Monday, March 10, 2008

Stewardship

There have been a lot of items in the news lately about animal abuse and neglect, both locally and internationally. I'm not going to rehash any of it here because, well, it sickens me. It sickens me physically to see and hear the disgusting and cruel things humans are doing to animals, just because they can. It sickens me emotionally to think that these people (if you can call them that) are capable of doing things that churn my stomach just to hear about.

As humans, we are fortunate enough to be in a position where we can act as stewards for animals (and the environment as a whole). We can protect them from the useless, pointless, cruel pranks we see in the news by seeing ourselves as part of the same natural world the animals exist in. We can teach our kids how to be kind to animals as well as each other. We can support causes and politicians that support the protection and humane treatment of animals. We can simply be an example.

On April 10, you can show your support of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals by wearing orange for ASPCA Day. If you don't have orange clothing, you can do what I'm going to do and buy a t-shirt from the store to show support in public and donate to the cause. Use the code ADAY08 to get 10% off.

Anyway, I'm not trying to be too preachy or "bleeding heart" because I know that puts a lot of people off to causes like this. I'm just trying to point out how easy it is for humans to be kind...or at least not cruel...to animals. It SHOULD pull at your heart or make you a little queasy to hear about cruelty - we are not meant to be solitary creatures looking out only for ourselves. We get along best as a community when we look out for others, especially those who can't defend themselves as easily.

Update
I forgot to mention another animal-related deal. I was notified by email that if you spend more than $25 at the Animal Rescue Site store TODAY, "you'll automatically vaccinate a homeless companion animal--at no extra cost to you! That's in addition to the bowls of food you fund with every item."

Other helpful purchase options:
Protect 10 Shelter Dogs with Vaccinations
Protect 10 Shelter Cats with Vaccinations

9 comments:

My Inner French Girl said...

Dear AS, merci for this wonderful post! Coincidentally, I was just thinking about writing about just this subject for my next column in the local paper. Thanks for the inspiration! My husband's a vegetarian and a devoted animal lover. I haven't quite made the leap to being veggie myself (although I was vegan throughout my 20's), but I do think that one needn't be completely vegetarian to assist in the alleviation of animal suffering.

Salut,
Marjorie

astarte's student said...

Thank you! Let me know if you do end up writing about this - I'd love to see it if possible! Yeah, I'm not a vegetarian either, but we try to use products that are cruelty-free and food products that are humane. I'm sure we could do better though. :S

My Inner French Girl said...

Dear AS, I think I WILL write it about it in either my next column or the one after that (it's a weekly). I've got one on Nader coming up that I really need to write about. ;-)

I'm still struggling with the cruelty-free stuff. It's hard to find a lot of products of that nature out here in western Colorado, but it's getting better.

Salut,
Marjorie

Astarte's Student said...

Ooo I'm curious what the Nader one will be about.

Yeah, it can be hard, especially when a certain product claims to be cruelty-free and then you find out it's owned by another company that isn't...that kind of stuff can get messy and hard to figure out.

joanne said...

Hi,

I found your blog through the other commenter here, the fabulous MIFG.

For my husband, if a person was convicted of animal cruelty (especially dogs), there wouldn't even be a trial. Straight to the death chamber and as inhumane as possible.

We're not vegetarians either but I do buy grass fed beef and free-range chicken and eggs at the local Trader Joe's. This may be insignificant in the grand scheme of things but I hope I'm still doing my small part.

Astarte's Student said...

Hi Joanne! Thanks for visiting. :) I hope you stick around!

Yeah, I can understand that feeling towards animal cruelty. Any kind of cruelty towards 'weaker' groups is hard to comprehend, whether it's animals or children or the elderly. I just have a particular soft spot for animals.

I think any effort is worth something! :)

My Inner French Girl said...

Dear AS,

I wrote about Nader in a previous column here. Got some flak from here from people who apparently didn't totally get my point. Either I suck as a writer or my readers need to read more carefully.

Anyhoo, I'll let you know when the next Nader column comes out. And yeah, I really should write about vegetarianism. There aren't many in this town, which can result in a lot of ignorance.

Salut,
Marjorie

astarte's student said...

Marjorie - Interesting article! I liked your other ones too. I'll email you about the 10 stupidest things though. ;D

It's funny the way some people see vegetarianism as "strange" or "just a phase" or something. Why should anyone care of someone else chooses not to eat meat or animal products? I have a Homer-esque love of donuts, but no one would think I was a freak for it (at least I don't think so), and that's a worse dietary choice! ;D

My Inner French Girl said...

Merci, AS! Yeah, there have been a smattering of letters to the editor following up on that article, with a few people accusing me of being a Socialist. My answer to that, of course, is, "Yeah, so?" ;-)

It was much worse ten years ago, when people's responses to my and my now-ex-boyfriend's admission that we're vegetarian (actually, we were vegan) generally bordered on the defensive, sometimes even contempt. Now people are mostly curious. You still get the occasional snide remarks, but for the most part I think it's become more mainstream now that people understand it's not an "alternative lifestyle" but a legitimate avenue of nutrition and cooking.

Salut,
Marjorie