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?