Thursday, October 15, 2015

Updated November 6. 2015
So, how about all of those online and email petitions? 
Do they work?
Do they save our Buddies?

Hey Wolves, and all of us who work to help all of our animal Buddies.
I did not mean to ruffle anyone's feathers by saying that online petitions are useless. 
But they are a waste of your energy, and they cost us the lives of our animals.
When you simply sign a petition, and think you have solved a problem, but you have not?
The problems facing our animals still exist.

All I wanted to do, is to build a community of folks that would put forth the effort to change the tide, to build a better future for our animals and our earth. We can alter the future, but not by flailing away as slacktivists.

Contact your Congress by email or phone, if you truly care.

If they know they will not get your next vote at election day, they will take action.

Been looking back at all we have been through in the last couple of years, trying to save our wolves from not just the wolf hunters, but from those who allow and encourage those hunters to “manage” our recovering wolves….. “manage”, “harvest”, “control” … three words that are more palatable than “slaughter”, “hunt”, “kill”.

So we online become enraged when someone shares an unidentified photo of a wolf hunter, holding up a dead wolf.
There are many of those photos, I waded through all of them to post on my wolf blog, and then used them in a tweet storm.
My goal was indeed to get folks so pissed over this war on wolves, so that they would take action.
They got pissed. They tweeted. 
But they did not take action.
I monitored how many views there were on the wolf blog, when I made postcards, to make it easy for folks to comment to the USFWS about delisting our gray wolves, and then again about placing protection on our Alexander Archipelago wolves in Alaska.

Bottom line?
If we don’t take realistic action to protest the bloodshed of our animals, by contacting our Congress, we are kidding ourselves about what is entailed to be an activist.
Most of these online petitions are bullshit, (sorry to be crude there.)

1.The danger of online petitions. Have we become slaktivists?

2. Evidence points to futility of online petitions
April 10, 2015
Andrew Masterson
There is significant evidence that the proliferation of online petitions is leading to the widespread substitution of big action with tiny gesture.

3. AUG 12, 2010 11:27AM ET
Your Online Petition Is Useless


5.Truth or Fiction: Concerning email and online petitions

6."Is hashtag-based activism all talk, no action?"

7."Don’t be an armchair activist"

Many of them are tossed out immediately, as the agencies and politicians that receive them know that are prone to be fraudulent. 
You can sign a petition several times, under different names, and the petition author will not know.

If you care about the fact that our appointed officials are selling out our wildlife and wilderness?
"Science Endangered at the Fish and Wildlife Service"  .........
then start sending emails, or snail mail, or placing phone calls to your Congress.
I set up that information on every blog I have.
Here it is:

Won't share any more bogus petitions from questionable NGOs 
(Non Government Organizations).
Other than Defenders of Wildlife, I have no faith in the rest of them, after working with them for several years.

I have been blessed with a once only in a lifetime love, friend, and partner who encouraged me to quit following the path of the naive online activist, fueled only by rage. 
Rage can force us to act blindly, to act without question. 
But we need to question. 
There are those who would manipulate activists for profit.

Let's be informed, and awake, folks..... we still can change the world.

Friday, June 5, 2015

A few thoughts on activism.

June 5. 2015

Wish I could say that being an activist has been, and continues to be, a wonderful, gratifying experience.
That would be untruthful though.

The downside is best described here, the author summed it up far better than I could.
Compassion Fatigue.

My thoughts run a bit more toward bewilderment, and a little anger.
Recently a friend of mine informed me that she and I had been targets of
criticism concerning our activism.
I did not bother to read what was said of us, as I assumed I would then be
tempted to respond. 
Not going to happen.
Been there, done that, and while I can’t change the past, I can choose not
to repeat it.

Working for our gray wolves concerning their protection under the Endangered Species Act
has been the primary thrust of my activism, starting in 2008 when Ken Salazaar delisted them.
I left for a while, and then returned for this round that began in 2011.

This go around bit me.
Pinched nerve from too much time typing.
14 hours a day was the norm. The day I realized that 22 hours had passed while
flailing away on the keyboard was the day I knew this had to stop.

So, bit by bit, withdrew from accounts and alliances.
Some folks got pissed at me, had one person on Twitter that I had not met prior tell me that if I “wasn’t FOR the animals, then I was AGAINST them.”
That struck me as one of the most audacious things I’d ever heard.

Much of the activism I see is based on rage.
It is difficult for some personalities to sustain that level of anger, have seen
quite a few activists basically break down, nerves shot, and sink into depression.

How do you help animals by destroying your health?

I’m not advocating that anyone stay in when they need a break.
For another activist to accuse someone of being ineffective, if the person accused needs time to regroup, is simply mean spirited.

My work continues, but it is different now.
I no longer write tweet storms to scream at politicians or government agencies.
No more angry tweets and posts.
Have also learned that the way to shut down an account that deals with something like poaching, is to post a good news article about a country claiming to ban ivory sales.
That was met with cynicism.
So much for working for the collective end result to stop poaching of ivory tusks.

I will always work for the wolves that I have come to know as family, my four legged kindred.
But activism can take many forms.
It’s time for me to work for our wolves through my art.
There are so many passionate, able folks online who will ensure that voices for wolves will continue to be heard, so I can share my story of wolves in the gallery realm now, hoping to engage a different group of people who are not G+, Twitter, or Facebook animal rights activists.
Many people offline have no clue as to what has transpired since the reintroduction of our gray wolves to Yellowstone National Park, and then parts of North America.

My wish is that activists could learn to work together, not divide one another with criticism and slander.