My husband is perhaps the most objective person I know. The great thing about this is that I can run all sorts of ideas and thoughts by him and he tells me HONESTLY what he thinks. He doesn't just take my side because I'm his wife. He has a very clear way of thinking, plus a way of sorting through the fluff and getting to the heart of the issue. I have learned a lot from him (please don't tell him I said that).
He does not have a background in animal welfare. So a couple of years ago - he was quite enamored with the Starfish story when he first heard it and if you're not familiar with it - here's a link to a blog and the original story that I did on it several months ago.
So, he constantly refers to cats, dogs or other companion animals as starfish. When I'm asking his opinion on an issue - he says "Well, at the end of the day did you make things better for that starfish or those starfish?" Even if it is only a temporary fix - he says "Did you get that starfish back into the water for a little while - until you can come up with another solution?"
Some of these issues can be incredibly complicated. They are political, fuzzy and grey. His starfish analogy has now become my litmus test.
So it makes me more than a little angry when I see organizations who have lost sight of the real reason we all do this. I definitely believe in sticking your neck out and calling a spade a spade when it is deserved. But on the same note, when credit is due - put aside differences and give credit. No one will ever be perfectly aligned with another's viewpoints. Our opposition one day will be our friend the next and vice versa. I love this from the 10 Golden Rules of Lobbying: #6 There Are No Permanent Friends and No Permanent Enemies.
Recently, the HSUS stepped up to the plate and assisted with the seizure and rescue of 200 pit bulls from an alleged cruelty case in Ohio. This was a huge change in policy for them - isn't this what we wanted? Yet, there has been still very little acknowledgement of their help. At the end of the day were those starfish better off because of HSUS assistance? Darn right.
It passed my litmus test. Thank you - Humane Society of the United States.
It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit. ~Harry S. Truman