Why do you think we check our consciences before buying meat? (Don’t get me wrong; we buy meat. We just prefer to buy from folks who treat the animals humanely and with the respect and honor that they deserve. Believe me, mentally we’re borderline vegetarian; in reality, we just can’t make that jump yet.)
Why do we hear at least twice a month in our household someone sadly repeat, “Humans weren’t meant to go this fast.” Or “If it’s going to storm, should I check the food in the garage now or will that scare the cats out if they’re already settling in?” (That’s not our cats ; it’s the stray cats we wish we could take in, or at least get spayed/neutered and maybe find a nice home for.) Or “Animals are so much more in touch than humans” or “kinder than humans” or “more thoughtful than humans.” Or “Good, Hadley, yes. Beardslee is your brother. We love him. We treat him nicely. We don’t pull his fur or ears or tail. We pet him with an open hand. Good boy, you love your boys, don’t you?”
It’s because we’re animal lovers. Luhvahs. Lovahs. Whatever. We love animals!
We’re not (I don’t think!) the crazy people who wear cat sweatshirts and give up human interaction for the sweet snuggliness of our boys. But we do cherish them for their uniqueness and for what each of them bring to the family. We had three fur babies before we had Hadley, and they taught us SO much about parenting that has helped us with our “human” buddy.
And this doesn’t just go for cats, although they happen to hold a monopoly in our household. We grew up with dogs, and I have some experience farming with cows (hate calling them cattle), and in general both have a deep-rooted compassion for furry and feathered creatures of all shapes and sizes. We both often shed a tear over roadkill, and if we have to drive past it several times a day it deeply affects us.
Dave’s a donator. If he feels strongly about something, he puts his money where his mouth is (and, although he works in the fancy-schmancy world o’ news, he by no means has an excess of the green stuff…I promise you). So, he donates to a couple of animal shelters.
His brother was raised with a similar love of animals; they, too, have three kitties to call their own. They donate their time, too, to an awesome place called Spring Farm Cares in Clinton, NY. It’s called an “animal sanctuary” — a place where animals aren’t killed just because they happen to have a particular number attached to them. I love that it’s a sanctuary, especially for the horses, who are unable to be adopted out due to age or other ailments. A place for a horse to live out its days in a caring, healthy environment and with hospice (yes! Horse hospice) when needed is an incredible thing, indeed.
So, when Dan and Tara came up with an idea to have a run to benefit the sanctuary, I was uber proud. As things moved forward, bureaucratic red tape and other issues popped up, but always remembering the animals and what they deserve, they stuck out their chins and continued on. With further evolution, I was glad to hear that the run had become a run/walk — so, yay, I could sign up and even drag a stroller-ridin’ baby along to support them!
If you live in the Mohawk Valley area and are free Saturday, May 4th, please consider signing up for the Spring Farm Cares Run/Walk for the Animals. You can find out more on their Facebook page or simply register directly at www.runwalkfortheanimals.com. Early birds who sign up before April 1st pay a registration fee of $20 (and get a nifty, free T-shirt…or, if you don’t want the tee, let the money go back as a donation!).
Let’s just say I usually celebrate my May 1st birthday on the first Saturday of May, but this year I’m looking forward to use the day planting a seed with our son; a seed of compassion, responsibility and love. After all, why else would we work so hard at doing our tiny part to save the world if those who truly deserve a safe, wonderful place aren’t considered? It is our job to do for the animals and children, for they cannot do for themselves.
Sorry for the preachiness. I just care a whole heck of a lot about this cause. Please consider coming. It should be an awesomely fun, positive day for all.