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Economic Upheaval and the Fate of Animals

Posted by at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)


sad-dogDavid Reece / CC

Like it or not, we are all being called upon to answer for the excesses of our society. My 401(k) plan has been downgraded, I think, to a 201(k) or maybe even a 101(k). My IRA is now my ira. And who knows how long the global economy will be in the tank? Not I, although in tough times like these, I do know who gets the short end of the stick. It’s not the rich people or poor people, old or young, black or white. It’s animals who usually fare worst of all.

This economic setback has produced some disheartening news about how animals are faring. Many animals who were people’s companions are being left in foreclosed houses to die of starvation. One recent case included 42 cats and 3 dogs who were left behind when their owners were forced to move. Animal shelters are swamped with those whose guardians have been forced to downsize and can no longer afford to keep them, and animals who are being dropped off are often ill because of poor nutrition and a lack of veterinary care. Horses are being abandoned by the side of the road. It goes on. Wherever animals are forced to live in abusive situations, we can only expect it to get worse. Individuals and businesses are cutting back to the essentials for themselves, scrimping on food, shelter, and care for the animals who depend on them. People are making harder choices about their food too. Is it worth paying extra for cage-free eggs or free-roaming chicken? Can they afford compassion? On the positive side, the cost savings of a vegan diet are more pronounced than before: Soybean prices have collapsed even more than the stock market. My financial advice: Go vegan!

We are seeing something very special happen as well. Out of adversity comes opportunity, and we are seeing extraordinary people taking on this daunting challenge to save animals. Many people I know are putting in extra time helping out at their local animal shelters and redoubling their efforts to personally assist animals in need wherever they find them. PETA’s donors are an extraordinary lot, because they think not only about coping with their own difficulties but also about helping animals, who are even more desperate.

In addition to hands-on help, there are financial actions that we should all be taking to make sure that animals and those who fight for them survive these trying times. Let’s make our money speak for us and make our spending patterns reflect our values by being compassionate and cruelty-free. And it is more important than ever to support the charities that are fighting the hardest for what we stand for. I personally support PETA because I think that it delivers the biggest bang for the buck. No other group in the world makes a bigger impact for animals per dollar donated. And I’m checking the paperwork on my financial accounts and legal documents to make sure that they are in good order to benefit animals for generations to come. I join the many PETA supporters who are ensuring that we will continue to shine light onto the darkest corners of our society where animals suffer. We will indeed let the sunshine in.

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    Gray says...

    October 22nd, 2008, 3:00 pm

    Thanks so much for reminding us that in these challenging economic times animals need us the more than ever.

    Regardless of the economic climate there is no need to question if one should spend extra on cage-free or free-roaming chicken. The most compassionate choice is to cross eggs and chicken off your grocery list.

    No laws or standards regulate the use of terms like “free-range” and “free-roaming.” The same cruel practices we see on factory farms such as debeaking and forced molting occur on “free-range” farms as well.

    Thanks Steve for your smart financial advice.

    Myshkin says...

    October 22nd, 2008, 3:16 pm

    Finally, a useful article about the financial mess! I’m forwarding this to everyone I know. Even though I’m nervous about money right now, I’m going to increase my monthly PETA pledge from $75 to $100. You’re so right–of course the animals will suffer the most in this crisis. They always get hit the hardest, whether it’s war, natural disasters, bad economic times, divorce, etc. They need our help the most. Thanks for writing this!

    kerry says...

    October 23rd, 2008, 11:11 am

    It is also very important that all of us contact our local officials because all of them are working on the 2009 budget and trying to find ways to reduce expenses. Since animals cant vote, they seem to be the most at risk for budget cuts We all need to be telling our elected officials to find other ways to be frugal, but NOT by cutting budgets for our local animal shelters.

    Bunnylove says...

    October 25th, 2008, 5:38 pm

    Kerry,

    You are right! After writing this post, and so that I get the letters sent out as quickly as possible, I am writing the same quick letter to both of my Senators and to my House of Representative about not decreasing funding for animal shelters and other related animal protection agencies. Thank you for the idea! I might send an email to each one too.

    Myshkin,

    You also gave me an idea to increase my monthly Peta donation from $30 to $50. Together, we can help the sometimes most overlooked innocent victims — animals. Thank you Peta and to everyone out there who is helping all animals in every way!

    Just a quick reminder to those who are in California who will be able to vote on Prop 2 which, if passed, will give hens, mother pigs, and veal calves the much needed bit more cage or crate space. Please go to the site Yes on Prop 2 to view the Myth vs Fact section. Do not let the opponents, Big Agribusiness, scare you into thinking prices for eggs will go up. Please take a moment to see the real documented facts. Thank you and please vote yes on Prop 2. The animals are counting on us!

    Tim Johnston says...

    October 29th, 2008, 2:01 am

    Free Range Eggs
    There is a good economic option to affording cruelty free eggs with a big kindness bonus.
    I live in Spain and I recently saw a large cage with lots of ex battery hens for sale, (usually for meat of course)I particularly caught site of one with a badly twisted beak who I imagine got the wrong side of the cruel de-beaking machine.The guy thought I was crazy when I said I wanted to buy that particular one and a companion.They don,t take up a lot of space,they help recycle some household leftovers,it,s amazing what they take a fancy to sometimes, and they are very intelligent and amusing companions.
    Freaky beak, as we call her, has given us fresh eggs ever since day one and will continue to enjoy her new life as long as she lives,and I know from previous experience they can live into thier teens and produce eggs to that age too.

    I think there is a lady who actively trys to re house ex battery hens in U.K. and goes under the name of “the Hen House”

    P.S.Even if you are vegan and don,t want to eat eggs they are actually a very good way of giving your dogs a protein (mixed raw with their biscuit) without cruelty.

    Marcia says...

    October 22nd, 2010, 12:45 pm

    Even when people are cutting back on some things, it’s time to try to give more to the ones who have no power or resources–the animals. Don’t mean to turn this into a political forum, but with the current emphasis on cutting everything back, I fear new members of Congress will be even less willing to help animals by passing needed legislation.

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