In our book RESCUE RENEW REHOME we laid out 20 intelligently thought out points to dramatically increase homeless pet adoptions in America. A 20 point program to end the killing of 4 million dogs and cats in our animal shelters each year. For this article we want to share with you point number #20.
To me this was the most difficult point to create. While the others are logical and use un-common, common sense, developed in our 10 years in dog rescue this last point was the hardest to say out loud.
I always try to be optimistic. I try to never judge anyone. I practice Zen and meditation and try to always focus on happiness. So this final point has weighed hard on my soul. But I could not write this book unless I expressed what I felt in my heart.
And that is: If we are to finally end the killing of healthy, loving, homeless animals in America we must speak the truth. We must look inside ourselves and really ask, why do we allow 4 million animals to be killed every year in America?
The first reason we kill shelter animals is because as I said earlier in this book… we are a disposable society. If we don’t like it we get rid of it. If something shinier comes along we get rid of it. If our pet acts out we get rid of it. If we tire of it we get rid of it.
The other reason is because as humans we always prefer to run from and avoid reality…and then lie to ourselves about it to make ourselves “feel good” rather than speak words of truth and own what we have done.
What are the two lies we tell ourselves?
The two lies are the two words we use to make ourselves feel good about doing something bad…something real bad…killing.
To deny it to ourselves we use two nice sounding words “Shelter” and “Euthanize”
But Shelter is not a truthful word. The definition of a shelter is …a place of safety and refuge. A shelter saves lives and brings help and hope to those that go there. So knowing that – why do we continue to lie to ourselves and use the word “shelter” when our supposed shelters are not shelters? What do you call a place that kills the homeless beings that come to it? I don’t need to name it, but we all know that “shelter” is not the name.
The other lie we tell ourselves to stay in denial and feel good about ourselves is the word “euthanize“.We tell ourselves that we “euthanize” homeless pets. We should use the word of truth – which is kill, not the lie of euthanize.
The definition of euthanize: (Medicine) to kill (a person or animal) painlessly, esp to relieve suffering from an incurable illness.
What incurable illness do our 4 million homeless animals have? What suffering do these 4 million homeless animals endure? And the procedure most shelters use is not a 2 step euthanize, but a one step. And that one step is not painless! What we are doing is killing. We must stop killing and stop using the word euthanize.
We must be honest with ourselves and our children and talk words of truth. The truth shall set you free. And if we start telling the truth we will set our souls free from the horrible burden we are bringing upon our society, by allowing innocent animals to be killed, while we use words that lie, keep us in denial and cover it up.
Steve Monahan, founder
Green Pets America
Author RESCUE RENEW REHOME