A New Opportunity for a Humane Nation
I am not idle here at The Humane Society of the United States. The workday never ends, and there’s limitless work and infinite opportunities to push our cause ahead. For that reason, I guard my time jealously. But the idea of creating a blog, and leveraging the tremendous resources of The HSUS to make it a valuable project and resource, is worth my time, and I hope it will be worth some of yours, too.
Here’s why I think it’s a worthy investment of time. First, it’s truly my privilege to work as president and CEO of The HSUS, and in my position, I get access to a tremendous flow of information. I see exciting progress in our movement, and I also see challenges ahead. I want to have a forum to share this information—both as a way of inspiring people about our progress, so that none of us feel alone or powerless, and also as a means of informing people about the white water and shoals ahead.
Second, I believe our cause will succeed only if animal advocates across the country engage in the struggle to protect animals. Don’t leave it up to anyone else to solve the massive problems animals face. Each of us has to be part of the solution. I hope this forum can make it easier for you to be involved. As I travel across the country, I meet thousands of people who are devoted to animals, but they have a hard time plugging in to the cause in a fulfilling and constructive way. They want to find more ways to help. I think I am in a position to identify some opportunities for engagement, and if we act together, we can change the world. I believe that.
Third, there are some tremendous people in the movement working selflessly for animals, and I want to highlight their work. They deserve the recognition. And they can serve as models for all of us to do our work better—their stories and their knowledge can make us stronger advocates. Being a good and powerful advocate requires constant improvement and creativity in our work and thought.
Fourth, I want a rapid response mechanism to react to the news of the day, or even the hour. There may be a new animal cloning announcement, an expansion of the pet food recall, a contest hunt we just learned about moments ago, or a tornado or other natural disaster affecting animals. The blog can be a resource for you and for the media and policy makers.
Fifth, I want to have a place to muse about controversial subjects, and get your feedback. Throughout the process, I hope all of us—you and I—will make better decisions, even if we do not always agree. But we do have to have some ground rules. The Internet does not impose many social limits on our behavior, and invective and hurtful comments flow from many a keyboard. That’s not something I want to be a part of. We need more support and more positive thinking—but that’s not to say we cannot also have critical thinking at work, too. So if your thoughts are honest and constructive, I am ready for them. If they are over the top, send them to someone else’s blog.