Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
From  Issue
6 January 2002
My Heart's Desire for 2002

by Michelle Rivera - [email protected] 

My wish for the year 2002 and beyond is that we enter an age of tolerance and enlightenment. I believe that as a movement, animal rights has a long way to go but that we have also come a long, long way.

I suffered a deep disappointment recently when a felony dogfighting case was dropped due to a technicality here in our little corner of the world. But the director of our shelter pointed out that the State Attorney not only returned all our calls and responded to all our e-mails, but that he also took the loss hard and personally. This would not be so five years ago and even though we have lost this battle, we have yet to win the war. I believe that every day in every way people in positions to help our cause are doing so. I am sorry for the setbacks we have encountered, the rodeo at the Olympics being one of the most recent and visible. But I believe we are still moving forward at an unprecedented rate.

In our local paper on Christmas Eve was a story of how the Cuban population in South Florida celebrate a traditional Christmas. Over 5,000 live pigs will be sold to Cubans in South Florida over the Christmas holidays to be slaughtered and served up as dinner for Cuban families, poor and affluent alike. The article told, in great detail, of the procedures and recipes that are used. The article was accompanied by pictures of live pigs waiting to be sold. Their sweet faces filling the photo, their fate sealed. My first reaction, after the initial horror and revulsion, was to write the paper and complain. But on second thought, I realized that this traditional dinner has been going on for centuries, and now, with the glaring publicity it has received, perhaps the revulsion I felt as a reader would spread to other readers, and the truth, however tragic it is, will come out about the slaughter of innocents for nothing more than selfish palates. It may bring about some enlightenment. Probably not in my lifetime, but it served as an educational article and may force readers to look at their own dietary habits.

On the weekend preceding Christmas, our shelter adopted out several animals and we celebrated that they, at least, would have a home for Christmas. The day after Christmas, some came back. As long as I live I will never forget the reason given for returning one gentle and beautiful champagned-colored Maine Coone cat: "She made too much noise using the litter box." Another perfectly wonderful feline was returned because "She ran from my four-year old."

My wish for 2002 is for tolerance and understanding of animals who are simply trying to make their way in the world.

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