There are certain things that just aren't done.
You don't abuse or victimize children.
You don't abuse or victimize the elderly.
You don't drink and drive.
You don't engage in any behavior that violates the sanctuary of another person's home.
And you don't kill healthy and treatable shelter animals.
I am often criticized for being zero tolerance when it comes to organizations that destroy savable animals. I am told I would get much more cooperation and my message would be better received if only I was nicer or more polite. I simply don't agree. When it comes to certain behavior, I think the manner in which the message is conveyed is not at all relevant.
Once I say one time, "please stop _______________," (in this case destroying savable animals) it is my position that is sufficient in and of itself. When that request is met with anything but genuine enthusiasm, being more polite or diplomatic is simply not really necessary or appropriate.
I realize that this aspect of my animal welfare advocacy makes some people uncomfortable. Most people like or even enjoy my multimedia projects I do for rescue groups and on important subjects. Most people find something of value on my website. To me, this aspect of my advocacy may very well be the most important; I share my position in order to persuade you to consider your own. Yes, I am zero tolerance when it comes to needless killing of healthy and treatable animals using my money or donations.
For me, this is an issue of behavior that is morally indefensible. The cure for the disease that is shelter killing is known and has been known for a very long time. I am happy to share what I know about that cure but then those who are doing the killing need to own responsibility for doing just that and stop deflecting blame by talking about how I have hurt their feelings. This isn't about people; it's about saving lives.
When people tell me to be nice or to stop making them uncomfortable or to stop being divisive, what they are really saying is that their personal comfort level is more important to them than the lives of defenseless animals. For shame, for shame. When lives are at stake, diplomacy is nice but there is no time to take a poll and make sure everyone is happy and comfortable. You do your best to show some respect but then you focus on the task at hand: saving lives. It's just that simple.
I am an animal welfare advocate. My goal is to help people understand some basic issues related to companion animals in America. Awareness leads to education leads to action leads to change.
image courtesy of Terrah Johnson