January 31, 2011

Health Promotion (for animals)

I have always had a thing for Noah's Ark.
I had a rough week last week. After watching four news stories (one after the other) about animal cruelty (one story that was one of the worst I have heard of) I was beside myself with anger and entertaining myself with visions of cruelty against the humans responsible. I know that isn't a "turn the other cheek" or "forgiveness"-like response....but I was angry.  The week before, I caught sight of a dog running by the side of the road. It looked scared and confused and obviously didn't know where it was going. For 20 minutes I tried to catch it but it ran off into the backyards of the neighbourhood. What made me really sad was I was the only one who stopped. The other cars just drove by. It was obvious this animal needed help, but everyone was so busy to get where they were going (of course, I'm assuming...I'm still angry).

Maybe if all animals were tougher...this
one has had enough and isn't going
to take it anymore! This isn't your
farm-raised chick, this is wild chicken!
 Over the past year, I have noticed more animal neglect than ever before. Perhaps it is where I live, perhaps it is what I'm open to...but either way, it makes me sad, sick, and, yes, angry. People - for selfish reasons - decide to buy an animal only to leave it alone day after day and kick it outside night after night. I don't understand the mentality of purchasing an animal with the knowledge that you will be away for most of it's life. To add insult to emotional injury, the SPCA can't do a thing about it unless the animal's physiological needs aren't being met. Emotional neglect (lack of social time or attention) isn't included in that. So I see dogs living their lives in the back yard and on the porch and can't do a thing about it (I'm sorry for the depressing post...it has to be said).

I bring this topic up, not only because these stories are effecting me and I wish the laws would change to protect animals better, but because I watched a movie that really moved me (in a positive way). "Temple Grandin" is a movie about one of the most amazing people I have ever heard of. Born with autism, Temple Grandin found a passion for animal welfare and eventually had a huge impact on the way cattle is farmed. She had a passion for cows and truly wanted to make their lives better. She made a difference. I highly recommend this movie if you haven't seen it yet. It is out on DVD and it made me cry tears of joy in the end. Plus, the underlying message is finding passion and success while overcoming extreme diversity (a true Hollywood story).

Plan for movie night this weekend and pick this one up!
Such an amazing movie about an amazing person.
It made me feel like I haven't done enough for the welfare of animals. I donate to the SPCA monthly and when I can, I donate more to kitten food when they have a dump of kittens at their door (from another hillbilly who can comprehend the notion of fixing their animals). I make sure my cat visits the vet annually and is safe from traffic and other animals....but what can I do to help those animals who aren't as fortunate?

I promise to act when I see an animal mistreated (even if the SPCA starts getting irritated by my calls). I promise to speak up if I witness animal cruelty in public and not turn away. I promise to help an animal in need (whether it is an injured cat by the side of the road or a stray dog) and I hope that you can do the same too. If only to speak up for those injured, lost, abused, neglected, and scared animals who can't do it for themselves. All you have to do is say "no" to animal neglect and cruelty and let others know it is not okay.

I realize that those that abuse others (and animals) hate themselves and are most likely scared and lonely people. I understand the psychology behind abuse, but it still makes me angry. Thank God for people like Ms. Grandin and others who make a difference in the world. It doesn't have to be as big as changing the way we heard cattle, but even paying more attention to your dog or stopping on the road for an animal that looks lost helps. If we all do something to make the lives of animals more comfortable, we can definitely make a huge difference.

Thanks to the SPCA for all that they do. I realize some people may think they cause more harm at times, but at least they are there removing those animals, fortunate enough to be saved, from the houses of those who should never be able to take care of any living thing again.

I promise more happy thoughts tomorrow!

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