Posted on August 24, 2010
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.