I can’t believe the news today. I can’t close my eyes and make it go away.
It’s funny how art imitates life (or does life imitate art?). This line from a U2 song perfectly reflects how I felt when I heard about the slaughter of 100 healthy sled dogs near Whistler B.C. that took place almost a year ago today.
When the story broke, it spread across the internet like wildfire and outraged the world. CBC.ca posted an article and a heated discussion broke that involved almost 1,000 comments—more comments on any article running at that time.
The BC SPCA online petition surpassed its intended goal of 7500 in weeks, garnering over 100,000 signatures from all over the world—including signatures from Italy, the U.K., the Netherlands, Brazil and Japan.
A Facebook group, Advocates Against Outdoor Adventures Whistler (AAOAW; also referring to themselves as Advocates Against Outdated Animal Welfare Laws) grew to 50,000 members/likes in just two weeks. Other social sites have become popular: Prosecute those responsible for the Canadian Sled Dog Massacre, A Vigil for the lost lives of 100 Sled Dogs on April 23 and Stop animal cruelty in Canada with effective legislation!
Clearly, animal abuse ignites passion all over the world. People are using the Internet and social media to connect, discuss, plan peaceful protests, raise awareness, and just plain vent. Peaceful protests were organized online through the AAOAW as far away Italy and the Netherlands and at least 14 have been planned or taken place in Canada, with many more being added over the next month.
In the context of people mobilizing for massive change in Cairo, back here in Canada social media is being used as a unifying and mobilizing force for change. Many questions are being asked and we’ll have to wait until the Inquiry ends on March 18 to get answers about the sled dog tragedy out West. There is a bigger picture, of course. And that is that are laws around animal cruelty in Canada need to change.
The time for this change is now. The sled dog massacre should serve as catalyst here and many are working to make this heinous negative a positive for our stray, wild and domestic animals in Canada.
We can’t close our eyes and make it go away because it won’t. In the news and all over the Internet, there is evidence of animal abuse happening every day.
Back home, here in Kitchener-Waterloo, a group of us are organizing a peaceful dog walk and rally for change and we’re hoping that Mark Holland will be able to attend to help us raise awareness and petition to change animal cruelty laws in Canada.
More on this and what you can do in my next blog.