Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Much of what we do in animal welfare is built on discriminatory practices. We do not adopt to people that we think will provide adequate homes.
We virtually chase people out of the shelter when we don't think they'll be good pet owners. We may make blanket judgements about people that surrender a pet when we know nothing about their lives.
All of this adds up to a system that doesn't treat people very kindly. A lot of the reason so many animals have died in shelters is because we won't allow people to help save them.
Diversity, equity and inclusion is important in its own right, but we have a real problem. We in animal welfare need to take a good, hard look how we conduct ourselves from the top down, from our boards, to our leadership teams, to the people working in the shelter, to our hiring practices, and the list goes on and on.
The bottom line is is that we can do better. Everyone loves animals and everyone deserves the love of an animal.
The animal welfare sector is composed of mainly white people.
Why is that?
We should be educating ourselves and even more important, listening and making space for all voices. The voices of people who have been discriminated against.
We have to keep a laser focus on these discriminatory practices and on making animal welfare more inclusive.