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Should We Turn Our Backs on Animals in the Wake of a Natural Disaster?

It’s amazing how, in the wake of a natural disaster, people have the knack of imposing their personal agenda on everyone else with the intention of appearing let’s call it more “humanitarian”. When in reality the actions of a true humanitarian would in truth call for kindness, benevolence and impartiality for all humans. Let’s take an example.

A local politician, who is very much an animal welfare advocate, shared a story about Sophie, an injured chocolate Labrador Retriever, on his personal Facebook page. While the story itself told of the heroism, concern, and selflessness of a group of people working together to nurse Sophie back to health, a comment on Facebook from a supporter of this politician took an ugly turn in the name of “humanitarianism”.

This man’s comments questioned if the money that had been spent on the dog’s recovery wouldn’t have been better spent on homelessness or even the tragedy in Japan. His comments implied that according to his priorities, the care of people and their underprivileged situation should always come before the needs of any animal. He also questioned what part of the rescue of this dog was heroic commenting that only those who help people are heroic.

From his perspective, anybody not supporting his viewpoint of “humans first” was in the wrong with no chance of convincing him otherwise. What this short-sighted commenter wouldn’t concede to was a number of well thought out comments made by another poster that “good is good, and helping is helping, and this dog deserved help, too. ” She goes on to comment that “We all have our ’causes’ and obviously, yours is not animal welfare, and that’s your choice, but it is my cause, and I don’t think it makes me wrong, and it certainly doesn’t mean I don’t support other causes as well. ” Her final comment of “Some people always want to see the negative and criticize, but I prefer to think of this as just one of many good things happening in this world” should have cinched her rebuttal but clearly feel upon deaf ears.

While we all understand and sympathize with the massive devastation caused by the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan and its impact on life there, the charitable causes that were here prior to this disaster still exist here after the disaster. Nobody is asking the Humane Society of the United States or the ASPCA to drop everything they are doing locally and funnel all of their funds and their efforts into helping another cause – even during a natural disaster. The people who helped Sophie chose to focus their energy into a cause that is important to them and no one should make them feel as if they should have done something else with their money.

We applaud the McLaughlin’s and the other organizations rallying for Sophie’s recovery. We hope the “un-humanitarian” comments from this one unenlightened person are never read by you – Sophie’s angels. And to Joe-negative commenter, do yourself a favor and educate yourself on why anyone with a real humanitarian focus would never make another human that is doing something good feel bad about it.

3 comments to Should We Turn Our Backs on Animals in the Wake of a Natural Disaster?

  • Jane Tewell

    I love your article, thank you, you have put to words what is so right. I support animal welfare agencies. Thank you from me and the animals.

  • Beth Lazar

    Thank you Jane for the comments! Sometimes it is hard to hold your tongue and not lash out at someone so insensitive. We think we made our point. Thank you for supporting animal welfare agencies because we need all the help we can get!

  • Some people are so ignorant to the suffering of other species. And why would he be so arrogant to assume he knows how another person’s money would be better spent? IDIOT! Animals are my cause. Period. The end. At least I have a cause, rather than being selfish and not sharing in another’s need for help. Makes me wonder if he is feeling guilty because he hasn’t done jack to help ANYONE!

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