a pita is for?
To Eat Meat?
As animal activism goes global several canine consuming countries have given into the pressure from international organizations. Some dogs bred to be eaten are now being adopted and given new leases on life. What about the other animals that are considered food? How far will an activist go to protect all living creatures? Would you rather—
1) Purchase humanely, ethically, organically raised and slaughtered meat products from reputable local farmers.
2) Try going vegetarian for a month.
3) Go undercover at a meat packing plant. Take secret photos and expose the horrific practices no one wants to talk about.
4) Bacon wrapped steak for dinner? Bring It!
Look back on the answers chosen. It isn’t difficult to see where the passion lies. There are a myriad of ways to get involved, you just need an open mind. The easiest place to start is with the local animal shelter or rescue. Most places are always looking for people to walk and socialize dogs. If the situation allows, fostering a dog or cat is an incredible opportunity to give love to an animal that desperately craves it.
If getting too attached to the animals is a concern, look into sitting on a planning committee. Many organizations hold fundraising or awareness events throughout the year. Almost all the events are run by volunteers.
Choosing to take a stand is the hardest part. The rest is up to you.
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