In addition to the endless petitioning, phone calls and approaches on the street - there are countless charities (large and small) in the UK and beyond, struggling to recruit enough enthusiastic people to support them on a daily basis perhaps in order to run a sanctuary or to raise awareness and to request assistance to lobby MPs and in the all important effort of fund-raising!
Surely, though, we are all working towards the same ultimate goals? We want a world where animals are treated humanely, with dignity and respect, and towards a settled understanding that animals are sentient, and to acknowledge that they feel pain, suffering, love and joy and to act responsibly in this knowledge.
It is heartbreaking when people say to me, 'I was fighting for "that" cause when I was a student thirty years ago, I can't believe it is still happening!'. I am one of those people. I remember when the LD50 test (a disturbing an cruel experimental technique in animal testing where 50% of the animals die in response to a given treatment or dose; and then, at the end, the other "subjects" will be killed, because there is little "use" for unhealthy or mutilated animals) was the subject of much news and opposition. I had not heard about it for years, so was dismayed to read that it is still going on (Botox testing) - and I fear it is still widely used. For decades now we have been fighting against live exports. I remember protestors standing at the dockside with their banners. But what has happened, what difference did it make? None! Why? Why are all these awful things that we know are wrong, still going on?
Whichever agencies were responsible for regulating these activities, or stopping them altogether; they appear to have made little or no progress. Is that because people are working really, really hard in their own little circles, with little networking, sharing and no real cooperation? I don't know. Is it?
That is how it looks! All the petitions I am invited to sign have thousands of signatures, many have over 100,000 signatures - but they are often signed by different people who received them from their favourite charity! Wouldn't it be wonderful if there was a way to bring together all the animal welfare groups and charities - so that people would have a "one-stop-shop" where they could access real information on issues which need addressing. Where the collective voice of everyone with an interest in animal welfare could be harnessed. At the moment - we have disparate charities working on different issues and reaching only a small proportion of the people who would be willing to lend their voice. It is my opinion that the people who are calling for a better world for children or bees probably also want better protections for dogs, cats, horses and whales too!
We already have more than 60 animal welfare charities and groups supporting us – and I believe, we now need to convince those who have tens of thousands of supporters to join us in our call to build a uniting force for the benefit of animals and humanity - we are calling for the creation of a Directorate General for Animal Welfare in the EU. If it is properly headed by a dedicated animal advocate , who puts profit in second place, we believe it could benefit animals worldwide.
Please all. SIGN THE PETITION!
If you are a member of a big animal welfare group or charity - please ask them to support our petition.
Victoria (a petition champion)