Those of you that have known me my whole life will not be surprised at all that I have chosen to dedicate my life to helping animals and to bring more awareness to some of the awful, and inhumane things mankind are doing to animals all over the world. Knowledge is power. Humans are responsible for the extinction of many species, and now humans must come together to make a change immediately. The driving forces that led me to produce and pull the trigger on my new video series, “Becoming An Animal Activist,” is my recent love for, not joking at all, Esther the Wonder Pig, watching the devastating news this week about the death of Sudan, the last male northern white rhino. Sprinkle on top of that, a minor mid-life crisis, and a case of… ‘when I look back at my life from my death bed, what do I want to see as my achievements and impact on the world.’ The answer to that is easy. Helping animals by being pro-active to bring change, awareness, education, to animal welfare around the world. I am just one voice, but my voice plus your voice, can have a huge impact.
I grew up in Up-State New York around cats, dogs, rabbits, chickens, geese, pigeons, hamsters, snakes, hermit crabs, guinea pigs, pigs, goats, and
the list goes on. Don’t make me dig up old pics of myself as a toddler in diapers holding a rabbit, because I will.
While doing my initial research for, Becoming An Animal Activist, I must admit, I was overwhelmed with information. Poaching, trophy hunting, canned hunting, farm factory animal abuse, feral cats, TNR (trap neuter release), “animal activism”, “animal rights”, “animal welfare”, “no kill shelters”, animal sanctuaries, animal rescues, veganism, wildlife conservation, and the list goes on. Another challenge is weeding out the truth between opinions and politics. The one thing that was clear as day is that animal activism is a polarizing subject.
I realized that I needed to ‘put down the internet’ and throw myself into open arms of local animal organization’s volunteer programs, go through the orientations, learn about the foundation of the shelters, rescues, zoos, meet the animals and hear their stories. Currently I am volunteering at SF Animal Care and Control, and by the end of next month I will have gone through specialized orientations and volunteering at the Homeless Cat Network feeding and TNR feral cat colonies, Muttville (Senior Dog Rescue), and the SF Zoo. Throughout absorbing valuable hands-on information about the needs and issues involving animals within their programs. Next month I will being covered in kittens as I excitingly have signs up to be a “foster dad” for kittens this coming “kitten season.” Please look into fostering kittens in your area by contacting your local animal shelter, you will be saving lives.
It’s clear now, that Becoming An Animal Activist, needs to be much larger and louder to reach a much wider audience. What I have discovered about farm factory abuse, poaching of CRITICALLY ENDANGERED ANIMALS, the details of ‘canned hunting’ , the life of feral cats that are not spay-neutered, the abuse of animals at circuses or side show petting zoos, dog meat farms in South Korea, just to name a few, have changed the way I eat, shop for food and clothing, and view live animals as entertainment. Finding myself unable to sleep thinking about all of this , I’ve have decided I have to do something! Posting cute animal videos on Facebook is fun, but I need and can do more. This is where I need your help to make my project as successful as possible.
Whenever I share grotesque, disturbing images and stories on social media about trophy hunting, canned hunting, or farm factory abuse, the most common response is, “I had no idea this was happening!” I aim to change all of that, and make everyone know what is happening to the animals around the world. Mankind has let the animals down, and now we, together, must do better.
I figured the best way to find out the answers to these questions, What is an animal activist? What is animal welfare? Do you need to be vegan or vegetarian to be an animal activist? Are zoos bad for animals? What is an animal rescue/sanctuary? , What kind of help is most needed for sanctuaries? How can I help?, would be to hit the road with my video camera, visit sanctuaries, shelters, rescues, zoos, meet the animals and get their stories, interview those working in the field of animal welfare/activism, the owners/staff/volunteers running and operating the sanctuaries, rescues, zoos, etc.
I have already confirmed and been in contact with Big Cat Rescue (Tampa, FL), Lanai Cat Sanctuary (HI), Animal Tracks (SoCal), and fingers crossed, Esther the Wonder Pig and Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary. Although Esther may be a celebrity now and out of my league, I still have hope to meet her in person and spend a day working for her. Throughout this process I will adding more visits as possible to the list. I will keep you posted! I need your help to make this happen. SUPPORT AND DONATE TO PROJECT HERE
During these visits I have challenged the organizations to put me to work and get me dirty doing chores, get me shoveling shit, cleaning stalls, digging trenches, etc . This should be highly entertaining and educational. Think Mike Rowe and his show Dirty Jobs, but a less attractive, more goofy version, me!
3 main goals for this project:
Get more people involved with animal welfare.
Let’s do this! #MyVoicePlusYourVoice #HumansHelpingAnimals #Queer4Animals