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