Racism, intolerance and a 'humane society'

June 12th, 2020 at 9:45 am EDT
Hello Friend,

I hope that you and your family...people..pets and any other significant beings are all doing well.

What happened to George Floyd is so unreal, painful, so unjust...you can see how so many in the United States, and then around the world have been mobilized with Black Lives Matter, protesting, and demanding change.

As a white Canadian, and coming from a very non diverse profession      (veterinary medicine), I have been hesitant to publicly speak.

Here in Canada we have our own issues with racism...I grew up in a small town in which 50% of the population is First Nations... our neighbors on both sides of the farm are on 'Indian Reserves'...

There was overt racism in my extended family, and in our small town. It's still present today.

But I can't imagine what it's like to be a Black person/person of color, living with systemic racism.

The knee that Derek Chauvin placed on George Floyd’s neck for close to nine minutes is like a 'modern day lynching', and personally I am SO glad to see so many people demanding change.

It's about time.

The veterinary associations have been conspicuously silent on this matter, and the American Veterinary Medical Association has yet to issue a public statement..  

Currently there is a petition ..'As the current and future veterinarians of the United States, we call on the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to publicly announce their solidarity and support of Black Lives Matter...' 

Perhaps veterinary colleges could make much more of an effort to attract some diversity, making it more inclusive of people with color to become veterinarians..

How about access to veterinary care?  

If you have the funds your pet can get cared for...if not well too bad..

The Humane Society of the United States did publish a statement on Black Lives Matter, and relate it to their mission, which resonates with me.

Statement on racial injustice

We have watched the events of the past week with great sadness and anguish. We must grapple with the poisonous legacy of racism that continues to cause the dis empowerment and deaths of our family, friends and loved ones.

While our mission is changing the systems and industries that harm nonhuman animals, that work is only accomplished through the efforts of people. That means that confronting intolerance is not only a matter of justice: Working toward the equitable empowerment of all people goes to the very heart of our mission. To build a stronger movement for animals, we must stand against racism and alongside those who have been marginalized. We must listen and work to ensure their voices are heard, both in our movement and in society as a whole.

Racism and intolerance have no place in the humane society we are fighting for.

I couldn't agree more

Dr Andrew Jones, DVM
DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. Dr Andrew Jones resigned from the College of Veterinarians of B.C. effective December 1 2010, meaning he cannot answer specific questions about your pet's medical issues or make specific medical recommendations for your pet.

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