Ignorant: lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact
Activist: an especially active, vigorous advocate of a cause
Ignorance and activist are two words that should never be put together. Those who claim themselves to be “activists” should be knowledgeable about their cause. This week I read an article about a cabinet minister (I think that was her title) updating animal rights laws, specifically increasing care standards of marine animals because of the Marine Land scandal that happened a while ago. However that is a whole other can of worms that I won’t be getting into today.
What I really want to talk about is some of the comments that I read. I know, reading the comments of any article or video etc. is a terrible idea but I just couldn’t resist. It amazed me to read how many people said things like “that’s not good enough”, “it doesn’t matter what they change, it won’t be enough”, “what about the standards of care for _______”. I’m a realist, so I understand miracles cannot be performed over night. These changes to the laws are a good step in the right direction and as long as we keep moving we will end up in a place with higher standards of care and hopefully in time eliminate animal abuse. Do I wish that was in place now? Of course. But I realize that things take time.
Time. I think that may be the one most important thing that activists forget.
For example. The vegans and vegetarians who think that all slaughtering of animals for food should be stopped. Have they considered what that would do to the farmers of these animals? To the small communities that revolve around farming? To the family that owns the slaughter house? To the truck drivers that drive the animals?
A better way to talk about the multiple issues of animal cruelty with slaughterhouse, should include a plan for change. A plan to convert the farmers to sustainable agriculture. Truck drivers to transport the produce/grains instead of livestock. And perhaps a slaughterhouse could become a farmers market.
Zoos; another controversial subject among animal activists. What many don’t realize is that zoos do a tremendous amount of research, they try to increase the population of endangered animals, they bring in huge amounts of money for conservation. Not all zoos are animal prisons. Jane Goodall herself said that some animals get along just fine in zoos as long as they have stimulating and appropriate habitats, her example being the chimpanzee. She also said that there are animals that don’t belong in zoos, for example large animals such as whales and elephants. With proper habitats and good standards of care, a high quality zoo can be a great place for animals as well as a place for educating and fundraising animal awareness.
So for all the activists out there DO YOUR RESEARCH. Ignorant activism is worse than no activism because you are spreading the wrong message. Think outside the box, who else would be affected by changes in policy, if they are negatively effected what could be done about it.