Peace, comfort, and hope are what every one of us wishes for every one of you, our friends and allies, for this holiday season of 2020.
Christmas is usually a festive season when we gather with our family and friends, but this year we are being urged to not gather with those we love. Some of us may be alone. Some of us might be struggling – experiencing a sense of loss, even fear. It’s impossible to ignore that this festive season is different from all others before. So, I will try to share comfort and encouragement during this difficult time.
For those of us who have shelter, food, and human companionship, let’s find comfort and true joy in that. The pandemic exposes even more than usual that many of our fellow humans do not have those essentials. So, now, more than ever, let’s be kind to members of our own species as well as the animals we work so hard for. I know that all of you are wonderfully kind to animals – that you have truly “widened your circle of compassion” to include every living being. And, this year, let’s widen our circle to more fully embrace our fellow humans too.
To our Friends and Allies
Please know that I’ m always grateful for each of you, as are all of us in our two organizations, Animal Alliance of Canada and the Animal Protection Party. You are our family, a community of Canadians who share a deep desire for a kinder world, where animals no longer suffer due to the actions of humans. Together we are the resistance fighters in this ongoing war against animals. It’s an honour to be part of this movement, along with all of you.
People like you are special, something that I’m aware of every day. You have opened your hearts to care about beings who can never pay you back, and can never return a favour. You respect and cherish the vulnerable. You share your own resources of time, money, and energy to engage in political action, or to support those who do. You see the big picture, understanding that changes to laws and policies can take years, even decades, to achieve.
Some of you are new friends and allies. Thank you for joining us and welcome to the family. Some of you have been with us from the very beginning, standing by us since our inception 30 years ago. In this capricious world that is a rare and steadfast loyalty. Please know that I don’t take your support lightly. I am always aware that we stand on your shoulders, that it is all of you who boost us up, keeping us in the fray as we fight against those who have such ill will toward our non-human friends.
Now, as we wind down a difficult year that most of us would love to forget let’s take heart in knowing that we are not alone. Remember that across Canada there are many others who share our love for animals, the natural world, and each other.
I hope that you share some kind words and comfort with those you care about, and take hope in knowing that kindness still lives here, among us. Compassion always lives in our hearts and is there to be tapped into, like the sap in our maple trees.
Wishing you love and peace,
PS: I want to share some news about our cat family who have lived with us at our Toronto office for more than a decade.
The family consists of three brothers; Momo, Shiloh, and Isaac; and one sister, Hannah. Hannah has always been a bit distant from her brothers. The boys hang out together but Hannah prefers human companionship. She also seeks out high perches, and in our industrial-style office there are many high spaces for her to jump onto. Now that she is older, we have been concerned about her falling. It’s impossible to cat-proof the area, so, after much consideration, we decided to move Hannah to my own home. Hannah now lives with me and my partner, and she has adapted well. She’s discovered that she can follow the sun from one side of the apartment to the other and we often find her stretched out in a sunny spot. She especially enjoys our time together in the morning, and even wakes me up to play. Both of my previous cat companions, Mellie and Sam, had died during the last few years due to age related illnesses, so my home and heart were open for Hannah. We are, of course, already old friends, and our friendship continues now in a new way.