IN CANADA, the current animal anti-cruelty laws were set in place in 1892, with a few small changes in the 1950s. I can’t quite comprehend why because, in an entire century, times have changed so much.

Our society is learning to accept and support people from all walks of life. So how, must I ask, can we blind ourselves to the horrors of animal abuse? It is time we stand up for our beloved companions. If not us, then who?

As an 18-year-old university student, I am constantly stressed about exams, reports, tuition costs, social life, and employment. I can’t help but wonder if all my hard work will even be worth it. And yet, in the midst of this academic storm, I hear a calling within myself. One that stems from my genuine love for animals.

I believe that not only do these current laws need to be updated but it is also extremely important that people, especially youth, are educated on responsible pet ownership and compassion towards all sentient beings.

That being said, something needs to be done. We can’t let our animals suffer in silence any longer. So pick and choose the ways you are capable of helping animals. By standing up for the voiceless, you are inspiring others to do good in the community. After all, as philosopher Immanuel Kant said, “we can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”

Do you know why I am writing this? Because in 127 years, nothing has changed for animals.

This is my call for equality. I really hope that you will join me.

Crystal Budd

Kakabeka Falls

(Originally published April 9, 2019)

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