Monday, January 24, 2011

Recognizing Animal Cruelty and Neglect in Our Community

Will 2011 be remembered as a cruel year? So far, it seems to be. We have had more emails and phone calls about animal cruelty and neglect than we have ever had.

Unfortunately, this increase is not unexpected. We are trying to emerge from one of the worst economic times we have ever seen. We continue to be mired in two wars. We see constant reports of violence and cruelty in the news and entertainment. We live in a culture where stress is high and violence is often tolerated, and sometimes even glorified.

It is not surprising that more animals are being abused and neglected. They are literally the voiceless victims. For people who need to feel important and powerful, pets in their homes and on the streets are easy targets.

There is absolutely no excuse for animal cruelty and neglect. And we should not tolerate it in our community. Recently, a group of neighbors rallied to fight for justice for a stray cat who was a victim of cruelty by a man who followed his act by publicly bragging about his act. (See the original news story about the case here.) The actions of the citizens who care about this single cat are standing up and demanding that animal cruelty not be tolerated.

Do you know the signs of animal cruelty and neglect? Do you know what to do when you witness cruelty? Learn more about recognizing and reporting animal cruelty here. Visit our Facebook page and share your own ideas on preventing and stopping animal cruelty and neglect in your own community.

You are their voice. Speak loudly.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How Will Our Greatness Be Judged?

Mahatma Gandhi, one of the greatest leaders of modern times and the inspiration for many non-violent movements across the globe, cared about all of his fellow living beings. One of his most often used quotes in animal welfare ties a nation's treatment of the animals in their midst to their measurement of greatness and progress:

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

It seems to be such a simple statement, yet is so profound in its meaning. How do we treat the living creatures that share the space within our borders? And what do we learn about ourselves by what we do, or do not do, in defense of those that rely on us?

At the recent Golden Globe awards, a movie about animal welfare pioneer Temple Grandin won more awards. From a woman who many would avoid in their daily lives comes some of the most influential changes in how farm animals are treated.

But you don't have to have a PhD to make a difference in the lives of the animals around you. You can make a difference right where you are. If you are in Georgia, the state legislature is back in session. Become informed on pending legislation, and let your state representative or senator know that how animals are treated matters to you. If you live in another state, become involved in your own local and state government to advocate for those that have no voice of their own.

You can define how our greatness is judged, by the presence, or absence, of your actions.