The Power of One: Dogs Unchained!

Sometimes we forget how much power we as individuals have, so I wanted to share the recent success of a friend of mine with you. Connie D. works for an animal protection non-profit in the area and has been a major animal champion. When hurricane Katrina hit, she spent weeks rescuing dogs and helping them find homes. Recently, Connie took positive action for animals again. Here’s the first part of a letter she wrote:

The dogs chained to their wooden boxes.

“[There are two dogs that] live in my neighbor- hood. I drive by them every day on my way to work and on my way home. These 2 dogs are living a miserable life on the end of a chain. They are chained 90% of the time. They are tied up far away from their guardian’s house…and they cannot even reach each other when chained. They are chained up by a covered wire that is only about 5′ long. Their dog houses are made of plywood and have no bedding in them. I have no choice but to drive by these 2 dogs because they are on the route to town from my house. It literally breaks my heart every single day. I have sent letters and brochures on the cruelties of chaining dogs to the guardian with no response. I have offered to take the dogs for a walk on the weekends but again, no response. I have offered to find the dogs a new home but the guardian has refused.”

Connie persisted and was able to get the guardian to agree to allow a chain link fence to be erected on his property. Connie got people to donate money for the cost of the fence, and she, her husband, and the guardian built the fence together. Now she says,

The dogs enjoying their new roomy yard.

“…when I drive by them every morning and evening and see them together in their enclosure, it does my heart good. AND, the guardian tells me that they’re even sleeping together now! Isn’t that sweet!!!??? This whole process just makes me realize that we can never give up helping the animals. No matter how large the task may seem, we just need to keep trying. Anything is possible!”

It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we’re motivated! Congratulations, Connie!

There are other dogs out there who would love to be unchained. To find out more, check out Unchain Your Dog and Dogs Deserve Better.

Look around at your life and consider where you can enact the power of one!

~ Marsha

Peter Singer on Animal Rights, Poverty, Food Choices

petersingerI’m a little slow in pointing it out, but in case you haven’t already heard, there was an interesting commentary in Newsweek by Peter Singer recently. “The Rights of Animals” looks at the current and potentially future states of the rights and treatment of animals (mainly through the lens of Western countries). Here’s a nice tidbit:

“The notion that we should recognize the rights of animals living among us rests on a firm ethical foundation. A sentient being is sentient regardless of which species it happens to belong to. Pain is pain, whether it is the pain of a cat, a dog, a pig or a child.

“Consider how widely humans differ in their mental abilities. A typical adult can reason, make moral choices and do many things (like voting) that animals obviously cannot do. But not all human beings are capable of reason, not all are morally responsible and not all are capable of voting. And yet we go out of our way to claim that all humans have rights. What, then, justifies our withholding at least some rights from nonhuman animals? Defenders of the status quo have found that a difficult question to answer.”

Singer also has a new book coming out in March. The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty argues that our current methods for dealing with poverty are (obviously) failing terribly, and he outlines a plan for what citizens can do to help truly make a positive difference.

By the way, if you haven’t yet read Animal Liberation or The Ethics of What We Eat, I highly recommend both. Animal Liberation was one of the major springboards for the modern animal rights movement. It outlines Singer’s arguments and views regarding animal rights and provides a detailed overview of what’s involved in animal experimentation and in the factory farming and slaughter of animals. Singer provides this information in a factual, unemotional manner that makes what’s happened to the animals all the more horrifying. The Ethics of What We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter (The original edition was called The Way We Eat), which he wrote with activist Jim Mason, outlines the impacts of our food choices on people, animals and the planet.

(Irrelevant tidbit: Although I don’t agree with some of what Singer says, enough of his views resonate with me that we named our cat after him :))

For a bit more about Peter Singer, check out:

His website

His Wikipedia bio

~ Marsha