Dealing with Cause Snobs

Lately, I’ve heard a lot of my friends in animal rescue comment about their critics. I can’t count the number

Sez who?

of times I’ve had the same experience they are describing: somebody finds out you are a volunteer in animal rescue, and they feel compelled to criticize you.

“Why devote all that energy to animals when there are so many ….

  • needy children
  • sick children
  • abused children
  • starving people
  • homeless veterans
  • homeless people
  • needy seniors
  • poor people
  • victims of the latest natural disaster
  • [insert favorite cause here]?”

Why do these cause snobs always presume that because a person has compassion for animals that it automatically precludes them from caring about other issues? It’s been my experience that people who have compassion for animals — who work in rescue, are often the first people who step forward when help is needed in any area. I’ve seen them volunteer at food banks, homeless shelters, nursing homes, and hospitals. I’ve known them to write letters to congressmen, senators and presidents about human rights issues. I’ve known them to drop everything in order to hold fundraisers for victims of crime or natural disaster.

Just who do these cause snobs think they are, anyway? That they feel they can sit in judgement of where any of us choose to devote our energies?  Who are they to say which cause is more worthy than any other, or which cause we should be more passionate about?!

I’ve found that the critics who are quick to pose this question with such righteous indignation are usually of the do-nothing persuasion. They are people who don’t have the time or inclination to devote energy to any cause. People who only have passion for criticism.

From now on, I will turn their question back on them.

“Ah, yes! The needy children.  What are YOU doing to help them?”

“Oh…the poor! Where are YOU donating your money?”

“Oh my, those poor people who lost everything in the latest natural disaster! When are YOU shipping supplies for them?”

“Ah, all those sad, sick children!… When are YOU holding a fundraiser to help them?”

“Yes, seniors have really got it rough. What nursing home do YOU volunteer at?”

If these cause snobs can answer any of these questions with actual facts, I’ll thank them for donating their time/money/energy to their cause, because that way, between us, we have at least two things covered in a world of need.

Otherwise, they can just kiss. my. ass.

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About yelodoggie

C.A.Wulff is an author, artist and animal advocate. She has been involved in pet rescue for over twenty-five years. She has written two books about her true-life adventures living with an ever-changing house full of pets: Born Without a Tail, and Circling the Waggins, and a guide to animal advocacy using the Internet as a tool: How to Change the World in 30 Seconds". Wulff also writes a pet column and book review column for the Examiner, and is a contributing editor for AnimalsVote.org. She attributes her love of animals to having been raised by Wulffs.
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9 Responses to Dealing with Cause Snobs

  1. An excellent post. This needed saying.
    I’ll post a quote in our March Barking Planet Blog.
    Wags, woofs and best wishes,

    Robert

    Like

  2. Lu says:

    So true! I also get criticized for spending money on my dog when there are starving children. If I were spending this money on clothes or travel or big cars, no one would say this. And like many dog lovers, I volunteer with programs for homeless families, Habitat for Humanity and many other human causes.

    Like

  3. Dawn says:

    My FB friends and I give this article a loud ‘Woof!” Givers give. I know, from my own life, I would never condemn anyone for giving to any cause their heart told them to help. It’s unnatural for givers to chastise someone for caring. Givers give, complainers complain, and if everyone was as honest as they are outspoken, there would be a lot of people having to kiss. your. ass.

    Like

  4. Nancy says:

    You aren’t helping animals so that someone will stop and say, “wow, she’s so great for doing that”. Please don’t stop helping animals because someone says “wow, she should be helping people not animals”. Some people are just dumb! Compassion is always the right way to go.

    Like

  5. doodoopuppy says:

    I just discovered your blog and love it. I look forward to reading through the entries today while I am supposed to be working (shhh)

    Like

  6. Sheila NYC says:

    The first time I heard “You think animals are more important than people” I was standing outside the Humane Society with a dog that I had volunteered to walk, and I was deciding which route to take. I stood there with my mouth open and after this woman had walked about 15 feet farther, she turned around and added “you heard me!”. I said “Yes I did, and I feel sorry for you.” While I was walking the dog and our paths crossed again, she didn’t say a thing.

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  7. Mary Alice says:

    This is an amazing article and so sadly true – but also within the AR people too if you don’t live up to ‘expectation’ or live to the ‘rule’ then they come down on you like a ton of bricks and oh that just makes my hair stand up even more than it does the CAUSE SNOBS. I use this quote in my email as I wish people would just learn to work together to heal the many wounds this planet has ! I am so thankful for ever person out there who is doing SOMETHING to help SOMEONE, be the cause for human or animals because at the end of the day – it is the same goal we are all working towards.
    “I think that’s what unity is – knowing one another, coming together, and working with no conflict.” — Chief Alan Wilson, HAIDA —

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  8. Pingback: Ariel’s Rule | Up on the Woof

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