Thoughts On Humanity

If you were to ask me what I love most about blogging, it is the opportunity it provides to share information, invoke thought and open up lines of communication between people that otherwise might never interact with each other. I’m entirely grateful that I have a slice of the internet to call my own. Blogging can be a catalyst for discussion and forward-thinking ideas but it can also slide very quickly in the other direction.

A little more than a week ago, I published a post entitled “Numbers“, designed as a simple fact-blast. Several days later, I received the following comment on that post:

What about all the children in the world that are homeless or mistreated? It’s seems very trendy these days to focus so much attention on the well-being and wardrobes of pets, dogs in particular. Sure, dogs are great, but why do people personify them to be more than they are, which is in fact animals. Seems rather self-indulgent, if you ask me.

My instant reaction was to hit the delete button. The label of “self-indulgent” quickly stung like a bee and, on the whole, I felt discouraged. In truth, the comment caused me to question why I am even trying to raise funds for the BC-SPCA. I considered that perhaps my personal effort is a waste.

Something about the comment lingered with me for days after as it sat in my WordPress trash can. The author of that comment had a valid point: what about the children of the world? Yes, what about them? Do I feel that the welfare of animals is of greater importance than that of the children of the world? Absolutely not. So does that mean that the welfare of animals is unimportant? Again, absolutely not.

You and I are unalike. We are different people with different backgrounds, different passions, different families and different goals. We each have our personal and public beliefs and because we are each individual, we aren’t required to justify ourselves to the world around us. The dissimilar passions of people, in general, is what makes society work. Whether we advocate for the safety and well-being of children, aggressively push to end homelessness in our communities, raise funds for cancer research, promote green and sustainable living for the planet or speak for animals that have no voices, each of us is a crucial link in the chain of philanthropy. And though we may feel less fervor about one cause and more passionate about another, none of us has the right to judge that any one is unimportant.

My attempt to raise funds for the BC-SPCA is not fueled by self-indulgence. It isn’t my hope than animals will become especially personified or that we’ll adorn them in adorable wardrobes. The suffering, abuse and neglect of animals in British Columbia is far more rampant than the majority of people will ever realize. While it is certainly not at the top of the charity food chain, nor should it supersede the dire needs of humans, it is still a need nonetheless. Were it not for the BC-SPCA, and SPCA branches around North America, I fear to think what our society would look like.

Dogs don’t need chic jackets, cats don’t require shiny bells jingling around their necks and farm animals can do without luxe barns. However, they do require – and deserve – to live free from harm and violence, in care and in love. The BC-SPCA is not funded by the government that you voted for (or against). In fact, little more than 1% of taxpayer dollars cover shelter costs and abuse investigations. That, my friends, is why I am raising funds.

In less than three weeks, I’ll be walking with Jordy and Charley and standing up to declare that I believe our Province’s animals deserve to be treated in fairness and dignity. If your passion is for something other than animals, then I encourage you to donate to that charity and take a stand in what you believe is right. If you believe in the fair and dignified treatment of animals, then please consider donating to the BC-SPCA – even if it’s the change you scrounge from your couch cushions.

While it’s true I hope to see money poured into what I believe in, what I wish to see even more is people taking a stand for what is it they feel passion for and getting active within that passion.

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6 Comments on “Thoughts On Humanity

  1. The SPCA came up north and helped to evacuate hundreds of head of cattle from forest fires around Prince George. They were free range cattle and they were a lovely family’s paycheque and livelihood. The owners of the ranch will not be poor, starving and without a job because of the workers of the SPCA. IF anything the person who wrote that comment should be harping on those who simply do not care about any one cause. Those who keep all their money, time and love for themselves and would not ever consider doing what you do Keira! Love yah!

  2. Great response. We all have the freedom to support whatever cause(s) we chose. I personally don’t chose animal related charities but I know people in my family and circle of friends who do and I think it’s wonderful. It also doesn’t mean that people who help animals don’t help children. One could then ask “what about the elderly, the disabled…?” and so forth. What’s important is for everyone who is able to help make life on this planet a little bit better in whatever way they can.

  3. Hey Keira,

    While I am definitely not an animal or pet person (probably stems from the fact I am allergic to most animals), I totally respect you for championing a cause you believe in. I respect you far more for doing something you are passionate about, rather than those who are apathetic about everything, or those who are self-righteous in thinking their causes are more worthy than the other.

    At the end of the day, I believe ANY cause that someone believes in should be respected, and I don’t think there are any more or less important causes… everyone has a different perspective and different things they are passionate about and different things that are important to them.

    You should be applauded for your initiative and your passion, not disrespected. Let me know if you want me to beat that person up for you 😉

    Well done for standing up for yourself and what you believe in!

  4. Totally agree with VancityAllie. Helping animals is what you’re passionate about, so do that. Hell you’re passionate to the point where you convinced me to donate, and I tend to volunteer my time rather than money.

    Now, regarding the dressing of animals… A little sweater or bandanna type thing.. even little rainboots, cute. But the people who put more ‘bling’ on their dogs than 50 Cent at an awards ceremony, well, I do tend to laugh at those people. 98% of the time putting any kind of clothing on a cat is just mean :)

  5. Keira, as someone who also targets most of my philanthropic activity towards animal welfare, I think it’s cool that you’re helping the SPCA.

    As for the commenter’s criticism, my philosophy is that most people, instead of feeling overwhelmed by the troubles in the world and end up not doing anything, should find one cause they really want to do something about and then do it. We can’t tackle everything, but if each person finds their own one niche of the world to improve, more things would get better.

    Anyhow, good for you for doing this, Keira!

  6. >> In fact, little more than 1% of taxpayer dollars cover shelter costs and abuse investigations.

    Sometimes I’m curious what it does cover (but I’m pretty sure I don’t want to hear the answer).

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