We're going to start this post heavy, but I promise to lift you back up at the end.
The last time I saw my grandpa before he died, he told me that he had stopped watching the news, because it made him cry. That's not the world I want to be living in. As I was searching through my social media and watching the news during a break, I felt that overpowering helplessness that my grandpa had experienced.
There are just so many things: child abuse, hunger, animal cruelty, bullying, environmental problems, etc etc etc. When you look at it as a whole, you almost have to ignore it or feel completely overcome. It's like when I've left my apartment get too messy. Starting is always the hardest part. Washing only one spoon is still one spoon less that needs to be washed.
Here are three things on my mind today.
- Save abused animals being sold on Craigslist. People can be monsters. Animals, especially pit bulls, are frequently sold on Craigslist in very clearly suspect situations. Oftentimes, the way they are being sold is by attracting a continued abusive and/or irresponsible owner. I've heard such terrible horror stories from my friends who work in animal rescue. We're better than this. HOW YOU CAN HELP: 1) Flag it to Craigslist. 2) Donate your time/money to animal care education groups like the Anti-Cruelty Society and PAWS. 3) Let rescue groups know when you see one and take screenshots of the ad. 4) Adopt. For every animal on the floor, there are more waiting for their chance at adoption. If you adopt, that frees up the kennel for another happy-pet-in-the-making in need.
- Save the wolves in Montana. Montana has issued over 6000 permits to hunt the remaining 625 wolves. Each permit is good for 5 wolf kills. That's enough to wipe out the wolves 48 times. I'd say that is pretty clearly a death warrant on the entire population. Ecologically speaking, it really isn't a good idea to eradicate a natural predator. That's just asking for a snowball of problems. In recent history, Montana actually had to bring in wolves from Canada, because they had let the natural species dwindle so low. The Canadian wolves are much bigger and are a threat to elk, an animal for which hunting licenses are also being issued. You can see both sides of the story in this thread on Reddit. HOW YOU CAN HELP: Here is the Montana Fish, Wildlife and & Parks contact information. It includes individual bureaus and an employee directory. Start calling and e-mailing. The squeaky door gets oiled.
- Our government is still shut down. WTF. HOW YOU CAN HELP: Be Chris Cox. He's got the right idea. This is the time to add Miracle Gro to grassroots movements.
- UPDATE: In Wisconsin, dogs that have been involved in dogfighting are legally required to be put down - no exceptions. All of the dogs. A friend of mine is working to get Assembly Bill 230 passed in Wisconsin that will allow for dogs to take a temperament test and then have the possibility of being rehabilitated and adopted. She read this post today and asked for help getting the word out. HOW YOU CAN HELP: 1) Sign this petition. 2) If you are from Wisconsin, you can write your state Assembly person or state Senator. Go here and click on "who represents me." 3) If you are outside of Wisconsin and have stories about dogs who have been saved from dogfighting, send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. These will be passed along during public testimony on the bill.
And I know this not even all that I should be worried and upset about today. That's probably the most troubling part.
I was so overwhelmed in the way that you feel yourself shut down. Then, I remembered Kid President. By now, I'm sure most of you have seen his hugely viral video released on Soul Pancake in January 2013. What you might not know is that Robby Novak, aka Kid President, suffers from a disease that makes his bones break easily and frequently. He's not just some optimistic kid who's saying wide-eyed doesn't-know-any-better kid stuff. He's a real fighter. And he's totally right.
Now, I want you to do two things:
- Pick one thing above and do something about it. Send an email. Post this blog somewhere. Call someone. The world can seem completely out of control and beyond our help, but each tiny thing we do adds up.
- Send this to someone you believe in. Someone you know can move mountains. Tell them you know they can do it. They might just need a little pep talk.
I'm sending this to:
- My friend Elliott Serrano. He's a true super hero who educates children on animal care by day and leads geek culture by night. He's also been buckling down in a journey to better health in his GeekFit Jedi Training Challenge. The guy's an inspiration.
- My girl crush Angi Taylor. She's a gorgeous mom with a cool career who goes out of her way to care about the people around her. She's running the Chicago Marathon for PAWS this weekend. Give money or get involved here.
- The amazing Amy Guth. I want to be Amy when I grow up. I seriously don't think there is anything that she couldn't do. She's the sort of powerful woman that Beyonce is always singing about.
- Kid President. You know what? This kid gave me the lift I needed today. I'm going to let him know that.
Now, go be awesome.
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