A Rising Tide Floats All BoatsPosted by Dana Campbell, ALDF Attorney on December 29th, 2008
So goes the popular saying. As we advance headlong into a new year and a new presidential administration, thoughts naturally turn to the opportunities for change, the byword of both political parties’ presidential campaigns this past year. In that spirit, I’m proposing a far-reaching, but not necessarily obvious, idea that we who care about animals can all get behind: make our country a better place for children and victims of violence, and there will be no excuse not to make improvements for animals as well. I say this because during the recent media flurry surrounding ALDF’s report ranking the animal protection laws of each state, officials in states in the bottom 5 states tried to justify their lack of good animal laws by saying they can’t see increasing the penalties for animal abuse above those in place for human victims of violence. Statements like that seem to me to be incredibly short-sighted.
With the incoming Obama administration promising to devote billions to infrastructure and job creation next year, let’s make sure that roads and bridges are not the only beneficiaries—we need to make sure people and animals are in line to benefit as well. To those who say we can’t fund an animal shelter because we don’t have enough money for people shelters I say: “Get to it then!” To those who say we can’t increase the penalties for animal abusers until we increase the penalties for child abusers and wife beaters I say: “What’s stopping you? Let’s pass those measures to better protect people today.”
When animal advocates then come forward with hat in hand for a shelter or stronger legislation and meet the excuse that “we can’t provide for animals until we’ve taken care of the people” that excuse will not only be moot, we’ll be enjoying a better world where all beings are protected and taken care of properly. Let’s not compete for resources, let’s DEMAND they be made available for all. Now is the time to think big, and act big, and create the change we want to see (to borrow another popular saying). Put your vision for big change for animals in the Comments below. Join me in creating the rising tide that lifts all.