Dann Alexander is asking animal rescue organizations and shelters to do something he feels is common sense: refuse to sell the flesh of some animals in order to help others.
“It’s hypocritical to serve the flesh and secretions of animals in order to raise funds and awareness,” he said. “I was in denial at first, but then I made the connection.”
Alexander, who grew up in New Glasgow and now lives in Beaverbank, turned to a vegetarian diet, and then a vegan diet, to benefit both animals and his own health.
When he thought about animal welfare groups selling meat at barbecues to raise funds for animals, he felt it was just wrong and he decided to write an open letter to the animal rescue community (https://dannalexander.com/2018/02/26/an-open-letter-to-animal-rescue/ ).
“We are conditioned to believe that eating animals is necessary for most of us to survive,” he said in his letter. “Part of that conditioning is putting different values on animals we have as companions over those slaughtered for food. It is complete hypocrisy to raise funds in the name of preventing animal cruelty by serving cooked animal flesh to donors. One action is washing out the other. Promoting animal rescue by promoting animal consumption is ethically wrong.”
He adds bake sales for animal charities should only be held if items are made from plant-based sources, as animal sourced products often involve cruel treatment.
Raising money to help certain animals should not mean suffering and death for other animals.
Because we often share our homes with cats and dogs, most people in this part of the world wouldn’t consider eating them. We see them as individuals who can experience pain and fear, and dismiss the fact that cattle, pigs and sheep also feel.
The story of Molly, a pot belly pig who was killed and eaten by her owners about a month after being adopted from the BC SPCA, upset many people. This was a horrible thing for people to do to an animal that came into the care of the SPCA through a cruelty investigation, but many animals much like Molly die every day.
The feelings of all animals should be considered, and people working in animal rescue should be leading the way in showing compassion.