Compassion Over Killing
I have been called many things during my time in the animal welfare field. Bleeding heart, social justice warrior, hero, cold hearted, crazy, amazing, deranged…the list goes on and on. Not everyone needs to make a career out of animal welfare, or even make it their first priority, frankly. We all have plenty to juggle as we try to navigate the world. But I hope (and for the majority of you, I know) that the lives of non-human animals holds a solid spot somewhere in your top five.What should be everyone’s priority is to introduce compassion, love, coexistence, harmony, and protection for those without voices (human or non-human) every chance that they get. The only way change will occur is through positive choices made by everyone on a daily basis, whether the impact is small or large. I feel like I am at the epicenter of a debate on how to humanely manage free-roaming cat populations, screaming into the void, with nobody hearing me yell “we have to change the humans!!!” over and over and over again. Cats are not an environmentally created problem, they did not magically appear on the island, perched to hunt endangered birds, spread disease and roam neighborhoods menacingly, screeching in the night. They were brought in by humans. Humans will continue to deposit them into areas where they are unwelcome until we address the fact that it is the human element that needs to be managed.By nature, most humans will choose to do the “right” thing when provided with resources that are affordable, accessible and understandable to them. I truly believe that nobody chooses killing as a solution unless they feel that there are no other options. However, when humans feel helpless, they will gravitate towards the easiest solution and shut themselves off from feelings of guilt, compassion and accountability. When there is a lack of affordable and accessible spay and neuter options, and the only option for reducing the population of free roaming cats is to make them “disappear” by dropping them off at the shelter, that is what people will do. We effectively normalize killing as an acceptable method of population control, and we shut off the part of us that sees cats (and other animals) as sentient beings with the same right to live on this planet as humans, birds, seals, or any other creature that lives, breathes and feels. Over the last 7 months, Animal Balance has worked to provide a humane alternative for the Kaua’i community. Our local staff and volunteers have quite literally shed (some) blood, (a lot of!!!) sweat and (a couple) tears to bring accessible, affordable spay/neuter to Kaua’i. They have sterilized more than 1,000 cats despite every obstacle being thrown their way. They are making a difference in the community with each human and non-human life they touch, providing people with the option to make the compassionate choice.The Spay Pod is currently in need of community support to keep the doors open. Accessible spay/neuter is a noble and necessary service, and in order to continue to make these services available to those who need it the most we need to raise $2,000 within the next couple of weeks. We desperately need the support of those who have a little extra to give, now more than ever.The Spay Pod is a joint venture by Animal Balance and the Kauai Community Cat Project. It is funded by donations from kind people like yourself who understand and support spay/neuter because it solves the problem at the source; breeding.I know you are inundated with asks, especially in this day and age where there are so many worthy causes and so many in need of help. We are humbly asking you to help us continue to provide the community on Kaua’i with the option to humanely control the cat population, to continue to provide spay and neuter for both owned and free-roaming cats, so that we can work together to reduce the population humanely and effectively. To help us promote compassion over killing. Can you pledge $25, $50, $100 to help Animal Balance continue to save lives on Kaua’i? A small donation may mean the difference between our doors staying open to the public, or closing and leaving the community with limited resources to keep the cat population under control.The Spay Pod is a catalyst for social change that will nurture a more compassionate society. This affects not only the cats, but us, our children, the future, the environment we live in and the planet as a whole. Please help us keep this vision alive by making a donation today. Please tag your donation “Spay Pod” and we will apply it directly to this project to ensure that cats on Kaua’i continue to have this life saving resource.