Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Voice for Animals

Animals do have a voice. If you ignore their suffering, I will remind you of it. If you don’t understand them, I will translate. If you don’t hear them, I will be their voice. You may silence them, but you cannot silence me as long as I live.” Anita Mahdessian


Larry and I were talking about hunting, and I was getting upset. 

We live in an area of our state where wearing camouflage is a symbol of a way of life that includes viewing hunting as a sport. Where the weekly paper that I used to report for posts photos of hunters and their trophy deer, hunters old and young proudly posing while holding up the head of a dead animal.

I understand hunting when the meat from the hunt is needed for survival or will be a staple in a family’s meals. But hunting as a sport, taking pleasure in taking the life of another being—I cannot support.

Larry doesn’t either, though when he was a young man he went hunting with his cousins. 

“I liked that peaceful feeling of being out in the woods where it was so quiet,” he said.

“There’s nothing peaceful about hunting,” I said. And my voice was raised a bit, even though we were sitting in a restaurant at the time.

Larry said he just meant it was peaceful being out in nature. I was getting too upset in considering different viewpoints, he said.

“I will always get upset when it comes to animals,” I said.

I wasn’t angry with Larry. I understood what he was saying. But I was frustrated and angry with the community in which I live. 

With the indiscriminate killing of animals. 

With localities that don’t allocate the money and support to have no-kill shelters. 

The Campbell County (Virginia) Animal Shelter,
where dedicated staff and volunteers do the most for the animals
that they can with the resources they have.


With people who think cats are “just cats” or dogs are “just dogs.” Or any animal is “just an animal.”

With those who show how much they care about their dogs by chaining them up outside. 

With people who refuse to spay or neuter their pets.

With nominal ownership of pets.

And most of all, frustrated and angry with myself because I can’t save all the homeless and forgotten animals. 

Of course, I know intellectually that I can’t save them all. And I understand that there are different and valid perspectives on the importance of animals, and that the most important thing is that they are loved and cared for. Not everyone has to value them in the same way I do in order for the animals to live good lives.

So I try with my writing, with my interactions with co-workers and friends, with the things I share on social media, with my help and encouragement. With my small monetary gifts to animals in need. With the website administration for the volunteer group that works with Animal Control in my county. I try to be a voice for animals.

Sometimes I believe my voice falls on mostly deaf ears. But I have to keep on trying.

Please share some of the ways you are a voice for the animals.

12 comments:

  1. I don't know about being a voice for the animals, but every animal we have right now (except the chickens and rabbits) came from a shelter or was a personal rescue, so needed a home. So that includes the 2 horses, the 3 cats, and the dog :-) My boys have been begging to start a cat colony for feral cats (working with a local cat rescue) on our property but the husband is not too excited about that idea. Which I understand. But I have a feeling the boys will keep working on him over it...

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  2. Well, I agree with you on so many points here. I'm anti-hunting for sport. I've come to terms with it for food -- after all, we see a sanitized version of hunting/growing for slaughter every time we go to the store. Personally, I prefer not to see my food in animal for prior to eating it. Reminds me of the time my great grandmother served up my dad's pet chicken at the dinner table. Took a long time for him to eat chicken again.

    I've always had animals that didn't have a home before. Lizzie was found in an abandoned garage with her kittens by a friend, spayed and keeping the family together till the kittens were old enough. Gypsy just chose me, landing on my yard. And Stimpy was being discarded by his owner who was going to move and leave him behind. I support our humane society, although I don't think their policy is no-kill. And I don't think I'd ever buy a pet from a breeder or pet store. Mostly I remind people I know of the importance of giving an animal a home, one who really needs one.

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  3. Your voice does NOT fall on deaf ears; the inhumanity of humans WIll CHANGE, MUST CHANGE, and it takes each and every one of us to speak UP! I talk to folks while in the line at the cashier, folks at my office, my family and friends. I feel your frustration too; I lay in bed at night, worrying about the harmed animals out there. "Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them." Dalai Lama

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  4. I feel the same way. Hunting for sport is something I cannot stand. I don't care what the reasons are.

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  5. I think if everyone did even one iota of what you do, and many others of us, animals would be much better off. I donate to animals in need (monetarily when I can, toys, other misc. items that they may need), I share adoptables and blog about adoption events in my area. Wish I could adopt more, but we are only allowed 2 pets where I live. catchatwithcarenandcody

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  6. Your voice doesn't fall on deaf ears. We all need to do what we can for the animals...we have to be their voice.

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  7. Hunting is such a fine line for me. If you are going to do it, do it right.. don't kill for the sake of killing but use the animal and be thankful for it. Too many people just want to shoot something and that is wrong.

    It is sad we can't fix the overpopulation at this point. There are pockets of society that have though. There has been a dramatic drop off of unwanted animals in our area and we have been importing them from other communities for quite some time.

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  8. guys....de food servizz gurl sneekz round blogland frum werk.....with that bee in said, N her still bee in at werk....her canna commint bout thiz ore her voice iz gonna raiz......plus her will bee ona rant bout animal abuze, hunterz, hoarderz, N on & on for like a decade...

    her will say remeburr de seen in de croc o dile dun dee movvee wear de rooz.... SHOT BAK....... give all de animalz oh this earth a ....weapon......N see whooz de sue peer ee ore speciez then ~~~~~~

    N we dinna even get two R "voice" part did we ~~~~~~~~~

    ♥♥♥

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  9. Hunting is big where I live too. My hubby is always having to tell poachers to get off of our property. I try the same ways you do, just think if everyone did try to do something so much more would be done.

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  10. I understand what you're saying completely. I stopped going to a restaurant because the CEO is a big game "hunter" in Africa. I can't support that at all. And your words definitely do not fall on deaf ears. I try to use my blog to be a voice for animals.

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  11. Totally understand your outlook on hunting. It's big here, too. What I don't understand is these incredible wildlife refuges where I go to be in nature and to hopefully see tons of birds to photograph -- and they allow hunting. WTheck?!!? It just seems like an oxymoron to allow hunting in a refuge.
    KZK

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  12. We voice a big, fat NOPE to hunting for sport (hunting at all, truth be told, though we are chicken lovers) and our Mom has been a brave, loud voice for standing up for abused pets at the risk of losing friends, which she has numerous times. There's even a neighbor who won't speak to her because she called Animal Control when the neighbor was terrible to their dog. She doesn't care saying she will always speak up because she knows it's the right thing to do, even if other people think she's bonkers, eventually, they might see the error of their ways. We think we'd be upset, too, to have that conversation, and thank you for bringing this important topic up.

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