Animal advocates. What does it mean to be an animal advocate? To me, being an advocate means taking action to help/support/defend. I am a rescue advocate. I am a bully breed advocate. This means I attend rescue events; I promote the rescue whenever I can. I tell people about rescuing, adopting, and fostering. I am a bully breed advocate, mostly through Oscar. I am constantly and consistently working on basic training, to help him be the best dog possible. He is CGC certified, a great foster buddy, and he loves the humans. I want him to prove all the
haters doubters wrong, by showing everyone what a good boy he is.
Take the Blackfish Sea World situation. First, yes I saw Blackfish, and yes I think the things Sea World has done are disgusting. However, I think many of these people bashing Sea World are a bit ridiculous…ok, “ridiculous” isn’t the right word, but I can’t think of what is the right one. People jump on the bandwagon, “Take down Sea World! They’re evil! Roar!”…but what are those people actually doing about it? What is the actual point they are trying to make? That Sea World has mistreated these animals, right? So, boycotting Sea World is going to help those animals? No. Let’s assume that the whole country gets behind this idea, and Sea World ends up going bankrupt. What happens to the animals? Wild animals that have been in captivity for years. Some were even born in captivity. It is highly unlikely that they could be released into the wild successfully. So…euthanize them? Set them free and let the other wild animals kill them? What are the advocates doing for these animals? If my opinion mattered at all, if I could speak to the world and get everyone to listen, I think the best move would be to make Sea World into an animal sanctuary. Sea World HAS done some wonderful things, including rescuing wildlife, rehabilitating them, and releasing them. They could continue to do that, and in the case of an animal that can’t be released, then they keep them in the sanctuary. The animals shouldn’t be forced to learn tricks, and do shows, just for the entertainment of tourists. It could be used as a learning facility for future marine biologists, vets, etc. But…what is the likelihood that this will happen? Slim to none, I am sure. I wonder, did anyone ever consider that these same things, the situation people are all of a sudden outraged over, are also the same for animals that are in zoos, aquariums, and circuses? No one is causing an uproar over those poor animals though, because there hasn’t been a documentary released and blasted through news outlets. Humans put these animals in captivity. Advocates would have to not only demand change, but follow through as well, to make a difference for the animals.
It’s the same with shelters and rescues. Over the last couple of years, I’ve heard “What you’re doing is wonderful”; “poor animals, humans suck”; “I wish there was something I could do”….but there is! Fostering is not for everyone. I wish it were, but I understand that it’s not. But there are plenty of other things you could do. You can volunteer at local adoption events. You can follow a local rescue or shelter on social media, and share an adoptable dog each day, to help network. You can make a monthly donation to a rescue or shelter, monetary or supplies. There are so many ways you can help; so many ways you can be an advocate. These animals, domestic and wild, need people to stand up for them. They need advocates.
When I say the animals need advocates, I mean REAL advocates. Not celebrities who jump on the bandwagon just for a photo shoot. Real advocates, like Kaley Cuoco, who advocates for the bully breeds; Ellen Degeneres, who advocates for holistic treatments for pets; Ian Somerhalder, who advocates for rescues and no-kill shelters. These are people who are doing something for the animals. There are companies that claim to be advocates, but have still done some negative actions. Take PETA for example. PETA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. But did you know that this group euthanizes over 90% of the animals in their shelters? Of course, they say this is done to alleviate suffering. You mean to tell me that 90% of the animals are suffering that greatly, that they can’t be rehabilitated and adopted out? Did you also know that PETA made a statement that pit bulls should be euthanized because a bad person might adopt them? (Since then, they have obviously back pedaled and reworded what they supposedly meant.) This is not to say that PETA does nothing good for animals. I am just trying to point out that there are good and bad sides to everything. Same with Sea World. Why are we (humans) killing the animals when they aren’t the ones doing wrong? Humans are the ones doing the bad things.
Why do the animals pay for it? Because they can’t speak up for themselves.
Research. Volunteer. Educate. Advocate.
So, what does being an advocate mean to you? Do you consider yourself an advocate for someone/thing?
Please remember, my opinions are my own. I don’t expect others to agree with everything I say. There are things I believe in whole-heartedly (pit bulls need love too), and other things that I disagree with (Sea World’s treatment of some of their animals). It is important to have a dialog, to be open to hearing what other’s have to say. Please, feel free to voice your polite, respectful opinions in the comment section below. I would love to hear what you have to say!