I am working on many projects and have a lot to share with all of you.
But because of current undertones and accusations I feel the need to state a personal distinction with all of you.
Death threats appear to be increasing to the members of organizations that manage wild horses and burros. Attacks on the character of other advocates is also on the rise, against myself included.
Certain advocate groups have put out statements asking for folks to deal with the BLM in a “civilized” manner. I am making the same plea… but my plea includes our dealings with each other.
I do recognize the absolute outrage. I do recognize the truth of the heart-break. I do recognize the feeling of helplessness against a “machine” that operates without apparent flexibility or apparent awareness of the emotional and physical wounds it inflicts.
But within that frustration exists a destructive way of being that will feed on itself and hurt advocates. It creates a reactiveness that acts without complete information and has the potential to inflict as much damage as the “machine.”
If the current “plea” that has been sent out makes your inbox, I am asking you to take the same logic put forth and apply it to the “advocates” themselves. If there is a “willingness” demonstrated to overlook differences and see “positive” places for dialogue (as some express in statements that ask “attacks cease against those on the ground” and focus on a legislative battle. And some subtly, and not so subtly, point fingers at other advocates) take a moment to think.
Let it be a seed that grows compassionate understanding everywhere.
We have all been drawn here because we care. It is a truth I have observed. But we are all different. Simply because someone comes from a “city” or a background that does not include ever gentling a wild horse does not make their viewpoint irrelevant. In many ways they offer a unique perspective that has unique value.
Statements made about “personal gain” sound like the claims Sue Wallis’ camp makes in the horse slaughter struggle as she accuses advocates of making money “hand over fist.” The majority of advocates, many of them high-profile, devote a great amount of personal resource to engage in this effort. Any funding they receive does not cover the costs incurred.
Yes, there are large organizations that exist in a business capacity that make a living from advocacy, but that is not the majority. It is also not inherently wrong.
Yes, there are many that have figured out how to exist funded as entities that gentle and find homes for horses… but most of them exist on budgets that make it month-to-month.
I have heard accusations that certain advocates really advocate for the BLM. I have heard accusations that certain advocates are in it for personal “glory.” I have heard accusation after accusation that in the big picture create a “drama” that ultimately hurts horses.
Each advocate has something to offer this effort. Each voice speaks a language that is vital to reach the ears needed to create change.
Take a minute to breath… please.
If there is a willingness to recognize the value of recognizing the “humaneness” of those that manage wild horses and burros… please recognize the tremendous value of the wealth of diversity among the advocates themselves.
OK… gonna step off the soap box. But I want to leave you with a few definitions of words courtesy of dictionary online. Y’all know language is a topic I am very interested in.
Be very aware of the interactions we all have with each other. Be very aware of your behavior and how it pertains to constructive action.
a person who speaks or writes in support or defense of a person, cause, etc. (usually fol. by of): an advocate of peace.
Etymology: French pacifisme, from pacifique pacific
1 : opposition to war or violence as a means of settling disputes; specifically : refusal to bear arms on moral or religious grounds
2 : an attitude or policy of nonresistance