"Theories abound about the processes of evolution of our world and its inhabitants. Whatever the processes, animals have always been an integral part of the system. Interdependence of species, human and nonhuman, is vital to the well-being, indeed, to the survival, of all. The humans in this symbiotic relationship have evolved with the ability to manipulate the system; also to be compassionate. To be compassionate is to have sympathy and understanding for the feelings and needs of others. It is the essential element of humaneness (or humanness): having feelings proper to humans.
Animals have feelings, too. It is unlikely that animals' feelings are the same as humans', but undeniably, each animal is the subject of a life, unique, intrinsically valuable for its role in the interconnectedness of all life."
These quotes are from "The 80:20 Opportunity" by Joe Ripley writing about the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies. The following resonates with us at Cavy Spirit as we have been intimately involved with some of the "politics" of rescuing across the country, both in the forefront and behind the scenes:
"While we may "understand" humans' dependence on animals and "accept" the responsible ownership and use of animals, that is not to imply that we agree with the ways in which some animals are used and treated. It is for animal welfarists to work with all who will work to protect animals from distress. It requires the ability to compromise sometimes, at least in the short term, while we continue to learn from experts and animals themselves what animals really need to ensure their welfare for the long term."
"With animal users and owners, we agree on 80% of the animal welfare issues, but we allow the 20% we don't agree on to take up most of our time and attention. I suggest we treat it as the 80:20 Opportunity. Approached positively, we can concentrate our efforts on the 80% of animal welfare issues where we can work together and where we have common ground on which to progress. The 20% we don't agree on cannot be ignored, but it should not be allowed to take up most of our time, attention and resources, cloud our vision or create divisiveness."
" . . . Only constructive, open communication will allow all of us to explore opportunities to provide the greatest protection for animals. If our work for animals is to succeed, we dare not isolate ourselves from those discussions nor jeopardize the outcome for animals by allowing discussions to become confrontational."
"Technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate, bringing complex issues to be addressed on behalf of animals. We must work with all who will work to protect animals. We must promote and practice exemplary humane stewardship on behalf of animals. They are live, feeling beings. It matters to animals how they are treated. Humans have a responsibility to ensure their welfare. For the animals, let's use (not lose) the 80:20 Opportunity!"