Although a much longer sentence, it comes down to this: are men as scarce as they seem to be in animal welfare endeavors? Oh sure, men head up both the national HSUS and ASPCA organizations, as well as NJ’s state chapter . . . .
But by and large in my experience and observation, women are the real doers at virtually all levels. Think Angi Metler and Janine Motta, executive director and programs director of the Animal Protection League of NJ, our Jersey-born statewide organization. Both undisputed leaders, they’re also down in the trenches, working every day for animals, and have been doing so for years.
Where are the men? Why are they in the minority? Why aren’t they equally involved in animal welfare -- doing the same thing, in numbers, that women all over seem to be doing : cleaning cages, transporting, fostering, writing letters, demonstrating . . . ?!
Years ago, the reason for their absence could have been that men work, supporting families, etc., but, hello! women also fill the workforce. Could the reason be the old stereotype about women being more nurturing and more interested in relationships than in visibility and power (long assumed to be men’s goals)?
Why are men in animal advocacy the exceptions, rather than the rule?
Further, at least before they're career-secure, men seem to need to be competitive, to at least talk money and manipulation. Of the few men I've encountered in the animal welfare field, most are mature men who have already proven themselves in the "real world" or they were anomalies in animal welfare who made early progress and achieved executive positions there.
Yes, I know there are other ways that men advocate for animals. Just think: Peter Singer and the numerous writers since who have followed in his Animal Liberation footsteps. Overall, men seem to publish more about animals in mainstream media than women do. They also seem to do more public speaking and be more often quoted on the subject too.
Men, if you’ve read this far, you’re probably involved and fighting the good fight for animals. Why? How did you get involved? And how can more men be recruited?
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And this reminder
November is adopt a senior cat month. (But don’t stop there! Consider bringing a homeless animal home with you for the happy holiday season – and forever after.)
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