Dear friends & readers:
Among the questions Beth & I most often hear from occasional ANIMALS 24-7 readers, but not so much from longtime readers, after we expose yet another example of cruelty, corruption, incompetence, or institutional indifference toward an atrocity against animals, is “What can I do about it?”
Some animal advocates seek links to online petitions, unaware that the major use of petitions in animal advocacy, even before the online era, was to help the petition sponsors collect names for use in fundraising appeals.
No company was ever convinced to change anything by complaints from non-customers, who very likely will never be customers.
No politician was ever persuaded by the electronic signatures of non-constituents, who will never be able to vote either for or against him.
Worst, merely clicking a link to send an electronic signature somewhere tends to give the advocate the feeling of having done something, without actually doing anything at all.
Dedicated longtime ANIMALS 24-7 readers, Beth & I believe, are more astute than that––and more creative and more serious about getting results than that.
We believe you already know how to search your own networks of contacts and correspondents, and your own inventory of experience, to find your own unique opportunities to accomplish things for animals.
You may not always know someone who knows someone else who can help you through the grapevine to change whatever needs to be changed; but very often you do, and thereby manage to put in a word where it will be most effective.
Sometimes we spotlight instances where ANIMALS 24-7 reporting by itself appears to have made a difference, as when Iceland suspended last summer’s commercial whaling season only hours after we published data demonstrating that every governmental statement in favor of the tiny Icelandic whaling industry was followed almost immediately by a drop in tourist reservations, a much more important source of income for Icelanders.
Much more often, the cause-and-effect is less dramatic. And usually what makes the biggest difference is just the element of personal contact.
It is a big world, and many animal issues seem overwhelming in magnitude. Often it is easy to imagine that only some sort of big response, multiplying your one voice by millions, can get results.
You, too, are a super-hero!
Reality, though, is that each person, no matter how alone that person may feel, is typically only half a dozen acquaintances away from anyone else living at the same time, and just putting in an informed, considered word wherever you are, through your own circle of friends and family who know and trust you, can have a ripple effect bringing more profound change than any amount of mere amplified noise.
This is how, for example, the word “vegan” went within the space of just one generation from being completely unfamiliar to most consumers to becoming one of the most used product descriptions in supermarkets.
It was not multi-million-dollar mass media ad campaigns that made plant-based diets fashionable. The food industry, fixated on marketing meat, dairy, and egg products, did not jump on the vegan bandwagon––or shopping cart––until it was already rolling down the aisles, emptying shelves of vegan food items with nothing more than the momentum of word-of-mouth, friend to friend.
We must mention, though, that very often the most useful and helpful thing you can do in response to anything that ANIMALS 24-7 reports about, while looking for your opportunities to directly influence others, is to donate to ANIMALS 24-7.
This has two important effects.
First, and perhaps most obviously, the subjects of our investigative reporting tend to be companies, institutions, and sometimes prominent individuals who are heavily dependent upon maintaining a positive public image, to sell their products; or bring people into their zoos, horse racing tracks, dog shows, or whatever; or to attract even more money to their big national animal charities that can’t even haul two dozen dogs safely from one shelter to another.
The last thing these companies, institutions, and overpaid executives want to see is word of their failings getting out to the world. Helping ANIMALS 24-7 keep the spotlight on what others would prefer to keep in the dark is often in itself an effective approach to reducing and preventing animal suffering.
Second, and most important, your donations to ANIMALS 24-7 are urgently needed to help us to keep informing you. ANIMALS 24-7 empowers you, through investigations and exposés of animal suffering, to see your opportunities to personally make a difference, whether as rescuer, activist, or just the best informed person in any conversation about animals, at the supermarket, the dog park, or anywhere else you are.
Your $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000, or whatever else you can share with ANIMALS 24-7, is your ticket to self-empowerment in fighting against cruelty, corruption, incompetence, and indifference, on behalf of animals everywhere.
P.S.––We posted our IRS Form 990 for 2019 a few days ago. Beth & I each made $7.35 an hour last year. We are obviously not producing ANIMALS 24-7 for the money in it; but your generous donation of $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000, or whatever else you can share, is very much needed to help keep us on the job.