I've stumbled a lot in life. I stumbled into meeting my boyfriend. I stumbled into volunteering my shelter. I stumbled into owning Toby. I stumbled into my job.
The second most important thing I stumbled into (first is owning Toby) was my college program, Philosophy, Politics, and the Public at Xavier University. I was lucky enough to go back over the weekend to see some of my old professors and talk with the current students plus some of the other alumni.
PPP (my program) stressed public service and the public good. We discussed public intellectuals, political activism, and using philosophy and the search of the good life to improve the world. It was wonderful. Four years of not simply intellectual pursuits for the ivory tower, but how to use them for the good of people. I loved the classes and discussions and the firm belief that we were people who could make a difference.
Admittedly, most of the change is directed at people and issues directly related to people. One thing I love about my professors is that they believe in what I'm trying to do. They value animals, too, and realize that public service isn't only for people. They also seem to understand that so many animal issues also do affect people.
Breed specific legislation not only puts lovely dogs at risk of euthanasia, but also breaks up families and devastates children who don't understand why their beloved pet is being taken away. Pushing for mandatory low cost spay and neutering for the casual owner doesn't just keep dogs and cats off the street and out of shelters, but eventually might free up funds for people problems that are harder to solve. In addition it will help keep the feral cat problem in check and many people who don't like animals certainly would be happier if there were fewer feral cats while those of us who do like animals want the problem handled in a humane fashion.
Helping animals helps people. No matter what we were taught in college, I'm sure we all feel the drive to make the world a better place. I've seen some people who say that any charity that doesn't focus solely on solving immediate health and finance problems for people. I'm glad my professors didn't feel that way and understand the larger picture. I do believe in helping people. I think that we're all called to particular charities and passions to improve the world. I think that there are lots of people who are focused on people. I do give to people causes sometimes. I donated to Haiti relief and support Habitat for Humanity and donate to other groups occasionally. For me, however, the animals are the way I feel called to serve the public. I don't do it in a big or official capacity, but I do what I can. We all should serve the public however we feel called in whatever capacity we can. If you can do feel called to help the animals, more power to you!