You Don’t Have To Be Like That (From Janet)

Just-Do-Something.org Janet Bovitz Sandefur Animal Advocacy Animal Welfare

“Something’s different about Linda”, an acquaintance mentioned in casual conversation this past week.

“What do you mean?”, I asked.

“Well, I don’t want to sound weird or corny or anything”, this person went on, “but she’s changed – in a good way. She’s been really devoting herself lately to some animal welfare issues”.

“That’s a beautiful thing. Why would that be weird of you to say?” Now I am curious.

Pause. “I think it IS a good thing.  But, you know, no-one really talks about stuff like this too much.  People might it’s weird because she’s talking about it more. To everyone. What if she turns into an animal hoarder or a crazy cat lady now?’

I got the feeling that this acquaintance was asking my permission to be accepting of Linda’s increased openness about the things she was doing to help make a difference in the lives of animals in need.  It’s no secret: You don’t need permission to embrace Animal Advocacy.

Regardless, I had to stop her right there.  And initially I stopped her with “You know, you don’t have to be like that”.

“Like what?”, she asked.

Sometimes (sighing here), you really DO need to spell it out to someone else.

Being an animal advocate doesn’t mean you hoard animals.

It doesn’t mean that you will suddenly become “that woman” down the street who takes in every stray cat that comes along.

It doesn’t mean that you will become closed to everyone else or everything else.

Being an Animal Advocate means that:

  • You care – and you let that show
  • You  know compassion matters – and you give it freely wherever there is a need
  • You understand the importance of speaking up and speaking out – and you speak up and out even if it’s hard
  • You get that education and awareness make a difference – so you share what you know
  • You take initiative when and where you can (and even when you might fail) to better and save the lives of animals – because you can
  • You JUST DO SOMETHING every day – because it matters

At some point, you may be put in the path of someone whose ignorance about Animal Advocacy has them fooled into stereo-typed thinking (believe it or not, MANY people think like that).

Do them, and us – the Animal Advocates – a favor; start a conversation with “You Don’t Have To Be Like That”.

Because you know what, you don’t.

Animal Advocacy Founder signature Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

 

Animal Advocacy just-do-something.org logo Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

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One thought on “You Don’t Have To Be Like That (From Janet)
  1. Avatar Marianne D.

    Thank you for this blog post, Janet! Yes, we do have to be open about who we are, especially those of us who are animal advocates.
    I’m raising my daughter to have no qualms or apologies for being an advocate for animals, and no one should!
    We need to be the voice of the voiceless, and I think more and more people are standing up for animals, with no shame or apologies.
    That’s a positive step in the right direction!

     
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