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December 31, 2009

Because of You

At The HSUS, we put muscle into the heavy lifting that must be done to help animals in society.  In addition to focusing on the rescue and the care of individual animals in distress, it is The HSUS that is tackling major forms of institutionalized animal cruelty—factory farming, puppy mills, seal killing and the fur trade, animal fighting, the trafficking in wildlife parts, the trade in dangerous wild animals as pets, and so much more.  Throughout the year on this blog, I give you reports on our battles, my thoughts on strategy and tactics, and updates on urgent issues.  And I also call out our adversaries and expose their hypocrisy.

Seal-face-for-hp
The HSUS

Our work progresses because of the public support we draw.  We get very little money from the government (just for some specific international programs to combat the trade in wildlife and to promote more sustainable agricultural practices), and often times, we must assume the role of  patriotic critics of our government’s activities—whether because it is conducting inhumane and unnecessary activities (e.g., predator control and outdated animal testing) or providing subsidies to private industries causing harm to animals (e.g., agribusiness and the trophy hunting lobby). 

We are a powerful, mainstream force because of you.  And as the year turns in a few hours, it is the right time for me to say “thank you.”  Thank you for allowing a group like The HSUS to operate and to grow.  Thank you for your acts—small and grand—of kindness.  Thank you  to the individuals who conduct animal rescue, fostering, spay and neuter programs, or wildlife rehabilitation. Thank you to those of you who educate your friends and family members and professional colleagues about animal issues. Thank you for being conscious consumers in the marketplace. Thank you for working to make the world a better place.

A civil society works only thanks to the efforts of an informed, engaged, and generous corps of citizens.  It’s what makes our nation great. 

I know only all too well that we live in an imperfect society—our systemic mistreatment of animals is just one example of the social problems we confront.  But the history of the American experience is a belief in social progress, a commitment to principles of fairness and justice, and a trust that meaningful social change is not only possible, but inevitable.

Our end-of-year victory stories attest to just some of this progress.  Read the stories, and take pride in these outcomes.  These chronicles exist because of you.  My thanks to you, and best wishes for a successful 2010. 

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