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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 4 March 2003 Issue

By Judith Marie Gansen
Article 20 - Why Be a "Beige" Person?

I am sure you have met a "beige" person before--that term is just sort of something I made up for them. They do everything in a correct manner. They listen to whatever society or fashion dictates to them--in fact the fashion industry sometimes keeps them hopping from store to store and continuously pulls that ring that beige people seem to have though their noses. In fact, while fashion can and should be a fun thing, beige people worry about how they look to the point of excess--they remind me of a young teen still worried about being popular, not realizing there are more important things in life. They often wear beige or other neutral colors--I wear beige too but with a red top sometimes! Their homes are most likely decorated with neutral colors--they even fear offending someone in their own home. The beige people of the world would never dream of "making waves." They may love animals deep down inside but put a bumper sticker on their car--unthinkable! They would rather die than be seen at an animal rally or handing out leaflets. After all, what would people think???

I feel sorry for these people actually because I would like there to be more in my obituary than "she kept a perfectly clean house," "was always in fashion," and "was a people pleaser." These folks are not living their lives, they are living what someone else expects of them. To me, that is a waste of the wonderful gift of life we have been given.

Sometimes in my effort to educate people about animals, I may step on some toes. I don't intentionally enjoy hurting anyone--I take great pains to educate in a gentle manner. I have mentioned this before--that kind of education takes better and lasts longer because it goes deep inside the person. Enlightened people won't wear fur for instance because they know of the pain and suffering it causes the animals, not because being anti-fur is the "cool" thing to do or because someone assaulted or denounced them in public and scared them into not wearing fur.

Beige people are generally the first to criticize those of us who choose to make a difference for animals. During the few years I was a church secretary I once had a bumper sticker that was not exactly controversial--it said "Humanity towards animals is the hallmark of human achievement." One church member came up to me and said she agreed with my bumper sticker but felt I should take it off because the people of the church wouldn't like it. I didn't take the bumper sticker off and I asked her why would anyone be upset with it when it was about compassion and that was what Jesus taught. In fact the minister I worked for was fine with it and was a cat lover as well. Yet this woman was upset enough that she felt the need to talk with me.

"Beige" people or "conservatives" I have found are frightened of anything different or not part of our cultural norm (unless they are somehow profiting from exploiting animals and then they are against us for purely profit reasons). Yet how else does progress occur--by staying with the same old ways? Hardly.

As animal advocates our victories are not always every day. But the victories we do have are awesome and so sweet when they happen. Nothing in life gives me so much satisfaction as knowing that I have made a difference for those who cannot speak for themselves. And there is no greater satisfaction than knowing that I was a part of something greater than myself. Call it "spirituality" or call it "God's work" or the "spirit of volunteering"--making the world a better place is the essence of life. There are many important causes besides animals of course but to me animals are the most helpless and the most forgotten. I hope and pray you make this important choice--once you do, there will be no going back. Once you make the transition, the rewards you feel inside your own heart will enrich the rest of your life as well. Join us as we light up our world--both for ourselves and the animals!


Staff: Animals in Print (free online animal publication)  

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P.S. The photo is of a poster I got quite some time ago--I can find no credit for the photographer anywhere and don't recall where I found it--if anyone has any info on it, please let me know so I can give proper credit. Thanks!

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