|Sent on:||Monday, October 24, 2011 10:24 PM|
I totally sympathize with Laura’s thoughts. I am a donor to Peaceful Prairie and admire so much what they’re doing. But, I will still be walking this weekend to bring awareness about the horrors of factory farming to as many as possible in Denver at Washington Park.
I first became a vegan because of the leafleting efforts of Farm Sanctuary. Since then, I have convinced others to follow this compassionate choice. Though we may not agree with their methods or some of their individual initiatives, they are a prominent force in educating the masses about the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle which, after all, is the only solution to this whole mess.
I see these same issues in my work with wild cat rescue also. I was a senior keeper at one of the largest accredited rescue sanctuaries in the country, a “Goliath” compared to most rescue facilities. This sanctuary makes major inroads in educating the public and lobbying legislators about the captive wildlife crisis thanks, in large part, to their lucrative donor base, keen business acumen and high-profile supporters. I also volunteer at another sanctuary in Minnesota that provides even better conditions for their rescues but they suffer constantly from a lack of donations and a lack of financial support. They squeak by on probably ¼ of what the other sanctuary does. It hardly seems fair, just like it doesn’t seem fair that Peaceful Prairie suffers in the same way.
I’m afraid that I see so much infighting the more I become involved in animal welfare issues. If we can’t agree to tolerate each other and the divergent paths taken to the same goal, how can we ever convince others to follow our goals? There were many good points brought up in the comments section of the referenced article Laura included (listed below).
I know this is a touchy subject. I just hope we can somehow find a way to tolerate each of our divergent viewpoints as we strive toward convincing more and more people to make a compassionate choice 3 times a day with the foods they choose to consume. Together, we can achieve so much….
We also need to understand the immense effort it takes to win even pitiful gains against this blind monster of cruelty and exploitation. I feel we need to support each other in this effort as well as criticize. We need to aid in the effort to pass this legislation intact and without provisions that generalize its agreement with the HS to other AR organizations.
I believe the Humane So measures, if passed intact, are a big gain. While critical analysis is important, it is also important to allow people to feel pride in creating positive change. Unrelenting criticism of fellow travelers without acknowledgment of improvement is also cruel and self-defeating. Movement people need to see that their efforts have some measure of success.
The worst thing we can do is never to allow any feelings of hope and satisfaction to exist in the mass of vegans and vegetarians who are depressed daily by feelings of helplessness. Everything in the political world right now conspires to create the meme that there is nothing we can do, things won’t change. The oligarchy has bought all our networks of communication as well as the politicians and political system.
This does not mean that your criticism is wrong or you should be silent. It just means you should also acknowledge the difficulty of what HS achieved.
An attitude of Thankfulness is more necessary for your spirit than for the HS. Support that is given comes back 3 fold. But remember, I also want you to keep doing the analysis as you did in this post. It is important work. I am saying that you can point out the danger and still support fellow workers for improving significantly the lives of millions of animals. They deserve that lust as you do for your work. Many paths to the Goal.
The point is, we are going to need the people and attacking without balance our own organizations…well soon we will be all alone with our purity and without any money to care for our own animals.
The people need Hope that they can win in order to organize.
Though some may not agree with what I'm about to say, I feel it is an important issue that concerns all of us who have chosen the only cruelty-free lifestyle there can be, Veganism, and the many people that dedicate their lives to animal activisim. It is without question or compromise: animals deserve the same freedoms we have to live the lives they were meant to live, free from cruelty, pain, fear, slavery and exploitation. They currently have NONE of these, and though all of you work tirelessly to make changes and to change minds and practices, I can't help but question some of the organizations we have chosen to support, or at least to solely support. Though I know that organizations like Farm Sanctuary do so very much good, I must question the ease in which they have gotten into bed with the UEP to "better" the lives of caged hens (to me it is just a tool used to help the public feel all warm and fuzzy while these animals are still suffering). Adding 19 inches to a confined animals prison will make no difference in their happiness, they are still in prison. The only way to do that is to take away confinement and slavery period and the inevitable horrific death they will suffer at hands of unfeeling murderers. We should be promoting and fighting for animals to live freely, no matter the cost, and fighting for their right to life. Not compromising for what we consider to be "better". Have we asked the chickens what they think of this so-called "better" life? I do not feel right about the so-called "progress" that is being lauded as ground breaking. Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary is struggling and practically begging for money to get them through the winter with upwards of a 100+ animals on 200 acres, all the while Farm Sanctuary makes a profit, that's profit people, of over 1 million dollars every year for 175 acres and have assets totaling over 7 million dollars. Now, here in our own backyard is Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary, run solely on donations and volunteerism, and by two very dedicated people, with literally no profit at all and certainly no assets to fall back on. Does this make sense to you? It certainly does not to me...
If you are at all interested in learning more about this issue that to me seems quite contrary, please check out the article below and make your own decision. I walked for Farm Sanctuary last year and raised a lot of money for them, but I will not be walking this year. I will send what little money I have to PPS, who does not make any sort of annual profit, who have no assets to rely upon in an emergency and who struggle to stay afloat every year. They do not have the support of famous actors/actresses, authors, congressman or CEO's of major specialty markets. There is only the two founders of PPS to do the work needed to keep this beautiful place afloat. And all of the volunteers blessed to be a part of this very special place. Please, just keep an open mind and see for yourselves what you already know, changing cage sizes and slaughter methods is not what we are fighting for...
"Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." - Albert Schweitzer
Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all – the apathy of human beings. – Helen Keller
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