Wednesday, 9 May 2012

An obligation to care

Today I am pleased to introduce a very special guest blogger. Nathan Paice, who is doing work experience on behalf of the RSPCA, to help promote our Good Business Awards and inspire organisations to implement higher animal welfare standards.

So without further ado, here is what he had to say:

"The welfare of animals, in fact the welfare of the environment and all wildlife, has been a cause close to me since I was young enough to remember.

In my eyes, we’re no better or worse than any other living thing; we all have a role to play on this planet and we all deserve the same decent treatment and level of respect – we’re all animals anyway aren’t we?

Thankfully, those important values have long been instilled in me by my close family and friends growing up.

Unfortunately, not everyone thinks the same way. In my experience talking about subjects like this, there always seems to be two extremes with varying opinions drifting in between.

You have the ultimate animal welfare enthusiast on one end of the spectrum – the militant, fruitarian activist. While on the other end, you have the seemingly cold-hearted opinion of someone who believes we’re top of the food chain, it’s survival of the fittest, that we need animals purely for our survival and they live solely to serve our diets, modern medicine and the fashion industry, bla bla bla…

The ones who deliberately hurt animals either for their own pleasure, or because they’re cowards with no self-control, I’ve left out of the spectrum altogether; they’re soulless in my eyes.

Animals don’t have a voice like us, so they can’t shout out if they’re being treated cruelly. That’s why I feel such an obligation to lend a helping hand to the RSPCA – I think the fact I’m a huge animal lover helps as well though!

There is so much we take for granted with regards to animal welfare. I had an understanding of the injustices to animals in various industries like food and fashion, but I didn’t quite realise how deep it went until I started working with the RSPCA. It was harrowing to learn.

You see all those pieces in the media and hear opinions from people about shock tactics and not wanting to know all the gory details.

 For me though, it’s important to have an awareness and keep that spark to help fight for animal welfare alive by staying in touch with the real, gritty issues. You can’t live life through rose-tinted glasses; the very garment your wearing (it doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive designer, fur item) could have been manufactured out of untold suffering and blood – quite literally.

It really doesn’t take much to look at a label and question where something is really coming from or how it was made in the first place.

I’m not na├»ve enough to think everyone will become vegan and animal rights should be placed before ours, because I know that’s not the case. However, we can work to ensure animal rights are placed alongside ours as mutual living things on this planet, and we can work to ensure animals used in industries like food and fashion are handled with respect and treated like we would want to be treated. It’s only right.

To think otherwise just seems plain immoral. There really is no excuse for animal welfare neglect in this day and age.

If you’re not so big on animal interaction, I really do recommend you try and connect with them. Interacting with animals is such a rewarding experience."

Nathan Paice

Thank you so much to Nathan for a fantastic blog, and for all his help with the RSPCA's Good Business Awards. Whatever his future career, we are sure he will have every success!

Calie Rydings (Snr RSPCA press officer)

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