<---- This is Nicholas, he lives at the sanctuary where I work and he rules. Just so you know.
This past weekend (Th-Sun, really), I tabled at the Animal Rights conference in Los Angeles for work. I write this knowing most of you are probably not animal rights activist. You may even cringe at the term.
I've always found the acrimony directed at ar folks by dog folks, especially pit bull lovers, to be incredibly bizarre and fascinating. I find it sad too, considering that you would have found zero folks at the conference who hated pit bulls - zero, zilch, nada. And no, PETA was not there. :)
I regret that I did not bring Mina to the event - the hotel, Westin LAX, is dog friendly as is the conference. There were a few pit bulls at the event who got enough love to last twenty years. That's how much ar folks love pit bulls. Seriously, we love them.
For me, the event is a morale booster. I cannot emphasize enough how frustrating it is living in a country that slaughters ten billion land animals annually, another 32 billion sea animals and offers zero protections to these animals. The disconnect and ignorance surrounding who and where our food comes from is, at best, annoying, at worst an appalling ethical crime. Even more disheartening is federal and state legislation that labels protestors who commit not one single act of violence as terrorists. I mean how silly does it sound that the FBI has infiltrated vegan potlucks in search of "terrorists". Less silly is the fact that it has happened.
So it's nice being in a room full of people who get it, who get me. I don't need to wonder if I might say something that will accidentally offend the sensibilities of some meat eater or hunter or trapper or fisherperson. I can proudly state that I am vegan, that slaughtering animals for *our* gustatory pleasure is wrong, that all the ways in which we brutalize and exploit other species is wrong. I don't get weird looks or heavy sighs or invectives hurled my way. That's nice.
It's nice the same way that being in a room full of pit bull guardians is nice. There's a release, a relaxation, a lifting of shoulders. You are not judged, you don't judge, you are just part of a group that gets you and what you are about - even if you don't agree on all things. But pit bulls? Well, you agree on that and that's enough.
If you ever have an opportunity to mingle with "your people", do it. Most of you are pit bull lovers, so maybe find a pit bull meetup group (or start your own) and boost your ego a bit with every positive interaction with people who get you. It's a wonderful feeling to be accepted. :)