This is the first day of Be Kind to Animals Week. I don't wish to sound unappreciative, but that sort of thing brings out my inner skeptic. I mean, once the official week of being kind to animals is over, then what? You can go back to hitting your dog with a rolled-up newspaper? Drop your pregnant cat in a dumpster? Enter the calf roping event at your local rodeo?
I don't have to worry, since the people I live with are kind to me every day, unless I'm being boarded, which isn't often. But they aren't the ones that Be Kind to Animals Week is designed to change. As for those whose attitude toward animals needs a serious upgrade, I have some doubts that one week a year will change things very much.
M says I shouldn't be such a pessimist. He thinks that any efforts to improve the plight of mistreated and down-on-their-luck animals are bound to make a difference sooner or later. "It sure helped in your case," he reminds me. And special recognition of these efforts can only increase public awareness, boosting their chances for success. "Any publicity you can get," he likes to point out, "is good."
I guess that in the grand scheme of things, downtrodden animals make out okay when it comes to special recognition. Perhaps better than a lot of humans, since the animals get a whole week in the limelight, while mothers, fathers, active and former members of the armed forces, secretaries, bosses, sweethearts, registered dieticians, doctors, radiology nurses, Navajo Code Talkers, Hopi Code Talkers, and people who work for state governments each get just one day a year. (This list is meant to be illustrative, not exhaustive.)
Of course there's some multiple dipping going on in those human recognition days: For instance, in addition to Mothers Day (second Sunday in May) and Fathers Day (third Sunday in June), did you know there's a Parents Day (fourth Sunday in July)? Go figure.
Okay--I'm convinced enough about the possible effectiveness of Be Kind to Animals Week to help spread the word. For starters, here's a link to the website of its founding organization, the American Humane Association. It's got some good information on it.
While I'm at it, to bring this down to a personal level, I want to post this flyer to help raise funds for Cat Tail Corner, the shelter that has provided a refuge for most of J and B's feral cats. (Click on the flyer to enlarge it.)
Please get involved with needy animals and help them in any way you can.
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