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So, I'm sure any of you who watch Animal Planet have seen the ads for the ASPCA (support them!) where Sarah McLachlan sings soulfully over video footage of really sad and abused animals.  I cry every time, it's shameless.  In fact, they've been so ubiquitous, that SNL and other people have been making parodies of the ads, which are actually quite funny (check out YouTube), and I don't think they do any real harm, since the kind of person who is left cold by the images of animals in pain is not going to donate (donate!) to the ASPCA (donate!  Subtle subliminal typing-type message!) anyway.

They have a new one with what I thought was another SM song, but it's actually "My Skin", by Natalie Merchant (it's on i-tunes, I just bought it this morning), and it's even more agonizingly sad than "Answer" (SM), because the words are "I've been treated so long/ I've been treated so long/ As if I'm becoming untouchable", and I dare anyone not to be even the tiniest bit moved by the dog with all-over mange as those words are sung.  It reduces me to absolute floods, but I'm easy to make tearful, thanks to the Vicodin.  I'm easy to get with animal stuff anyway, but those ads are killer.
Anyway, It was just in my mind, I've got nothing really to say about the ASPCA, except that I like what they do a lot better than the Group That Begins With A P That Shall Not Be Named, because they and the rescue groups that work with them actually try to rehabilitate the animals that come in from abusive situations.  And I'm not on board with the idea of treating animals as absolute equals to humans until we allow them to vote, work for a salary, and pay taxes.  And the ASPCA isn't violent.  I don't think the way to get people to treat animals better is to threaten them, insult them, offend them, and abuse them.

I'm just sayin'.

No group is perfect; there are always, always - no exceptions - issues with organizations run by people, because people are not perfect.  But the ASPCA tries, and for that, they get my support.  Yes, you can always make the argument that there are people in horrible situations, and why worry about animals when people are suffering, but my view is that it's all interconnected - animal abuse and people abuse go hand in hand, and all abuse is unforgiveable.  I'm not a vegetarian (though I'm not really a big meat eater), because I accept that I am an omnivore, and as a species, we eat other species (like other carnivores and omnivores - and I'm not really averse to eating insects, as long as they're cooked), but I don't think farm animals should suffer, and I'm against feed lots, battery farming, and people who abuse farm animals, because it's unnecessary and it makes the meat taste like crap.
I went off on a tangent there; sorry.

I like animals - they seem to like me most of the time.  I don't think it's appropriate to ignore animal cruelty, just like I don't think it's appropriate to ignore human cruelty - though both are ignored and glossed over every day.  I think the world changes for the better a little bit at a time, and the small stuff is the foundation for the bigger stuff. 

Um, yeah.  All that from a song I like, and a commercial that makes me weepy.

Blame it on the snow day.


( 35 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
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Dec. 22nd, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC)
I'm a regular contributor to the ASPCA and those commercials make me cry buckets. I have to change the channel or mute the TV and put my head down until the commercials are over.
Dec. 22nd, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC)
It's weird, but I kind of enjoy being made to cry by them. I watch Animal Cops for the same reason, plus it's so awesome to see the animals that are saved, and how happy they are in their new homes. That makes me weepy, too.
(no subject) - hsifeng - Dec. 22nd, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 22nd, 2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
I like what they do a lot better than the Group That Begins With A P That Shall Not Be Named

Dec. 22nd, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)
I used to support P***, but that was before I realized their Exalted Leader (seriously, they're like a cult) is really not an animal lover, but a human hater.

I used to support Greenpeace, too, but like their founder, they lost me when they decided to go from a "save the earth" to a "destroy capitalism" stance. I like the earth, and I like animals, but both organizations are no longer really focused on what they claim they're trying to protect, but practising a kind of unfocused nihilism that isn't accomplishing anything except alienating their possible supporters.

I'm all for publicity stunts that bring attention to injustices or corporate malfeasance, but equating battery farming to the deaths of the Holocaust, and setting off bombs that hurt innocent people isn't cool.
(no subject) - ladypyrate - Dec. 23rd, 2009 03:27 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 22nd, 2009 06:54 pm (UTC)
I haven't seen many commercials (thank you, cable recording equipment) so I went looking on YouTube - and leaked tears for a few minutes. Thank you.

And - if you do the same (go to You Tube), do NOT click on the one that says "animal abuse, graphic pictures". I didn't make it through the whole thing and it has left me shaking with rage.
Dec. 22nd, 2009 07:03 pm (UTC)
Since we watch most everything through DVR I fast forward through that commercial cause I can't watch it without getting upset. It breaks my heart. ASPCA is one of the first charities that I started and continue to contribute to.
Dec. 22nd, 2009 06:55 pm (UTC)
I hate those commercials. I can't watch them, just hearing her voice is enough to make me tear up. I want to go out and adopt Every Last One of Them! IMO there's a special place in hell for folks that deliberately do that to an animal.

Are they our equals? Hell no! IMO, Human Cruelty is orders of magnitude worse.
Dec. 22nd, 2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
Absolutely, but they run on a continuum. It's not for nothing that people have documented childhood animal cruelty as a warning sign of a possible serial killer. It's easier to torture humans if you can see them as less than human, and you have no problem with torturing animals.
(no subject) - florentinescot - Dec. 22nd, 2009 07:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 22nd, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
Show me a sad cat and watch instant near-uncontrollable sobbing. When that commercial comes on, I suddenly have to find something to do in the next room, because I am not The Type That Cries, oh no. except when it comes to animals I remind myself that even after a year of being out of work, I'm still true to my mission of saving the world, one cat at a time, and that I can still contribute comfy sleeping pads to the cat shelter (made from old blankets and towels) even if I can't give them money. ::sigh:: And Iam so with you on the begins-with-P people.

Sudden wonky formatting notwithstanding, the TudorCats and I wish you all happy things. Including box turtles.  xoxoxoxoxo
Dec. 22nd, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC)

Dec. 22nd, 2009 07:08 pm (UTC)
the P word took a bunch of adoptable animals from shelters, killed them, and dumped them in garbage dumspters. for which they got fined.
because thats better than the Humane Society how?

i have 8 adopted cats and a dog i got from women's humane. who is currently fighting a skin allergy that makes him tear his back up.

i couldnt watch the ads and am glad i dont have Tv
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - strawberrykaren - Dec. 22nd, 2009 10:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hsifeng - Dec. 23rd, 2009 12:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pinkleader - Dec. 23rd, 2009 05:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hsifeng - Dec. 23rd, 2009 03:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 22nd, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
By the way, this post helped me decide upon the perfect gift for my animal-loving best friend: a donation in his name!
Dec. 22nd, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, if'n you need the catharsis sometime, I could give you case particulars, rather than just random sad photographs.

That said, I tend to give the ASPCA a bit of a hairy eyeball, since they seem to feel that veterinarians who don't work for them are Teh Evil. Very much tired of that, thankyouverymuch.

Sometimes you may find you do more good locating a local rescue group THAT DOES GOOD WORK and donate directly. Or volunteer. Foster some kittens. Go play with the dogs. Bring old towels, blankets, etc.

Not all rescue groups are created equal - some are pretty looney-tooney. You might (dare I say it) as a local vet for a referral.

That national, umbrella organization.... sometimes treads awfully close to the "Humans are evil and should be eliminated to leave the earth to the deserving critters" line. I have occasional philosophical differences with them, as they don't often think long term about their "stances." F'rinstance - if you alter the body of law to allow pet owners to sue for pain and suffering.... the cascading series of events will eventually create a culture in which liability insurance sky rockets and, ergo, so does veterinary care. How badly do you want to pay $4000 for a dog spay? Just sayin'.
Dec. 22nd, 2009 08:38 pm (UTC)
Suggestion for Donee
If you're looking for some place to send a donation, there's a small no-kill shelter in my neck of the woods that ALWAYS needs help, the Suncoast Animal League

It was started by the former director of the local SPCA after an, ahem, difference of opinion with their Board of Directors. The vast majority of volunteers at the SPCA followed him, which kind of shows you what their opinion was. I volunteered there for a while and they are wonderful with their animals and extremely active in rescuing them and finding them good homes. I think the SPCA BoD found him to be a bit too active for their tastes. They were worried about possible legal complications; he was more worried about the animals who were suffering.

It's a fact that there have been suits in the case of a couple of puppy mills and on his watch the SPCA had a very public one about a Katrina dog's adoption. But I think he gets animal loving lawyers to represent them pro bono and they've been more about the custody of the animals rather than for any damage awards. The condition of the animals would probably rule out any question of that, an animal has got to be in pretty sad shape before they actively take one away from it's owner.*

* They do so with the presence and blessing of the County Animal Welfare officers or local police, I must hasten to add, they don't just barge in and grab them. Most times it's Animal Welfare who calls them.
Dec. 22nd, 2009 07:20 pm (UTC)
Just thinking about those commercials make me well up. When they come on, the kitties get extra lap time.
Dec. 22nd, 2009 07:45 pm (UTC)
The ASPCA sent me gloves to get me to donate. I can't prioritize a donation these days, but now I have some gloves to take to the donation box for the homeless shelter.

It's "pay it forward" of a sort, I guess.
Dec. 22nd, 2009 08:04 pm (UTC)
yeah, that commercial makes me cringe but yeah, a good cause.
Dec. 22nd, 2009 08:19 pm (UTC)
I can't watch those commercials for the same reason I can't watch Animal Cops--they just make me too sad and furious at the same time. I'm glad that people are out there doing good things for animals, and I definitely support my local animal shelter, but I just can't watch. Listening to those commercials makes me go hunt down my cats and hug all three of them, which confuses them more than anything else, but I hope it also reassures them that they're loved.
Dec. 22nd, 2009 08:43 pm (UTC)
Ohhh those absolutely KILL me. Every time. I fumble to change the channel or leave the room asap. They are just BRUTAL.
Dec. 22nd, 2009 08:57 pm (UTC)
The video you link to is actually by the HSUS, NOT the ASPCA. A lot of people seem to think they're the same organization.

The HSUS is a lobbying, fund-raising organization that does not run any shelters. There are those who say they're as bad as PETA when it comes to animal rights- I have no opinion on that myself as I don't deal with the HSUS. If I donate money it's directly to the charity of my choice.
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