As humans, we each have beliefs about how things are supposed to be. Here’s some examples of ideas I’ve heard others share.
- dinner is to be served at 7 pm
- children must go to school bathed and in clean clothes
- adults must dress up for work to show they are committed and professional
- animals do not belong on the furniture
- my religion is the one “true” religion and all the rest of you are going to Hell
Now there is nothing wrong with each of these ideas…. except when we come across someone who doesn’t believe as we do. Then we must either re-think what we believe to be true, or write off the other person as wrong.
Challenging the belief systems of others is healthy, and the way we go about making positive change within our society.
Here are some other beliefs people have held (and some still do) that most of us now believe are wrong:
- it’s OK to own people to labor for us because we are a far superior race (or country, or group, etc.)
- a woman’s place is in the home
- to appease the gods, we should sacrifice one of our children to them
- it’s OK to kill off Native Americans and steal their lands, because they are a threat to us invaders
As I said, some still hold these ideas to be true. Changing the beliefs of a society didn’t happen overnight. We had to fight a civil war in the US to change the beliefs of some that slavery was wrong.
So you see the challenge we face when we try to convince others that animals are deserving of better treatment. We are challenging an ingrained belief system that folks don’t necessarily want to change.
I see it here on this blog. I can throw up a few pics of Rumpy or DeDe playing with a cat, and my readership goes through the roof. What day do people NOT read this blog? Tuesday. Why? Because they don’t want to know what’s going on with animals in the world. It hurts too much.
I don’t buy it. What it really tells me is that they don’t want to read about the plight of animals because they might then have to change some of their beliefs about animals and their welfare.
And that makes me incredibly sad.
But there are some things I see in the world that give me great hope, such as the hundreds of people who turned out in New Zealand to protest against party drugs being tested on animals.
In today’s world, with 24/7 media tailored to our beliefs, it’s easier to write off people who don’t think as we do as wrong, without once giving a moment’s thought to whether our personal beliefs may need to change.
So my job, and the job of others who are working to improve the lot of animals in the world, is not easy. But I assure you, I’m going to still be here, churning out the truth about animal welfare. And yes, I’ll throw up those cute pictures of Rumpy with a cat, because if that’s what I have to do to hook you in and challenge some of your beliefs, I’m not above doing it.