Is It Hypocritical for Animal Shelters to Serve Animal Products at Fundraisers?
Thousands of animal shelters and animal rescue organizations work tirelessly for the animals under their care, with volunteers and staff often going above and beyond what’s expected in order to ensure that their animals are properly looked after.
Fundraising is a huge part of the process as medical treatment, food and housing for abused and abandoned animals is costly, but should animal shelters be raising money to help one animal by serving up another?
Speciesism Ingrained in Society
The use of animals for food is so deeply ingrained in our society that most people never even consider its morality. It is normal for people to consume the flesh and secretions of cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, turkeys and other ‘farm animals,’ so when it comes to fundraising for a dog shelter, or an exotic pet rescue organization, it often never enters the thought process that it might be hypocritical to organize a hog roast or BBQ to raise money for these rescued animals.
Speciesism is a term used to define the way in which we assign differing rights to animals based on their species, and it applies to this situation perfectly. The animals at the rescue shelter are loved, cared for and protected, while other animals are killed and eaten to raise money in their name. This means that we are choosing which animal’s life has value and which animal is simply a product, and this is something which surely needs to be addressed if we want to create a kinder and fairer world. If we would not feel happy holding a dog roast to raise money for a pig sanctuary, why is it acceptable to do it the other way around?
Food for Thought
Food for Thought is a campaign run by Animal Place, which is raising awareness of the issue and encouraging shelters to pledge a more animal friendly approach to their fundraising efforts. Many animal shelters, large and small, have already joined the initiative and are widening their circle of compassion to include all species.
The campaign helps to address the issue of speciesism in society by bringing it to the attention of those who already have a keen interest in helping one particular group of animals. Many people attending a fundraising event for their local dog shelter may never have come across the concept before, but once they learn more about why the shelters have decided to implement a no animal product policy, they may start to view animal use in a completely different light.
Raise the Issue With Your Local Shelter
If you believe that animal organizations should leave animals off the menu at fundraising events, then raise the issue with your local shelter and tell them all about the Food for Thought campaign. Animal shelters need to recognize and understand that animals raised for food are subjected to many forms of cruelty and inhumane treatment, and that it is not just our companion animals that are deserving of respect and compassion.
Photo Credit: LollypopFarm