“We feel that animals have the same rights as retarded children.” -Alex Pacheco, PeTA
I don’t watch a lot of television and what I do watch tends to have been previously recorded. So, I enjoy the luxury of skipping through commercials so I can just get on with enjoying the show.
Unfortunately, there are times when I view things as they are aired, so I’m forced to endure commercial breaks. Some of the most annoying commercials out there are for the SPCA where Sarah McLachlan sings “Angel” and they have those horribly sad pictures of abused animals. Here’s what the commercial says:
“Every day in America thousands of animals suffer from cruelty and neglect
Thousands were rescued last year
But for thousands of others help came too late” (source)
Let me start off by saying animals should be treated with care and respect. (And they should be served with a starch and a green vegetable. Ba-dum-dum!)
Animals, however, are not on the same level as people and should not be treated as if they are. According to NCCP and other sources, 16 million kids in this country live in poverty. According to The Hunger Project, 8,500 children under the age of five die daily due to poor nutrition (worldwide).
So, where are our priorities?
According the their latest annual reports, some well-known animal rights organizations brought in the following revenue last year:
– The Humane Society: Over $171M (2013)
– PeTA: Over $35M (2013)
– Dumb Friends League: Over $15M (2013)
– Best Friends Society: Over $64M (2012)
– SPCA: Over $159M (2012)
– American Humane Association: Just shy of $18M (2012)
So, just with those six organizations, we’re looking at about $462M in revenue annually. ALMOST HALF A BILLION DOLLARS. Just in the US. Not including all of the countless regional and local charities and shelters.
Now, let’s take that money and see what would happen if we gave it to a charity that helps children. I’m choosing one of the more “expensive” ones due to their holistic approach to providing care to their sponsored children.
A Compassion International child sponsorship costs $38 per month. This gives the child food, medicine, clothing and educational opportunities. What would happen if we took that $462M and gave it to Compassion?
$462M / 12 months = $38.5M per month
With the money we give those six organizations alone, we could be feeding 1,000,000 children every year… and giving them clothes… and medical treatment… and an education.
Again, where are our priorities?
If there were a starving child and a starving dog and you could only feed one, which would you feed? I believe we should love and care for animals, however, that decision should be clear (regardless of how bad you feel for the dog).
By the way, I don’t have anything against those charities (with the possible exception of PeTA) and according to Charity Navigator, they are all top rated for financial responsibility (again, the exception is PeTA). And, I’m sure there are people who give money to these charities as well as Compassion (or similar).
I just wonder which would have a greater positive impact on the world… freeing animals from a substandard life or freeing children from a substandard life.
My money is on the children.