Saturday, October 18, 2014

Accepted violence at animal non-profits

We all have our favorite animal non-profit. Whether that is our local pound or a far-away animal sanctuary whose work we love and respect, most of us financially support groups that are helping animals in some way.

In Colorado we have a variety of such groups. They are a diverse lot, many companion animal groups saving the lives of mostly dogs and cats, some with huge operations and smaller ones with all volunteer fosters. I have worked with and/or fostered animals for many of these groups. I love that there are so many organizations here working to end animal cruelty and working to support companion animals who have been abused.

As a side note, the first time I met a cow, and fell in love with pigs, was at a sanctuary here in Colorado, one that is no longer around. I remember loving on the cow and being a little surprised about how big she was. And strong. And how much she loved it when I scratched her neck.

So many organizations. So many wonderful people working against animal cruelty.

Several months ago an activist friend of mine asked me if I would help with asking a local animal shelter to stop serving meet at their fundraising dinners. It is a fundamental problem that I have always thought about: Why do I have to order a vegan-specific meal at a fundraiser for a group whose mission is to end violence towards animals and to love and support animals? My point being that, in my head, all of these groups would of course be serving only vegan meals at their fundraisers.

I passed on helping for the same reason that I have passed on other actions: time. I have never in my life felt as crazy busy as I feel now. It has a lot to do with my day job, a job I am hugely passionate about, but nonetheless I simply do not have time to jump onto another campaign.

And I haven't stopped thinking about it.

I haven't stopped thinking that those of us who support animal liberation, who want to end cruelty to all animals, who cannot deep inside of ourselves pick and choose which animals to fight for and which ones to not fight for, can make our voices heard via a simple request: please make your fundraising events all vegan.

Any hotel catering manager will tell you that there has been a surge in requests for vegan and vegetarian meals. I have noticed that when people see my vegan dish delivered to the table at an event they decide they want the vegan dish. You see, these days, many hotels and banquet spots have been rocking at vegan meals. It's because we have been asking for better.

I have actually been at a big dinner or lunch and asked for a second plate because my meal was so delicious. The days of pasta with some cold veggies on top as the vegan choice are over. If they are not over where you last ate for one of these meetings/conferences, remind them that we are living in the 21st century, a time when there are a zillion delicious vegan options.

It's time to stop perpetuating violence and supporting violence against animals within the same community that is supposed to be helping animals.

Thank you for reading.

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