This isn’t satire. That headline recently appeared on an animal shelter’s website. Does it sound misguided? Sadly, it’s the norm at many dog and cat shelters throughout the country. Perhaps if the people who attend these fundraisers watch an undercover video that illustrates the abuse cows endure as people grind them into food, they may choose a more humane path. Tragically, in many cases, people are aware of the lives of these animals and continue to put their own wants ahead of the welfare of animals. If they know the devastating truth about animal agriculture and that eating animals isn’t necessary, it’s important for us to show them the hypocrisy of criticizing people who abuse dogs while paying people to abuse cows.
Thousands of dedicated advocates work tirelessly, often as volunteers, to save dogs and cats. We applaud them for it. They care deeply about finding these animals safe homes. They walk dogs, donate food and other supplies, pay for surgeries, and raise awareness about adopting from shelters instead of buying from breeders and pet stores that order their dogs from puppy mills. I’ve seen firsthand for many years the work they do and the lives they save.
At the same time, people who advocate for all animals would be remiss if they did not encourage these activists to show compassion for all animals – not just the cats and dogs at their local shelter. It makes no sense to pay someone to confine, exploit, abuse, and kill a cow or pig in order to save a dog or cat.
People who work in animal rescue should not eat animals and events to raise money to save animals should not serve the remains of animals. The intent of this message is not to degrade the importance of the work people do at shelters but rather to suggest it doesn’t have to be done at the expense of other animals.
A cow is a pig is a chicken is a cat is a dog. They’re all sentient individuals–they all feel pain, get scared, love their families, like to play, have the right to live their lives freely, and they all matter. We don’t need to exploit, wear, test on, or eat any of them to survive.
Please consider sharing the following tips with your local animal shelter in order to help them promote a message of compassion and mercy for all animals:
1) Ask them to host animal-friendly events that only serve plant-based food.
2) If they resist, ask for events that serve plant-based food as a prominent option to ease supporters into a transition and to illustrate to the shelter that people will attend events with delicious plant-based food.
3) Ask your shelter to stop promoting items on menus such as chicken and bacon in their fundraising advertisements. It’s one thing if they hold an event at a bar and someone decides to order a chicken. It’s another if they actually promote eating an abused, confined, and killed animal on their event page.
4) Offer to host a barbecue with plant-based meats such as Gardein and Beyond Meat and introduce them to products such as Daiya cheese, So Delicious ice cream, Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo, and other veg options.
The excuse many shelters provide is that if they don’t host events serving chicken, bacon, and hamburgers, people won’t attend yet reality doesn’t support that claim. Dog and cat shelters throughout the country host plant-based fundraisers with enormous success. In fact, these shelters have reported that their supporters have quickly embraced the idea, even those who otherwise eat animals, and respect that the rescues are extending their umbrella of compassion to all animals. Let’s use our voices to help every animal and unite in this common cause.
5 thoughts on “Steak Dinner Raises $640 for Abused Animals”
Well written, Andrew. So glad to be on the same side with ewe of this important fight for the animals.
It does amaze me how many people who work so hard to help animals in shelters still eat animals. A couple of years ago I went to the No More Homeless Pets conference in Las Vegas held by Best Friends Animal Society. Best Friends is an amazing organization and I have nothing but love for them. However, meat, eggs, and dairy were served during the conference. I think it goes back to the reality that some people still see certain animals as more deserving of compassion than others.
Debbie – you’ll be happy to know that Best Friends recently adopted a really great plant-based policy for their events – “At Best Friends, the pursuit of our mission to achieve our vision specifically involves ending the killing of companion animals in shelters. While those efforts are currently focused on companion animals, the vision of Best Friends is very simple: “A better world through kindness to animals.” Our current guiding principles are also prescriptive about how Best Friends should show compassion to all living creatures.
Golden Rule: To treat all living things as we ourselves would wish to be treated.
Kindness: To demonstrate compassion and respect for all living creatures.
It is incongruent with our guiding principles to support industries that raise and slaughter animals for food, as these animals often live in inhumane and even torturous conditions.
Given the above, food served at all Best Friends staff meetings and employee events, the food that employees are reimbursed for while traveling, employee food choices when meeting with donors, and food served at any other Best Friends–related events should be vegetarian, and whenever feasible, entirely plant-based.
While not all Best Friends staff follow plant-based or vegetarian diets, Best Friends is an organization dedicated to animals and their well-being. Best Friends staff are expected to respect and follow this policy when using donor money because it is important that, as employees of Best Friends, we always represent the values of the organization.”
Andrew, thank you for this post. It’s wonderful. Check out Animal Place Sanctuary (www.animalplace.org) and their Food for Thought campaign (www.foodforthoughtcampaign.org). They provide some excellent resources, including a very compelling video narrated by Jackson Galaxy, host of Animal Planet’s “My Cat From Hell” show, that features shelter directors with veg policies in place from across the country. Activists, if they’re going to work on this issue, need all the support and resources they can get. I highly encourage folks to get in touch with Animal Place for these materials and guidance. They have regional coordinators in various parts of the country working on this and making significant headway. Their most recent success was the Vermont Federation of Humane Societies which adopted a VEGAN policy.
A more warped fundraiser there is not. Check you cognitive dissonance at the door, dumb asses. You saved one animal bc you paid for the torture and murder of another. Despicable.