No More Drama
And sadly... it seems that no one is willing to meet in the middle. But I'd really like to change that.
Before I go any further, let me just say this: controversy, arguments, and drama are not my goals. While I'm sure that today's post will somehow drive these things, that's certainly not my mission, and I really want no part in it.
I only decided to write about this topic today, because I'm tired of the endless fighting between so many members of the animal community. I've witnessed so much of it lately, and it's just so counterproductive.
For the most part, I try to stay out of the drama as much as possible... I'd rather focus on doing the right thing and making a difference. But obviously, I care about this cause, so I feel the need to take a stand against all of this useless, back-and-forth attacking that's been going around. So, here goes...
This negative behavior only hurts my cause --OUR cause. It's nothing more than a distraction from the real issues, and honestly, it only hinders our ability to take the positive actions needed to resolve those issues. And further... let's just be honest... people already think that we "animal freaks" are crazy enough as it is. Should we really prove them right??
No matter what you believe, or which "side" you're on... if you truly care about the animals, then you should care to end their suffering. Period.
So... even when you don't completely agree with the way that another person/group does things... if they're trying to make things better for animals, then you should at least be thankful for that! Maybe they don't always do things "your way," but that doesn't mean that they aren't doing the very best they can with what they have. "Your way" may not work for everyone... and your way isn't the ONLY way. I don't care who you are.
But that's the problem here. Too many people stand firmly at one extreme or the other, and so few are actually willing to acknowledge that their way isn't the only way.
A lot of people have asked for my opinions on the following questions: What is the problem? What is the solution? Well, in short, here's my general view: There isn't just one problem to blame. There isn't just one solution to claim. And there isn't just one way to win this game.
Obviously, I could get much more specific on each of those topics. But no matter what, I'd never claim that my views represent the animal community as a whole. I'd never claim that my view of any issue is the only way that issue can be viewed. I'd never state that my perception of the solution is the only perception that matters.
If that were true... if I really had all the answers, then I can promise you this much: I'd have this whole thing fixed... by noon tomorrow. Just in time for lunch.
And if you had all the answers, wouldn't you do the same?
That's why we need each other. That's why I won't simply dismiss everyone else's input, and only value my own. Because regardless of what I believe to be true, I'm not trying to solve this problem alone. I want help. I need help.
I try my very best to see all sides. I try to acknowledge each and every factor that contributes toward the problem, while appreciating each and every effort that contributes toward the solution.
That's why I refuse to take the approach of blaming just one group for this entire animal crisis, because common sense tells me that multiple parties must be responsible for a problem this large.
If you ask me who's to blame, here's my opinion: Is society to blame? Yep, society absolutely plays a very big role in the animal crisis. Are the shelters to blame? Well, the shelters have a very significant role as well. Are breeders to blame? Yep, breeders also provide a nice-big-honking contribution to this massive, heartbreaking problem.
I try to acknowledge each component, because the problem can't be solved unless all of the underlying issues are considered and remedied. A problem this complex just can't be simplified into one single contributing factor.
For example, simply blaming the shelters... well... that'll get you nowhere fast. Sure, there are some terrible shelters out there, but it's very easy to simply judge and blame the shelters for their actions, when you have such little understanding of the unique struggles they face... or why they face those things.
But here's the real kicker: when you boldly (and in my opinion, wrongfully) blame only the shelters (or anyone) for the entire problem, then you can be certain of at least one thing: those shelters won't be willing to hear anything else that you have to say. And there went your chance... to actually help them fix it.
The same goes for the solution, or should I say solutions (plural). There are many different ways to reach the ultimate goal here, and no single component can possibly fix everything. But each and every positive factor can play a necessary and critical role in getting us that much closer to (what should be) a shared goal. And each and every one of those factors is needed, in order to truly make a difference.
Another example: some people will argue that spay/neuter isn't necessary in reaching the goal of ending euthanasia. Well, in my opinion, it's senseless and reckless to deny the importance of this critical piece of the solution. But regardless, do I believe that spay/neuter the only solution? Of course not! There are so many other factors needed here: education, legislation, regulation, and so forth.
We all need to acknowledge and accept that there are many causes of this problem, and then... we must work toward the achievable solutions... together. There isn't just one problem. There isn't just one solution. There isn't just one person who has all the answers.
I think it's important that we all try to step outside of our own thoughts and feelings... and attempt to meet somewhere in the middle. This all-or-nothing attitude just isn't benefiting our cause in any way. I certainly don't have all the answers. Neither do you. That's why we need each other. That's why all of these animals... need ALL of us.
One final note, there's a BIG difference between choosing to respectfully accept differences of opinion... and quietly accepting injustice. If any organization is NOT actively helping to end the problem or contribute toward the solution, then no-- that's not okay, and NONE of us should stand for it.