Monday, January 28, 2008

Under Construction

How can our industry influence both ourselves and others in the way animal welfare is viewed? Do we continue using the same language of yesteryear? Or do we look for innovative ways to create fundamental and lasting changes?

Evidence in our history proves that there were major pioneers in our movement. Henry Bergh, founder of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), George Thorndike Angell, founder of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) and Caroline Earle White, founder of the Women’s SPCA of Pennsylvania, are just to name a few. In their day, they introduced society to the reality of animal cruelty and its negative reverberations on humanity. In turn their actions eventually changed the American landscape, for all animals.

How would they see the world of today? Would they still be influential? Would they applaud or be appalled at how much or how little has been done to help animals and people?

Thankfully today’s pioneers are ever emerging and carrying the torch of our forefathers. Just look at any of the major national and international organizations that influence the 21st Century. We can see innovation from creation with the click of every key pad or the glance at any web site. Read a blog; see in action humane society staffers at disaster sites or lobbying congress. Watch the news and witness reporters covering animal stories each and every day. Do we as a movement have the capacity to go even further?

Just look at where some of today’s leaders are guiding us. They are reaching beyond the inner circle, gaining ground with political allies, forming corporate partnerships, and modernizing the theme of yesteryear. It seems like the future is finally here. Now, all we as individuals need to do are participate.

For me it’s an exciting time to be part of animal protection as a social movement.

-Cherylann Fernandes

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