I was recently at a fundraiser for Animal Acres, and the producer/director/someone-important from the movie Earthlings was there. I had not seen the movie, and made the public faux pas of admitting that I had not seen it at one of the biggest vegan gatherings in California of the year! So, I rented it. I have not got past the first section (of five) due to not being able to see through my tears, but I will force myself to watch them all, just to remind me of why I do what I do. But this movie goes far beyond how food gets to our table.
The first section – what I’ll focus on for this blog posting – focuses on pets. I know this is graphic and sad, but I think it’s important to know: 60,000 (generally) perfectly healthy pets are put down every single day in this country, for the simple lack of a home. To see footage of a happy dog, wagging its tail as it’s getting cuddled - only to be dead seconds later by lethal injection - is horrifying. To see a group of excited dogs, tails a-wagging, go racing into a gas chamber to scope it out, only to come out dead 20 minutes later and thrown in the back of a truck … it’s put me on a mission.
When we got beautiful Maggie Moon, I was unaware of how big this problem is. We bought her from a lovely breeder who we adore, so I recognize that breeders are not always horrible puppy-mill types. Many of them are lovely people who want to bring sweet dogs into the world to add happiness to our homes. However, it must also be realized (and I get this now) that the bumper sticker “Breeders kill shelter dogs chances” is true: For every dog or cat you choose to buy from a breeder instead of rescue from a shelter, one of the shelter animals will be seeing its very last day here on earth. It’s simple math.
So, for my birthday (which is today) my husband finally capitulated into getting another cat. I picked him out at the local shelter, and he purrs like a freight train when you pick him up. He’s absolutely adorable! We named him Shanti Moon (Shanti being Sanskrit for “peace,” and Moon in honor of Maggie Moon) and when we look in his eyes, we see that we have saved a life; if not his, then some other cat’s, who go to stay alive one more day because we opened a spot by taking Shanti. That extra day could be the difference between having a loving new home and being dead.
So, I ask you: Have you spayed/neutered all of your animals? Do you have room for one or two more, to save an extra life or two that may be gone tomorrow without your help? Can you commit to getting the rest of your animals from a shelter instead of a breeder? The reward for these small decisions is … life!
Sarah & Shanti Moon