I have spent a good deal of time in California during the last few months. I’ve met thousands of people. They have given their time, their energy. They’ve put other household priorities on hold. They have reached into their pocketbooks to help.
It’s been amazing. I’ve been touched every day on the stump. And now at the end of the campaign, I find myself more encouraged than I’ve ever been in a lifetime of animal advocacy. Yes, we’ll endure disappointments, and some tough times. That’s inevitable. But the arc of history points to greater consideration of animals in our future.
I think back to when I attended college. When it came to concern for the welfare of the animals who shared our world, there were far fewer of “us” in those days and many more of “them.” Today, the tables are turned. The “us,” the we, are ascendant. If you read the news carefully, you’ll see that journalists are not afraid any longer to call our cause “mainstream.”
Even before the California polls closed today, I set up at the YES! on Prop 2 election night headquarters at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. The politically minded people who are filtering into this lounge-turned-headquarters represent to me the best of the future. Yes, there are many reasons for Americans to be unnerved as 2008 winds down—from war to the economy, and so much in between. Yet these Californians, and legions like them, put the welfare of animals at the top of their to-do lists and they didn’t flinch.
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