Melissa and I shared the evening and had an enjoyable dinner with a friend who came to see her mare at our farm. This friend has engendered a fair amount of local and regional publicity through her support of various rescues, and whether or not you love her or hate her she certainly puts her money where her mouth is in supporting that which she believes in. In point of fact, I wondered whether or not this would be an uncomfortable night for me. Anybody who knows me understands that I'm unlikely to remain quiet when I'm stirred up and this was an evening full of conversation that was nearly guaranteed to stir me ! While this friend and I share a great passion for animals and their well being, I'm as conservative as our friend is liberal; as a consequence our methodologies for fostering the change we wish for are very different. Surprisingly, I enjoyed our evening very much. There were certainly instances where we disagreed but we did so politely and with mutual respect for the other person's position.
I've despaired for a long while about the level of extremism on both sides of the animal welfare and animal rights divide, particularly as it applies to commercial agriculture and horses. I ended the evening with this thought. I quietly wondered to myself how much measureable good for animals would accrue if we could end the rhetoric pushed by groups on both sides of the divide and find some moderates from both sides to have the sort of conversation I had tonight. Food for thought, anyway.
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