The Humane Society of the United States has an extraordinary staff, augmented a great deal with personnel who have joined us over the last two years thanks to our mergers with The Fund for Animals and the Doris Day Animal League. Staff members are committed to the cause of protecting animals. They have remarkable training and expertise and include lawyers, scientists, veterinarians, lobbyists, investigators, professional campaigners, animal caretakers, and more.
These are talented people, and they are working diligently to help animals. But they would be the first to admit that we will fail in our efforts to change the way animals are treated in society if we do not get tens of thousands—indeed, millions—of volunteers involved in our work. Our cause requires a dedicated corps of compassionate people in every community in the country—and around the world—to make meaningful changes for animals. Ours is a participatory movement—not a passive movement requiring only the ardor of the professional staff of animal protection groups like The HSUS.
People who speak up in their communities about animal issues, get involved in the political process, rescue animals or shelter them, and make the right choices in the marketplace are the lifeblood of our movement. That’s why I am so committed not only to build our network of engaged supporters and activists, but also to provide training and skills development for people to have the tools they need to help animals.
© The HSUS
Advocates visit an HSUS booth at Taking Action for Animals 2006.
You can participate with The HSUS, and develop your own skills in animal protection, by attending any of the training sessions and events that we regularly hold around the country. We have Lobby 101 workshops where you can learn about the political process and how to pass animal protection legislation. We have disaster training classes where you can learn how to be a volunteer disaster responder to help animals in crisis. And you can also host a Party Animals event in your community to raise awareness about animal protection legislation and support for The HSUS or the Humane Society Legislative Fund.
There is one great learning opportunity coming up this summer in Washington, D.C., and I hope you will think about attending. It’s the third annual Taking Action for Animals conference, held the weekend of July 28-30. There couldn’t be a better place to plug into the animal protection movement. We will host workshops on lobbying, working with the media, animal law, building an effective campaign, and much more. And we will have a Lobby Day on Capitol Hill, so you can meet personally with lawmakers or their legislative staff in Congress.
I will be speaking on the topic of “The Farm Bill, Congress, and Livestock Agribusiness,” and I will be joined by other speakers from The HSUS and also U.S. Congressman Chris Shays, Gene Baur of Farm Sanctuary, Philip Lymbery of Compassion in World Farming, Margaret Wittenberg of Whole Foods Market, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau of Compassionate Cooks, Michael Jacobson of Center for Science in the Public Interest, and many more.
If you want to get involved in the cause, this is a wonderful opportunity to upgrade your capabilities. You can learn more and register for the conference online.