The Humane League

by guest blogger Olivia Jannuzzi

Hello there

Hello there

Giving a voice to the voiceless and a big hand to those with paws, Untold Animal Stories combines true and stylized storytelling with animal advocacy, resulting in an uncommon and inspiring blog. This website features articles with tips for pet owners, petitions and opportunities to help animals in need, and occasionally a video demonstrating an animal’s intelligence and importance. The main feature of the blog is the innovative short stories that are often told from an animal’s perspective, putting the reader on all fours, and allowing us to get a tiny feel of what these animals experience daily.

As you read the stories, you are seeing life through an animal’s eyes. We are put in the panther’s entrapment at the zoo as a crowd stares. We are rescued with a stray dog who finds a loving family and a warm bed. We experience peaceful life as a cow on a wide green pasture. Without forcing it, and without disgusting and shocking people with the harsh realities of what these animals go through, these creative stories are a subtle yet effective technique for people to build compassion for animals, and to help raise animal advocacy awareness.

Raising awareness for animals is important for several significant reasons. For starters, it is important for people to know where their food is coming from and what methods were used to get the meat from the animal to the plate. Currently factory farming dominates food production in the United States, with approximately 99% of farm animals subjected to these factories and about ten billion animals per year slaughtered for food. The animals are routinely mistreated and abused, and the practices used by the farmers are often cruel and horrendous. Not only that, but factory farms are one of the biggest polluters in the nation, putting humans’ health at risk as well.

Of course, factory farming is not the only option we have to put food on our plates. The Humane League* works to raise consciousness and alert the world on what is really going on with their food, and presents alternatives to eating factory farmed meat by encouraging healthy and tasty options like Meatless Monday, or the benefits of going vegan/vegetarian. The switch from factory farmed meat to cruelty-free alternatives can save hundreds of animals’ lives while also making the planet and you healthier.

When you see something destructive or dangerous happening, it is our nature and right to take action against it. Even the smallest efforts go a long way and can save a significant number of animals’ lives. Unfortunately, animals do not have the voice (or thumbs) to stop the horrible treatment that they are subjected to, which is why it is important we give them a voice and a chance to live better lives. Untold Animal Stories creates that voice to help open up people’s minds and see that animal’s lives are just as significant and meaningful as our own.

~ ~ ~* Since its founding in 2005, the Humane League’s mission has been to save the lives of as many animals as possible and to reduce animal cruelty. We want a world where all animals are treated with the same respect and compassion that we show to our beloved family dog or cat.

Originally founded in Philadelphia, the Humane League has grown to be a leading national presence for farm animals with offices in Philadelphia, Boston, Maryland, Dallas, Charlotte, Seattle, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Miami. Funding comes from our tens of thousands of supporters across the world.  For more information or to contribute, please visit: http://www.thehumaneleague.com/donate.html COW - APNOV  (35 of 98)

PIG APNOV  (50 of 98)Photo Credits: Stephanie Frankle

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Empath, Voyeur or Action? What Type of Advocate Are You?

DSC_0135 2by Gretchen Pachlhofer, co-founder of www.untoldanimalstories.org

Let’s face it.  If you are reading this blog, you are an animal advocate.  You love to read stories about animals and nature.  It touches that chord, deep inside you, the place that very few humans allow themselves to venture. It’s a special place deep within ourselves that we tuck tightly away for fear of our true feelings being exposed to those around us. That is the source of the feelings that allows us to honor animals.  Animals allow us to stop, and feel, and experience being in the present moment.

Empathy for animals is the key ingredient that allows us to take the first step in helping all creatures great and small. Whether it be a stray cat, a dog that has been dumped on the side of the road, or a bird that has fallen out of the nest, there is no way we can just turn away and ignore the situation.  If you choose to actually stop and do something to contribute to the given situation, you have just entered the world of being an Action Advocate. Congratulations!

Another choice is to be a Voyeur Advocate for animals. You read the blogs, you identify with the feelings that are unlocked inside as you immerse yourself in your own private reading experience. It make you feel good to read all the wonderful stories that others have chosen to share. Now, I’d like to just toss this out to you—what would happen if you made the choice to take the next step and actually DO SOMETHING to help animals? What would it feel like to actually BECOME an Action Advocate?

I want to share my recent story with y’all (yes, I am from Texas) and hopefully you can take the giant step forward and join me.

I recently relocated to a rural area of the Texas Hill Country.  I sold my business and now have a choice to continue to make a difference for animals.  I found a group of women who run a shelter located on a ranch in acute need of regular volunteers to help care for the dogs and cats in their facility. I chose to make a commitment to volunteer once a week for 3-4 hours.  Volunteering is such a rewarding experience and the animals give back ten times of the effort I give weekly.  I jokingly call it my “therapy time” but there is a lot of truth to that statement.

So all of you reading this, I want to throw something out to you.  Over the next couple of weeks, think of something you can DO for animals, then TAKE ACTION and do it. And then, if you feel inclined, chime in and tell us what you did.  This is not a contest.  The purpose is to create a community for Untold Animal Stories for all of us to share and become more interactive. Email us at untoldanimalstories@gmail.com