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Advocates for Animal Welfare Message Board › What do YOU want to do? Help us spread the love!

What do YOU want to do? Help us spread the love!

A former member
Hello PAWA Meetup members!
We have now hit the 200+ member mark, thank you for joining us! I want you to know that your leadership team reads each and every profile that you fill out when you join, and we appreciate getting a glimpse into who you are and what you care about.
But we wish we saw you more! When we started this group 2 years ago, we envisioned that we'd have more and more people want to join us in creating and organizing more events led by us throughout the Portland metro area. Physically making a strong presence together.
But as time has gone on, we have found that we have settled into more of a networking point of contact for people who care about animal issues in general, linking everyone to all the other wonderful non-profits, organizations, shelters, sanctuaries, and community led groups in the area to create solidarity and strengthen what's already happening. (Which is phenomenal too!)
This was simply because there were so few of us who could be onsite and take the lead/responsibility for our PAWA gatherings, and we are all busy people who carve out as much time as we can to volunteer for the causes we care about, just like you. But there's so many more of all of you now so we're looking towards the future!
In reading through the answers that you have submitted when you join, we have ascertained that most of you are really excited with lots of passion, but have limited availability. We hear ya on that. And just a small portion of you are interested in gathering socially and/or learning more about a leadership role. We feel ya on that also.
What we need to know is what we can do to actually get more of you to RSVP and come to our events. That's where we want to start again. Thank you so so so much to those of you that have been a part of events in the past, either regularly or sporadically, everything helps. We don't want to diminish that in any way. We just can't seem to figure out what we can offer that will get you all there physically to participate more frequently, weather constraints aside at times.
If you have feedback, please feel free to reply to this email and share your thoughts.
Unlike groups that are strictly about socializing with other like-minded "veg heads" (which we say proudly), or groups that are specific to certain animal rights or liberation issues (all valuable), we are trying to be an open and inclusive group that helps make a difference for animals, step by step. Sometimes that means things may seem too broad, but we think it means there is something that we do that should appeal to everyone who in general is concerned about animals in our city and beyond. We care about their welfare, we care about their ethical treatment, we care about their freedom, and we care about ending Speciesism. Animals have just as much a right to be on this planet as we humans do, and if we can not let them live without our interruption, then they deserve our protection. And if we can not change everything in leaps and bounds, we change it little by little. That's how PAWA sees it.
You know that exhausting but satisfying feeling you get from going out of your way to volunteer for something bigger than you? Yeah, that's what keeps us all going too:
Taking a Saturday morning to pass out pamphlets on a street corner about going vegan that only half the passerbys take and look at, but you know could have potentially changed the mind of one meat eater. Standing on your feet for hours with a poster in hand as cars honk and drive by to let people know that they should always adopt and not shop for their pets, and the children in the back seat who might ask their parents a question about rescuing animals. Mucking out old straw for clean beds and shelter for farm animals at one of the awesome sanctuaries in Oregon & Washington, leaving with muddy boots but fuzzy/furry memories.
We love doing all these things, because they matter. To the billions of animals out there that are neglected, abused, imprisoned, murdered, cruelly used for amusement, thoughtlessly disregarded as humans focus on their own expansion, we truly are their only voices. We sign petitions, we donate money, we support by being vocal on social media, these are all important too. But in an increasing world of technological isolation, the smallest gestures in person can alter a situation profoundly.
That is what we are hoping you want to do more of, right now, from this point forward. Come together, offer suggestions of events you personally want to be at and take charge of, brainstorm, take risks, get out of your comfort zone, get to know fellow members and advocates, be active, make signs, have an effect.
Are you in?
I encourage you to attend the events that we share that are led by other groups, contacting them directly when it is stated, introducing yourselves and making new friends throughout the animal concerned community. You can tell them you found out about the event through PAWA, even though a PAWA leader may not be in attendance so members can keep making connections. I urge you to get on mailing lists after you've had a positive experience so that you can work with them again, since we may not list every other event they do. I recommend carpooling when you can. And I invite you to submit ideas of what you'd like to take the lead for. My job is to make sure to get the word out as much as possible when it's something PAWA is in alignment with.
From my animal AND human loving heart to yours...I hope you continue to join us in what we are trying to do, as much as you can, and thank you for your contributions!
Happy Valentine's Day! Spread the love.
Summer Spinks-Marasco
PAWA Co-founder & Organizer
user 133054802
Portland, OR
Post #: 1
I'm new to PAWA/MeetUp, but I've been involved in animal rights/activism for years--long before FB and home computers existed. OK, I've dated myself a bit. One of my biggest frustrations is how activism has become less physically "active" and more techno-active. I love the way technology has helped people to connect and learn about issues, but my heart will always be in the field (sometimes, literally) making face to face, eye to eye contact with people and animals. I believe what changes people/societies isn't merely information, it is seeing others out doing the necessary work and being inspired by their actions. I want to connect up with people who are interested in getting out and participating in specific, focused campaigns. One of my longtime focus areas has been the use of animals in biomedical and related research. If anyone in PAWA has an interest in that--let me know. This group is doing some wonderful work and I hope to contribute as follower, leader, or whatever.
A former member
Post #: 7
We DO have an interest in being active about saving animals from experimentation. If you have an idea for a protect, demo, etc. that you'd like to lead, let us know! I agree with you both about the frustration and power on face to face actions. Thanks for your response!
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