Look at these cutie patooties 😍
Last January, Rescue Angels of Southern Maryland picked up 13 cats from our local kill shelter. Many were ear tipped, some were sick, and others had been branded as “feral.” Without rescue, they would have died in the shelter.
But there’s a happy ending for most of the group. In the past year, some of them have been adopted (hooray!), and others are happily living in a managed cat colony.
But there are three who are still waiting for their family to come along: Cinderella, Jack, and Anna. While in foster care, Anna has met Billy, and the who have become quite fond of each other. They’re a bonded pair.
We’re sharing their pictures here because we hope you’ll share their post. Rescue Angels knows these guys’ forever homes are out there, and maybe your share on social media will reach the perfect person!
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I wonder how my life would be if we had stayed together.
Is it better now that you are gone or am I worse off?
Without even realising, you made me who I am today.
You brought compassion into my life, we call her Winkle 🐱
I am grateful for what I learned from you, but boy do I wonder.
Would I have made the connection if you had stuck around?
I wish you hadn’t left, I wish you’d speak to me now.
Baby then you’d see my heart aches for you and maybe you would love me again.
Heart of Ganesh has launched a new Humane Tourism campaign #NotOnMyBucketList to raise awareness for elephant cruelty in tourism.
Tell travelers that elephant cruelty disguised as entertainment needs to be taken off the Bucket List!
Here is what you have to do:
1. WRITE #NotOnMyBucketList on your hand (or a paper hand) and take a picture.
2. Share your “hashtag hand” on social media with this message: “Elephant Cruelty is #NotOnMyBucketList! Join me in reaching your hand in Compassion for Elephants!”
3. TAG Heart of Ganesh in your post (@heartofganesh), and SHARE far and wide!
If you tag your location, Heart of Ganesh will post your hand to our map.
Learn more about #NotOnMyBucketList at Heart of Ganesh website.
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I am taking an Edx course called “UQx: Think101x The Science of Everyday Thinking”. Lesson 7 of this course discusses why it is hard to change people’s minds about various things, particularly when it comes to long held beliefs. I thought this is particularly relevant to veganism as we know how frustrating it is to hear the same motivational excuses repeated over and over again as the basis for carnism.
Why it is hard to change people’s minds? The Edx course says that it’s because of the following two things:
1) Source amnesia. We have difficulty remembering why it is we believe in something. Think about this. What makes you think you have access, that you can instantly recall the exact basis for why you believe something?
2) It is hard to reconcile what it is you believed previously with this new data. It’s cognitive difficulty. You can’t replace your former belief in the heat of the moment. It takes some work and time to put new wealth of evidence.
Evidence alone is not enough to get people to change their minds. We need evidence and a good story to show people what they can change their minds to. The course suggests the following 6 leads for prompting opinion change.
6 Leads of Opinion Change
1) Ask yourself “what do you really believe anyway?”
2) How well based is the opinion that you already hold?
3) How good is the evidence for changing your opinion? Is it based on experiments or appropriate research?
4) Does the evidence really contradict what you already believe?
5) If the answer to question 4) is “no”, then what would be enough evidence to contradict what you already believe?
6) Is it worth finding out about? Why or why not? What is the cost of changing your belief?
I attended an animal rights conference in October 2016 and listened to a speech by Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM)’s Executive Director Michael Webermann. His speech provided me with the following tools for effectively moving people toward veganism.
- Provide Incentives
That is, give a reason for people to go vegan. The main one of course is the ethical incentive. Another way to give an incentive is the ‘pay per view’ style activism. This is where we can pay $1 or $2 for a person to watch a film clip such as 1000 Eyes. In this instance, money first becomes the first incentive but then hopefully the ethical obligation become the longer term incentive to go vegan.
- Follow Up
Once we’ve spoken to somebody about going vegan and they say that they’ll try, we need to follow up. It could be a phone call, a text or a survey. This will allow us to know if they are sticking to their promise. If they are struggling, we can help them address their struggles. Over time this will give us a sense of what the most ‘common’ struggles people face when they first go vegan. We can use this information for continuous improvement of our activism.
- Aim Young
Michael Webermann said to aim the vegan message to teenagers and young adults because they are more likely to be open to new ideas. They are also more likely to share the message within their network. As a caveat make sure the people we approach are not too young. i.e. no children.
- Captive Audience
Find an audience that would be receptive to our message. For example, it is no use doing a speech in a noisy mall. A speech at high school or a university class room would be far more effective.
- Focus on the Message
Be specific about the message. Michael Webermann believes that focusing on the injustice to animals will keep people engaged the longest. However, we can discuss the other benefits of veganism, such as health and environmental benefits, but don’t loose the focus from the main message: The Animals!
- Focus on the Most Vulnerable
There is no denying that all suffering is bad. The atrocities we inflict on animals is beyond horrid. But in terms of quantity, the largest amounts of animals that suffer for food are chickens and fish. This is because the number of chicken and fish consumed per head is much larger compared to cows and pigs. It is also common when people give up red meat, they end up eating more chicken and fish. This would exponentially increase the number of animals eaten. So if we ask a person to give up chicken instead of cow meat; that would save a larger number of individual animals.
- Make the Right Ask
If we ask a person to go vegan straight away and if that person is not ready, they could shy away from the idea completely. Therefore, at times it might be beneficial asking for one or two days per week where they follow a vegan diet. Let them do that for a few weeks. Then apply the tool number 2 (following up). If they are doing well eating a vegan diet several days per week, ask them to increase the frequency. Apply this logic until they are fully vegan.
- Acknowledge When We Are Wrong
So we try to positively influence people but we can still get it wrong. It’s ok. Being wrong and knowing we did something that didn’t work is good, because at least we know next time to try something different or fix our mistake 🙂