Giving Animals a Voice in Harrisburg

This Tuesday, April 24th is the primary day for elections.  It’s an opportunity for yet another choice.  To either go about your daily business and keep your fingers crossed that someone else is willing to speak up on your behalf, or to dedicate a simple 30 minutes (or less) out of your busy day to make a difference.  Make sure that the leaders of your state and country are making decisions you agree with.

It’s easy to criticize, to judge.  It’s easy to roll your eyes at ‘the way it is’ and make statements like, ‘I can’t believe people get away with this!’  Issues like the pink slime debacle, the horrifying meat recalls, and the abuses toward laying hens, pigs, and dairy cows that recently made the news – these are all issues we can do something about.  We can speak up and declare, “This is NOT OK!”  We have an ethical responsibility toward the animals, a responsibility toward our own health, and certainly a moral responsibility to future generations to make things right.  We must undo what recent generations have done to the food and farming industry.

We’ll never win on money.  Corporations and the industry organizations that support factory farming and the corrupt food industry have pockets so deep that they’re very used to getting their way.  They pay serious amounts of money to ensure politicians maintain the status quo.  But guess what?  Politicians don’t get into office in the first place without the support of everyday people.  Corporations can’t really get them into office.  They just focus on swaying the votes once they’re in.

We can win with numbers.  Elected officials are put into office by the people.  If they don’t get elected or stay elected, that’s pretty much it.  So if we want anything to change, we must start with getting the right people into office.  We must make it clear that animal cruelty is NOT ok.  Not when it comes to puppies being put to death in gas chambers.  Not when it comes to live pigeons being shot and stunned and left to die in a field or have their heads twisted off by children.  Not when it comes to exotic animals being kept for pets only to end up euthanized because people were ill-equipped to care for them.  The great majority of every folks would not just sit idly by if they witnessed such atrocities.  They would speak up.  Sadly, each of the above issues are not just hypothetical scenarios.  They are real activities that are 100% legal to this day in Pennsylvania.  And what’s worse?  They’re all issues on the floor in the House and Senate where people are fighting to keep them legal.  They’re fighting to maintain status quo.  Who’s allowing that to happen and who can fight hard enough to overcome?  The very people we are putting into office on Tuesday.  Which side of the cruelty fence do your legislators stand on?  Do they know how you feel?

Would you look the other way if you saw a teenager beating the crap out of his dog in the back yard or setting a cat on fire?  Of course not!  You’d fight for those who can’t fight for themselves.  It’s human nature.  And it’s usually as simple as an anonymous phone call to report wrongdoing!  For some reason, it’s human nature to take action when it’s happening in plain sight, or to cheer loudly for the cow that escaped from the slaughterhouse.  But it’s commonplace to look the other way when these events happen on a massive scale.  It’s normal and accepted to pretend it doesn’t exist.

Well, it’s not ok anymore.  If you don’t vote to support legislators that are anti-cruelty…  well then it’s the very same thing as standing idly by.  And if you don’t make a phone call once in a while to either ask for their support in fighting animal cruelty, or to thank them for their support if they’re already voting the way you’d like them to, then it’s the same as standing idly by.  It’s the same as letting the deep pocketed corporations win.  It’s the same as letting other people make decisions about animal cruelty, about your personal health, and about the planet that we leave to future generations.

Put election day on your calendar on Tuesday.  Read up on the candidates in your area.  Share this with your friends and family.  Start making a difference.  Cast your vote.

Even a tidal wave starts with a tiny ripple.

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