We wondered how to connect today's national holiday, celebrating the life and legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, with our blog's central mission: to help educate others about the plight of companion animals in shelters, and to promote adoption and rescue, rather than the purchasing of pets. We believe that one way to connect today's remembrances and celebrations with animal welfare is to help educate our country's younger generations about Dr. King's great legacy of helping others. This one person led several generations out of the darkness of segregation into the bright hope of equality and dignity for all humans. He did this, in part, through his passionate call for moral justice— a justice that goes beyond our nations written laws.
Today, as we pause to remember this great man, why not spend a few minutes with someone younger, and talk with them about what you feel is important about Dr. King's legacy. You might also discuss the heartbreaking issue of companion animal overpopulation, and the need to dispel the myths of shelter animals as broken or "less than", so that these deserving fellow creatures can find loving homes. After all, isn't defining a human or fellow creature as "less than" at the heart of all separation, denigration and mistreatment? And perhaps you could even pay a visit to your local food pantry or animal shelter to spend part of today helping others that are less fortunate.
Here's an uplifting blog post from today's New York Times Learning Network that demonstrates the power of each generation to effect change. It also provides a collection of links to MLK resources for teaching. Let us know how you'll spend today.