Rebecca Solnit, the American writer, explores two profound themes in her vital book, Hope in the Dark: “Your opponents would love you to believe that it's hopeless, that you have no power, that there's no reason to act, that you can't win. Hope is a gift you don't have to surrender, a power you don't have to throw away.”
She also writes that, “Joy doesn't betray but sustains activism. And when you face a politic that aspires to make you fearful, alienated and isolated, joy is a fine act of insurrection.”
Maybe both of those concepts seem unfathomable right now, with all the uncertainty in the world. You may feel overwhelmed by the stark division in our country and around the world. Yet it is imperative that we don't lose hope or abandon joy.
Friends of Animals was advocating for animals during the Civil Rights Movement; through marches for women; several anti-war movements and through multiple presidents and administrations who have been unkind and sometimes downright hostile toward animals.
We’ve been here for the totality of the modern animal rights movement; we’re not going anywhere. Animals need us, and Friends of Animals needs you. With your support, you can count on us to take risks, instigate, agitate and inspire others not to water down principles or throw in the towel.
Our mission—our raison d’être—is to stop animal exploitation, and when government policies seek to diminish animals’ lives and the environment in which we are all interdependent, we don’t lose hope or abandon joy. We work harder...and we cling to hope and joy as if they were life preservers.
In 2017, we will celebrate 60 years of never wavering from that mission no matter what was happening in the world. That’s right! Friends of Animals turns 60 in 2017 and we’re throwing a party to celebrate in Brooklyn, N.Y. in July. Please join us (details will be available in the next issue of Action Line) as we look back on our accomplishments, and, just as importantly, look to our future.
We envision a future where trophy hunting of the African Big 5 species is extinct. And we have just launched a national anti-trophy hunting campaign—which raises awareness of Cecil’s Law, legislation we drafted that would ban the importation, sale, possession or transportation of lions, buffalo, leopards, black and white rhinos, elephants and their body parts. It is already moving forward in Connecticut and New York and we plan to get it across the finish line in 2017, and we hope other states will follow suit.
Please share our video, which is available on our website and YouTube. As always, details of our work fills the pages of this very magazine.
Please also renew your commitment to supporting Friends of Animals now and in the years ahead. If the world seems dark to you right now, let our work together for animals create light. Our work now takes on a new urgency, and we need to operate on the assumption of success rather than failure. It is a radical act to see the glass as half-full. Let’s make a commitment to that kind of optimism—for the sake of all animals, ourselves included.