Making sacrifices in where we spend our money is perhaps the most influential impact we can have on changing the world. But it isn't always easy. Many people travel long distances to purchase pet supplies at stores that don't sell animals. Others give up products they like so as not support practices that are cruel to animals. Some end long family traditions of certain meals or events in order to stop giving money to those not protecting animal rights. Signing petitions and sharing horrifying photographs helps spread animal rights messages but the only real way to force the closures of puppy mills, stop animal testing and end animal deaths and torture is to cut off the cash flow.
My most recent personal sacrifice for the greater good of animals has been to stop competing in American Kennel Club (AKC) events with my dogs. I used to spend well over $1,000 a year on AKC dog sport events. But with the AKC's continued support of puppy mills, I simply cannot justify the price of the lives of poorly treated breeding dogs simply for me and my dogs to have fun. And competition dog sports are very fun. I already miss the thrill of being in the ring, the joy of working seamlessly side by side with my best friend, the camaraderie of fellow passionate dog enthusiasts. However, there are many other organizations that hold dog sport events. Alternative dog sport organizations don't make tens of millions dollars a year from supporting questionable dog breeders and spend some of their $100K political lobby funds to rally against animal rights legislation the way the AKC does. I look forward to spending my money elsewhere.
The AKC isn't going to crippled my the lack of my money flowing into their massive bank account but at least I know that my hard earned money isn't supporting puppy mills. Feeling good about where my money goes is sometimes the best I can do to help change the world for animals. For this reason, I am always examining where I spend my money. I avoid products made in China or Japan. I never get a caffeine fix where civet coffee is served or sold. I don't buy food containing palm oil. I, like many others with the resign to help animals, do my best to spend my money where my heart is. I know that if everyone did, there will someday be no more money in the pockets of those who treat animals poorly. And that is a someday worth sacrificing for.
A to Z Challenge: Yesterday was L for Looking: Easter Egg Hunts For Dogs, tomorrow is N for Natasha Katarina II.