Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
So much of what we do in animal welfare is built on discriminatory practices. We do not adopt to lists of people that we don't think will provide adequate homes, background checks, the way we speak to people, the way that we virtually chase people out of the shelter when we don't think they're adequate, or we don't like how they have talked, it goes on and on. And then the way we treat people who have to surrender their animals.
All of this adds up to a system that doesn't treat people very kindly. And a lot of the reason so many animals have died in shelters is because we won't let people help save them. Diversity, equity and inclusion is important in its own right, but we have a real problem. In animal welfare we 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, the list goes on and on. The bottom line is is that we can do better. And we have to invest in doing better because everyone loves animals and everyone deserves the love of an animal.
The animal welfare sector is composed of mainly white people. Why is that? What we need to be doing is learning, reading, educating ourselves and even more important, listening and making space for 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.