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From: Keith (d207-216-60-167.bchsia.telus.net -207.216.60.167)
Subject: Activism
Date: December 11, 2005 at 7:24 pm PST

In Reply to: activist groups -- PETA, etc. posted by Leslie on December 7, 2005 at 11:08 am:

The most effective thing to do to as an activist is not necessarily the biggest, the best, or the most influential thing, not even the thing that "does the most good". The most effective thing to you can do is whatever you WILL do. If it is something that you will do, something that you keep doing because doing it gives you energy and vitality and hope for the future, you will make a much bigger difference in the world than if you start something that leaves you drained, dispirited or burned out, and that you end up quiting.

So, of all the bazillion things big and small, global or local, that you could do, which ones speak to you most on the level of values and conscience? Which ones can you support wholeheartedly, without any reservations? Which ones attract people whose integrity you admire?

Be cautious of working with people who display a lot of "energy". How long have they been at it, and how long can they keep it up? I would much rather work with mellow people who have demonstrated a long-term committment to a program than with people who are on a burn-out cruise.

Don't let anyone talk you into supporting or avoiding this or that organization. Instead, make your own decision based on how their work and their workers resonate with you and with your sense of hope for the future.

Personally, although PETA has accomplished some worthwhile things, I have too many reservations about them to ever be able to work for them or support them. I would not oppose the work of someone who was trying to improve the welfare of captive animals. However, I would not be able to support that work either, since the outcome of their work is still the continuing enslavement of animals.

Recently, my activism has been directed towards a trap-neuter-and-return program for feral cats that also financially assists low-income cat owners to get their pets fixed. It is a very local program, but has produced significant, tangible results.

So, it doesn't matter what you do, as long as you do something. By choosing your cause wisely, you can keep on doing it.

Keith



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