When someone says that they’re disenchanted with or depressed by politics, I can only assume they’re on the sidelines rather in the trenches. Politics is not separate from who we are as citizens; we are affected—all of us, animals included—by politics, so to be cynical about politics means you’re not owning your power.
The word “politics” comes from the Greek word politikos, meaning “of citizens, pertaining to public life.”
We are public citizens, and if we’re not actively engaged in making sure the outcome is in our favor, we have no right to complain about how politics affects us—or animals. And reading news headlines, arguing with people on Facebook, or getting depressed while you scroll through your Twitter feed does not an engaged citizen make.
So today I’m urging you to own your power as a public citizen. I have a Political Guide for Animal Issues that can help. It’s simple, really. Know who your local, state, and federal representatives are. Engage with them. Talk to them. Thank them for passing animal-friendly legislation. Urge them to reject legislation that harms animals. Tell them they lost your vote if they continue to support legislation that harms animals. Be involved in electing animal-friendly candidates. That doesn’t mean waiting for the vegan candidate! Most animal-friendly legislation is passed by non-vegans. And finally, don’t underestimate the power of local political action! Work with city officials to pass animal-friendly legislation in your own city. These local officials may one day be state senators, federal representatives, or even president of the United States.