As I sat on a beach in Victoria, Australia the other day, admiring the dramatic limestone stacks known as the Twelve Apostles, a sense of euphoria washed over me. I was thinking about the notable shift happening in our world. The stacks have been crumbling, succumbing to the strength of the sea. Similarly, the houses in the world built on greed are collapsing against waves of compassion. An army of caring people is building, activating.
As I inhaled the salty air from the Southern Ocean, I thought of just a few of the dramatic changes that have happened so far in 2015:
-Barnum & Bailey Circus has promised to, at long last, retire its elephants.
-The Greyhound racing industry in Australia came to a halt when undercover video exposed leaders illegally baiting dogs with live animals. Sponsors have pulled money, trainers have been banned for life and the entire board of Greyhound Racing Australia NSW was dismissed.
-The city of Madrid, Spain announced that it would no longer euthanize homeless dogs.
-The city of Nashville, Tennessee voted to make it illegal to chain dogs indefinitely.
-In Alabama, a convicted animal abuser received a 99-year jail sentence. Goodbye!
-The city of Palm Beach, Florida banned wild animals for private parties/events.
-Three of the largest food providers; Compass Group, Sodexo, and Aramark announce plans to go cage-free for chickens in the USA.
-Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts announced cage and crate-free policies for hens and sows.
-Shane Rattenbury, a politician, introduced legislation in Australia to ban puppy and kitten farming in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT.) The Domestic Animals (Breeding) Legislation Amendment Bill passed unanimously!
When people gather to do good things, good things happen. Please keep signing petitions, emailing legislators, writing letters to judges, contacting newspaper and television reporters, and supporting charities. Thank you for being part of the wave of compassion.
Photo: Blaine Zuver