Monday, November 14, 2011

Take a stand!

Lately I have been wondering where our voices have gone.  I understand that not everyone will find something that they have a passion for (the ones who do will lead the way) and many working families do not have time to dedicate fully to a cause.  But what about simply having an opinion!  People do have opinions about issues once informed ( I hope).   Lets use animal cruelty as an example, even more specifically Rhino poaching.  Now if I were to tell you that dogs or cats were near extinction and that their population is so diminished that it likely will not recuperate... what might you say, better yet, what might you do?  The rhino population has in fact declined 90% since 1970 and their population will likely not recover from this decline.  I had no idea this was even occurring until just days ago, where the hell have I been?!  To top it off, just this week the Western Black Rhino was officially declared extinct!  Now, the Rhino's extinction will not directly and immediately impact my day to day life and so maybe I should not be overly concerned with this news... or should I??  The answer is I SHOULD!   If your neighbour was running a meth lab out of his/her basement I bet you would have a voice!  Why does it need to negatively effect people for them to care enough to have a voice!?!

Now, one single person cannot ever be abreast on all the issues that plague our world but lets think about the ones you ARE AWARE OF! (ex: Global warming, war, poverty, etc.)  Supporting an issue does not mean that you must donate money and hours of your time.  Not everyone is in a financial situation where they can give to many or any causes.  Simply sending emails, spreading news and information and vocalizing your support IS STILL SUPPORT!  It does not take long to "fan" a page on facebook, start a conversation about an issue or cause with friends and coworkers or shoot off an email to people of influence.  If everyone in Canada made their voices heard about every issue they had an opinion about think of how much good we could do as a country!  Those with influence could help, those with funds could support and those with a voice would be heard and that is how change happens!  I am not going to start a local campaign to support the Rhinos but I will speak to the issue and spread the word.

I can't resist but to mention backyard chickens here... It is my belief that the majority of people don't mind if a neighbour were to keep backyard hens and that if those who are opposed were to be educated about backyard chickens they too would be supportive.  I believe this whole heartedly!  I can give you a dozen+ news articles from the past few years about backyard chickens.  With all the news coverage I would assume that the majority of people have heard about people wanting to keep chickens.  If everyone within a city/town were to make their voices hear.. whether in support or not, imagine how simple it would to have change!  As of now, it is those who want to keep hens and those who are totally against them that have a voice.  When people read the news articles and say "Oh, thats really a shame they had to get rid of their chickens, who cares if they want to keep a few chickens."  THIS DOES NOT HELP ANYTHING!  People need to stop saying "oh, thats too bad."  with regards to every single issue they read about.  "That's too bad." is what's wrong with society.  If you support a cause... make it known!  With regards to Backyard chickens, if you don't mind them... let your town/city know about it!  Just because you don't plan to have them in your yard doesn't mean you shouldn't have a voice.

I guess what I am trying to get at here is.... when you read your local paper and hear about an issue-form an opinion and have it heard.  When you go to the grocery store and they have a box for canned food donation-throw in a $1 can of beans.  If you go to throw away your clothes-think about those less fortunate and donate them instead!  There are many ways in which we can make a difference.  When you buy food-think about where it came from and what might be in it.  As you try on apparel made from animal skin-remember where they came from.  As you drive by the next construction site for a big box store or new strip mall-remember what used to inhabit that land.  Not all causes need to save the world and not all activism needs to be major.  It starts with one and for every voice that is heard... other minds start turning; its a chain reaction.   Take a stand!


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