Thursday, September 3, 2009

Local Group Fundraises to Help Animals While Eating Them

A couple of months ago I received an email from an organization to whom I have donated my time and money. The organization, Last Chance Ranch, which rescues horses, dogs and various farm animals, was promoting another event to raise money for the organization. Needless to say, I was stunned when I discovered the fundraising event was to occur- of all places- at a steakhouse. In an email to supporters, the organization's representatives even tried to lure people to the event by asking, “What could be better than a middle of the week steak dinner?" With my tongue firmly implanted in cheek, I retorted, “A horse steak dinner, of course.” They were not amused. Baffled, I went on to kindly question this contradictory attempt at helping animals and was met, not surprisingly, with stiff resistance. My attempt at pointing out their hypocrisy fell on deaf ears and rather than question their fundraising mechanisms, the representatives defensively chose to censor me and remove me from their mailing list, despite my request to do otherwise.

Though I continue to laud the work that they do, Last Chance Ranch is not alone in this folly. It seems that they and other animal welfare organizations fail to see the irony in putting forth a message of care for some animals while blatantly promoting the cruel treatment of other animals, especially at fundraising events where the value of their message is so essential to garnering support. In turn, Last Chance Ranch is perpetuating and supporting the abuse that makes their organization necessary in the first place. They are, in fact, raising funds to support farm animals at their ranch at the expense of the farm animals who were abused, mutilated and tortured, who now sit on their plates.

The concept of saving animals while eating them, though so obviously inconsistent, is pervasive and hard to confront as it involves changing the way people have been brought up to view "food" animals, but I believe it is possible to undo through awareness, education and compassion. If cats and dogs were treated even half as cruelly as we treat chickens, cows, pigs and other farm animals, animal abuse cases would crop up all over the country. Unfortunately, this is not the case as people choose to turn a deaf ear to the cries of animals on our farms.

If animal welfare organizations are to be respected, persuasive and truly effective in their mission, they need to literally put their money where their mouth is and stop serving animals as food at their events. They should not discriminate between different kinds of animals any more than we should discriminate between different kinds of people. A chicken is no different from a cat, a dog, a pig or a human. We are all feeling beings, deserving of a life free from fear and harm. Those who want to help animals must stop exploiting all animals, especially those very same animals whom they try to help, and yet somehow justify eating.

The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." The truth is that all of us earthlings feel pain and none of us has the right to inflict pain and suffering on another, for whatever means or reasons to which we feel privy. The sooner we humans realize this, the happier we all shall be.

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Ryan said...

tragic irony...

I'm glad you pointed it out. Hopefully what you said will sink in over time.

Gotta love those irrational human beings!


drew.. said...

Well-spoken. Tragic in the irony of it all. One day, i believe, most of those involved in this hypocrisy will look back with utter shame and their willful ignorance.