The Uphill Battle for the Welfare of Animals

As humans, we each have beliefs about how things are supposed to be. Here’s some examples of ideas I’ve heard others share.

  • dinner is to be served at 7 pm
  • children must go to school bathed and in clean clothes
  • adults must dress up for work to show they are committed and professional
  • animals do not belong on the furniture
  • my religion is the one “true” religion and all the rest of you are going to Hell
Sure, I'll post pictures of Little Girl to get your attention.
Sure, I post pictures of Little Girl to get your attention.

Now there is nothing wrong with each of these ideas…. except when we come across someone who doesn’t believe as we do. Then we must either re-think what we believe to be true, or write off the other person as wrong.

Challenging the belief systems of others is healthy, and the way we go about making positive change within our society.

Here are some other beliefs people have held (and some still do) that most of us now believe are wrong:

  • it’s OK to own people to labor for us because we are a far superior race (or country, or group, etc.)
  • a woman’s place is in the home
  • to appease the gods, we should sacrifice one of our children to them
  • it’s OK to kill off Native Americans and steal their lands, because they are a threat to us invaders

As I said, some still hold these ideas to be true. Changing the beliefs of a society didn’t happen overnight. We had to fight a civil war in the US to change the beliefs of some that slavery was wrong.

So you see the challenge we face when we try to convince others that animals are deserving of better treatment. We are challenging an ingrained belief system that folks don’t necessarily want to change.

Here's another one- hooked ya in this time, didn't I?
Here’s another one- hooked ya in this time, didn’t I?

I see it here on this blog. I can throw up a few pics of Rumpy or DeDe playing with a cat, and my readership goes through the roof. What day do people NOT read this blog? Tuesday. Why? Because they don’t want to know what’s going on with animals in the world. It hurts too much.

I don’t buy it. What it really tells me is that they don’t want to read about the plight of animals because they might then have to change some of their beliefs about animals and their welfare.

And that makes me incredibly sad.

But there are some things I see in the world that give me great hope, such as the hundreds of people who turned out in New Zealand to protest against party drugs being tested on animals.

In today’s world, with 24/7 media tailored to our beliefs, it’s easier to write off people who don’t think as we do as wrong, without once giving a moment’s thought to whether our personal beliefs may need to change.

So my job, and the job of others who are working to improve the lot of animals in the world, is not easy. But I assure you, I’m going to still be here, churning out the truth about animal welfare. And yes, I’ll throw up those cute pictures of Rumpy with a cat, because if that’s what I have to do to hook you in and challenge some of your beliefs, I’m not above doing it.

Subversive? Yeah, you could call it that.
Cute! Cute! Cute!

55 thoughts on “The Uphill Battle for the Welfare of Animals

  1. It’s really interesting. I found that when I did posts on guinea pig welfare or care they actually got more views than my other posts which is part of the reason why I am going to do more like that.

    The biggest issue is, if people are ending up on your blog its usually because they care for animals already. Preaching to the converted if you like.

    I think the question is how do you reach the people who don’t care?

    ~ Amy

    1. The Tuesday visitors are the choir. The cute seekers are looking for a fix of “feel-good” and don’t necessarily want to hear about the plight of elehants or tigers.

      1. It’s very sad. I think all animals deserve to be treated with kindness. When will the rest of the world catch on to what we have said all along?!

        ~ Amy

  2. There’s a site out there called “Daily Puppy.” Every day they put up a different series of gorgeous puppy pix. Your heart will just melt. But, you’re right – no hard hitting animal abuse news. As a fellow activist site (I’m an animal activist too, but my site is dedicated to another topic), I too, see the ups and downs of readership, and feel the sadness when a topic of extreme import is ignored. But, isn’t that what we’re really all about? Changing people’s belief systems is hard work, but without people like you and me, change – no matter how slight – would never take place at all.

    George Bernard Shaw said (paraphrase) “The reasonable man accepts life on its own terms. The unreasonable man rails against it. Therefore all progress is due to the unreasonable man.”

    We should probably start saying “unreasonable person, but Shaw was a 19th century dude, so I’ll let him have that one.

    Anyway, keep fighting the good fight – and stay the unreasonable person. Rumpy, you can be an unreasonable Malamute. πŸ™‚

  3. Some of us are on a subtle PR mission. It isn’t easy. I subscribe to Stop Animal Abuse blog which has horrific stories and sometimes graphic images. It’s a no comment blog.

    Occasionally, I will mention one of the stories because exactly as you say, I know people want to shut their eyes and pretend that dogs aren’t tied up in plastic bags, set on fire, rhinos and elephants aren’t poached blah blah. But I like to slip in the odd story just to try and jolt a conscience or two. Doubt it works, but still, like you, I try.

    And because I’m vegetarian, I’ll write about that too, and the hypocrisy that surrounds ‘we’ll eat this animal but not that one’ or ‘we’ll wear leather’ or whatever.

    As goodlife said, I think mostly we are preaching to the converted. Not that my readers share all of my views, some probably don’t share any. So if I get anything across about animal welfare, the environment, not eating animals/birds/fish, globalisation and corporate greed, feminism, workers’ rights, (the list is endless) I think it’s worth it.

    If I could convince even one person to rescue an animal I would be a happy roughseas.

  4. The truth of what is happening to animals around the world is grotesque to many people,sadly often some people cannot stomach the truth..yesterday for me the plight was evident only too well by the shooting of arrows into a Kangaroo..she will recover ..her joey is gone..lost after she threw him away when in danger..i spent yesterday seething..wondering what kind of species we are that can do such a thing,wondering what went wrong with our genetics that gave some of us a switch that seems only appeased by violence.
    I too love cute and cuddly pics but sadly these are weighted down with sad and disturbing images. I have had a hiatus from fostering as the brutal things I saw filled my head to a point of near breakdown, my nerves were shattered and as such i was no help to any animal..perhaps some people cannot cope with the bad news.Keep fighting the good fight people still read and learn and even one person reached is better than none.
    Hugs Fozziemum

  5. I was there on tuesday :o) I think it’s important to write about the bad things too – it’s our world an we all live on it, so we can’t just close our eyes when evil things happen. Thanks for this post Rumpy&DeDe .

  6. I must admit that I definitely like the cute much more than hearing about the bad things. Hearing that stuff is a necessary evil though. It’s important to know what you’re condoning by being silent on the issue.

  7. There are some people who bombard facebook and other social media outlets with horrific photos and stories of abuse, they feel it is their job to share and educate but after a while people stop listening to them because all they hear is the negative and it upsets them. People like cute or funny and even sentimental they don’t like to hear about bad things so they shut them out.

    I for one have taken a step back more than once because I’ve gotten overwhelmed by the awful things happening in the world. I don’t completely shut it out, I feel it’s best to be informed but for my own mental health and well being on occasion I have to close my ears and eyes and hug my dogs a little longer before I get back to trying to change the world.

  8. most want pretty puppies tied up in blue or pink bows…
    I have been taking in others cast-aways for years, i have never been able to comprehend how someone can just let their dog or cat out in from my house in the middle of the night
    and i am grateful I don’t understand people like that…
    I’m usually here on Tuesday…if I’m not then usually because something is going on with my zoo…
    this week past I had Baby Socks tangle with a rattle snake and lost the war, Frankie who is the sweetest, calmest tabby somehow lost his part of his…Baby Socks left to kittens for me to be mom too
    she was so gentle….
    both were cast-aways
    there are times when I wonder how I will make ends meet to take care of them all..but I do ….its my heart hurts that I can’t seem to make ends meet….I notice lately I am surrounded by animals instead of humans….it is sometimes a wild ride, but I have a calm now I haven’t had in a long time

    You do wonderful work here…even if I don’t speak..know I appreciate your thoughts and ways….Thank you for all you do…
    Take Care…You Matter…

  9. Jen … I think you’re preaching to the choir on days other than Tuesdays, too. People care and do hear your message.

    What Emily posted above is true. I had reposted a photo about an abused animal (one of the less horrific examples) on my Facebook page and got flak for it. So I shifted gears and try to use gentle persuasion to get people to adopt animals from shelters – that’s where we got our 2 kitties who are now 5 years old.

  10. I like your Hisses and Puuurs post on Tuesdays…of course, those stories of Hisses are very sad and make us feel upset to read but we can’t ignore them for the future of animal welfair.
    Puuurs always make us smile and us touched. I feel sad that people don’t visit your Tuesday post….. 😦

  11. Any battle worth fighting for is always difficult, rather than easy. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be worth the fight. Hang in there. You’re not alone in the vast sea of animal welfare crusaders. Everyday more join our cause. And we must be doing something right if we’re ruffling the feathers of the opposition. Stay vigilant! All it takes is one look in your furbabies’ eyes to remind you why you’re fighting.

    I enjoy reading your Hisses and Purrs post on Tuesdays – I look forward to it. You create a nice balance of strides we (as a human collective) have made and where energy needs to be place regarding welfare issues.

  12. I find your Tuesday posts very informative, thought-provoking, and oftentimes challenging. Cute pictures and posts are important (we certainly love seeing Rumpy and DeDe playing with cats) and good for the soul, but so is being informed and self-aware. Thank you, dear pals.

  13. Mama tries to read everything (she’s SuperMama!) and I am 100% for helping the plight of animals because I am one of those pups! Woooooowoooooooo, Ku

  14. Rumpy you are doing one fine job in creating awareness for those who can not speak for themselves… And I so agree with your thoughts and our actions always speak louder than words…

    And thank goodness for those like you who act…

    Love and Blessings as always your way..
    Sue xox

  15. Hmmm. Wonder if the topic was switched to a different day if readership would be as low? A lot of people are really running fast on Tuesday and don’t have time to read? Or they post on Mon, Wed. and read on those days not on Tues? Would be interesting to know.
    But as you say, cute pictures grab people – and very short posts do well, too.
    Sometimes people back up and read old posts, Rumpy – don’t get discouraged.

  16. As I have said before, even if I fail to comment or hit the like button, I always read Tuesday because you seem able to grab information from around the world that I miss entirely. We have long been active, via donation, to various organizations over 40 years who we believe attempt to better the welfare of animals around the world; domestic and wildlife. Are we vegetarians? No, will we ever be, No. Do we close our eyes to where our dinner came from and have no care about how it was treated before being killed for our consumption…No. Have we eliminated various meets and fish from our diet, yes due to how it is acquired/managed. We do in this house what we can do. I will start by reblogging your Tuesday posts for Savannah’s readers. You have far more than I, but maybe I will reach one person you don’t and maybe they are not yet in the choir but will come to join. I can only try. The only thing I am not able to do is to be bombarded with photos of cruelty to animals, including those that are on kill lists at shelters…I have a very active visual memory and do not forget and have nightmares; I chose to not view the graphic horrors…but I will read and always do on Tuesday. Savannah, Mom Linda and Dad Peter

  17. I have a hard time remembering sometimes that other people aren’t persuaded by things the same way I am.

    For example, for a long time, it frustrated me to hear people say that they only realized how harmful homophobia was once their son (or friend or roommate) came out as gay. To me, wrong is wrong. It doesn’t matter if I have a personal connection or not.

    But I’ve slowly come to realize that most people need a personal connection to be convinced of an injustice. Puppy mills are only terrible when their puppy suffers from congenital illness, for example.

    So now I spend a lot of time thinking about what others need to hear to be persuaded. I really liked this article in Salon: I think it also has some lessons for talking about animal welfare as well.

    And, of course, my history background shows me how far we’ve come. πŸ™‚

  18. People get a life. Abuse exists whether you read about it or not. Yes, it’s hard to read about. Yes, there is something you can help with even if it’s just signing the online petition.

    Take your head out of the sand. If it weren’t for the suffragettes, if you’re a women you couldn’t vote. 20 women in the Senate, Yes!!

    Jen, your posts are so informative. Thank you. It’s hard to read so I know it must hard tp write.

    BTW, cats and dogs do get along.

  19. I read your blog every day. I may not always post a comment but it doesn’t mean I don’t care. Don’t get discouraged if people don’t comment.

  20. You gotta do what you gotta do… in a way that matters to you, because if you don’t and others don’t then who will… and as far as the comment re preaching to the converted, many of us who follow your blog are ‘converts’, yes, doing our own thing our own way and it’s nice to be in good company πŸ™‚

  21. The internet allows so much more advocacy than ever before. Because it is not face to face, it can often seem like we are all alone out there. The important thing to remember is we also never know who may have been inspired by any one of us to join the cause. We don’t know if they came on board because of an adorable kitty face or a beaten dog. As long as we don’t just go away and give up, we are making a difference. Someone you will never meet or know could easily read this post and take action.

  22. Reblogged this on The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap and commented:
    This isn’t just about animal welfare but tolerance, seeing differences (beliefs) and also looking to see if there is room for change, for opening to something new. Rumpy’s mom tirelessly advocates for animals and for this, and all the other great things I’ve read she’s involved in, a heartfelt THANK YOU. This is really worth the read.

  23. We LOVE the Tuesday blog post Hisses and Purrs! Please, please, don’t give up! They are our favourite and we never miss forget to check your blog on Tuesdays!

  24. Paulette, Had there been a white diamond on the neck of that cat, she could have been Ms. T, the cat Steph and I had for almost 10 years. Though that cat looks a lot friendier. Smiling I truly believe that what you do as an advocate for these animals is wonderful. And thanks to you I have learned so so much in the last few months about their plight. Thank you, Bill

  25. I’m with you, Rumpy. I do want to change behaviour. I have a question for you though. Do you think it’s right to support biological research on human diseases? Because I think a lot of that research involves animals in a not very pleasant way.

    1. I think it’s been clearly proven that much of the research conducted on animals has not shown the drugs to necessarily be safe on humans. So yes, I do oppose animal research.

  26. Well said all of it, Rumpy. I saw this reblog on The Persecution of Mildred Dunlop. Good on you for EVER being here, churning the truth out.

    A lady at work just last Friday said her cat was one she found as a kitten “in a plastic bag in the bin at the back of our place”. I was absolutely stunned. In a BIN. WHAT???????

  27. I used to look at my site stats and get really down when a post I put my heart and soul into would only get a few hits whilst the ‘pretty pictures’ posts get lots of hits…but now I think of it this way; if only one person reads that post about animal welfare, it’s one more person in the world who is more aware than before I wrote the post. If that one person goes and tells a friend, that’s two people. Etc. All we can do is keep on writing with that hope in mind. Your blog has certainly opened my eyes up to many, many issues around animal welfare. For instance, I never knew about the ‘ag-gag’ laws and once I found out, I wrote about it on my Facebook…then my friends shared it and so on. And I’m only one reader in Australia! I am sure your blog has had a major impact, no matter how many hits you’re getting on the Tuesday posts! πŸ™‚

What would you like to add to the conversation? Bark at me in a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s