A person came on my Facebook page recently and told me that he had come across my work, read up on it, and agreed with what I had to say. An animal rights activist, he told me that soon after educating himself about No Kill, he mentioned my name in a chat room supposedly dedicated to animal protection and received a massive backlash from people saying the most absurd and unkind things about me. He told me that it was at that moment that he knew I was onto something really big. That made me laugh and I was grateful he was able to put their opposition into the proper context.
For well over a century, the people who run kill shelters and their allies at the large, non-profit groups were allowed to kill millions of animals a year with total impunity. They portrayed that killing as necessary, even “kindness,” and schooled generations of animal activists to parrot this party line and to shift the blame away from them and onto others. So when I challenge the myths upon which the edifice of shelter killing now rests, demonstrating how animals are dying in shelters not because of the choices made by people outside of shelters, but because of the choices made by the people inside them, I am challenging a deeply entrenched paradigm people have relied on to shield themselves from greater scrutiny for their harmful actions. For these people, and their supporters, I, and the No Kill movement in general, are deeply threatening.
Creating change means shaking up the status quo and that means making some people angry. Any movement that wants to foster improvement must challenge tradition, and therefore, the people who champion that tradition because they benefit from it. If you are trying to be an agent for change and you are not upsetting some people, then you aren’t succeeding. You aren’t a threat to their traditional way of operating by causing people to question long held beliefs and assumptions that allow people, in the case of sheltered animals, to literally get away with murder. Handle the haters by viewing them for what they are: evidence of progress.
Have a comment? Join the discussion by clicking here.