Tonight I had an amazing opportunity to go with Erwin to an event in support of Proposition 2 sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States.
Proposition 2 calls for the end of crating or confining calves, pigs, and hens in tiny cages barely larger than their bodies. Prop 2 supporters emphasize that all animals, including farm animals, deserve humane treatment, and “food animals who are treated well and provided with at least minimum accommodation of their natural behaviors and physical needs are healthier and safer for human consumption.”
Erwin was invited as the Humane Society seeks to reach out to influential leaders in a variety of fields. We enjoyed meeting some remarkable and passionate people committed to an important cause. We had a delicious vegan meal and enjoyed a concert featuring Carole King and Moby. On the stage or in the audience with us were Ellen, Portia, Jared Leto, Tobey Maguire, Jennifer Coolidge, Buzz Aldrin, James Cromwell, Hal Sparks, and Wendie Malick among others.
The Humane Society taught me a lot tonight.
1. People who are passionate can make a difference when they are willing to work hard, develop networks, and not shrink back from asking for people to give and sacrifice for their cause.
2. By focusing on one issue, they were able to bring together a broader group. Even though the event included lots of people from the entertainment industry, the Humane Society has endorsements from conservatives, liberals, Republicans, and Democrats. They didn’t bring up the Presidential race even once in order to avoid alienating one side or the other.
3. They gave people a specific and practical way to give towards their cause. For example, they asked for people to donate anywhere from $500 to $36,000 on television ads for specific shows in specific markets. People like to know how they are spending their money before they give it away. They hoped to raise $1,000,000 in this one fundraiser.
4. They offered facts supporting their cause which would be persuasive to a broad audience. They gave five reasons to support Prop 2 (preventing animal cruelty, promoting health and food safety, supporting family farmers, protecting our environment, and common sense reform).
5. They choose issues they feel they can win. It was quite remarkable to hear vegans advocate for the ethical treatment of animals bred to be food even though they have chosen not to eat meat or any food products from animals. Even though they served a vegan meal, they did not make me feel guilty or completely out of place as someone who does eat meat.
6. They connected the issue to the bigger picture issue of what it means to be human. How we treat life, including animals, is a reflection of who we are.
**If the church could learn some of these lessons, we would be that much more effective in helping people discover the life God created them to live. In fact, I want to create a new organization: People for the Ethical Treatment of People.
What if churches became known as the place for people to discover their God-given potential? Or the community to find when someone is in need of love, grace, and forgiveness? Or the group with which to belong to truly change the world?
It’s great isn’t it, how you can see God in people? We expect to see God in church and through Christian communities, but it’s wonderful when we can see God’s character in people who don’t profess any faith. We must remember that although we are fallen, all people have been created in the image of God.
Just a shame that we often show more love to animals than our neigbours.
I would be thrilled to join “People for the Ethical Treatment of People”.
We live in a world of crime and violence, in this country alone someone is a victim of a violent crime every 3 minutes.
Until we learn to take care of, and be kind to each other, those poor fools at PETA don’t stand a chance.
It’s kind of like Charity beginning at home.
Oh my, it seems that my idea was already taken…”people for the ethical treatment of people.” What luck. Anyway, if you get my wavelength (new-age talk), and you would like to establish something like this, that does not discriminate among ethnic or socio-economic background, please e-mail me asap at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FYI, I am a Californian, disgusted with the legality of SUV’s.
I work in the inner-city, and love my work. I am a Speech-language pathologist by profession.