It’s about time, Mississippi!

After seven years of trying, Mississippi is now no longer one of four states without an animal cruelty felony law protecting cats and dogs from those who would abuse them. It’s a good first step. ~ Senator Bob Dearing

What to say?  Where to begin?

Part of me wants to pause and be thankful for this bill being passed.  It needed to be passed seven years.  No… It NEEDED to never even be a question.  And part of me wants to grit my teeth and clench my fists and shout, “SEVEN YEARS!?!??? SEVEN!?!??!?  YEARS!?!??!?”  I feel thankful and ashamed at the same time.

I live in Mississippi.  I was born here and have lived here my whole life, apart from a stint in Tennessee that lasted less than a year.  I am a Mississippian.

But I’m also – and much more importantly – a vegan, an animal rights activist, a no-kill advocate, anti-circus / rodeo / zoo / leather / fur / feathers, etc. etc.

I have so many thoughts about the passage of this bill – about it taking so long, about the repercussions of anyone being cruel to an animal, about what such a person is otherwise capable of, about what such little regard for animals teaches our children.  While I know and respect that everyone is entitled to their own views and beliefs, kindness is not a view or a belief; it is a universal courtesy and should extend to every energetic, sentient being (including the earth itself.)

I am glad that we are finally no longer one of the four and that we have legislation in place to (at least somewhat) protect animals from those monsters among us.  And I hope that work will continue to be done so that animals in Mississippi (and EVERYWHERE!) may be even more comprehensively protected and valued as they should be.

My Tess was adopted from the local shelter.   I know that she had a life before she came into mine and sometimes I shudder to think what it might have been.  She is safe now, and happy and loved (and spoiled rotten!), as every animal should have a chance of being.  To think that she might have been mistreated, to think that any animal is mistreated, makes me physically sick.

I understand that the powers-that-be have many issues to consider and I respect that.  But, it is about damn time that those who can make a difference make moral obligations as important as economic ones.  Money won’t save the world.  Only kindness and love can do that and it starts with how we treat those among us who can’t protect themselves.  It is far past time to step it up.

Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota… what are you waiting for?

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