|/ Mobilise! / Issue 5 (August 1983) / Page 12||Email page link | Print this page|
|"What can we do?"|
This article would not have been written had the above question not been asked at an NZAVS meeting recently... What follows is not directed at person or persons in particular - but merely intended to be food for thought.
Many of us as children were taught to wash the corners of the floors, to vacuum the corners of the carpets... "and" our wise mothers said "the middles will look after themselves". This principle certainly applies to the running of what Hans Ruesch describes in his newsletter distributed worldwide as "the young, sensationally successful New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society".
Like everything built on a firm foundation - the painstaking attention to detail. The corners. To achieve our objectives requires overwhelming and unimaginable amounts of background work to create the base which enables us to make a good shift of the fewer but more noticeable activities which hit the limelight and stir the public.
"What can the Society do for me?"
is the question more usually, albeit innocently, asked. It may be an enquiry about an article seen in a two year old newsletter - or was it women's weekly ? Or it may be a long-winded question about a brand of cosmetic unknown to us which will involve research and correspondence. Students require material on the instant (this usually from ambitious parents with an eye on topical events). A budding journalist with deadlines on his shattering vivisection article must have answers to his questions by 10 a.m. next morning, preferably hand-delivered, and "no he doesn't really want to join the Society and can't afford to give a donation... and anyway some experiments are necessary... aren't they?".
Facts and figures rushed to a despairing telephone enquirer entering a speech examination recently hit the jackpot and produced a merit pass. When I later asked the lady if she had actually meant what she had spoken in her successful anti-vivisection speech she said she had not had time to think about it yet... and I am still waiting for my bus fare!
Many kind people telephone offering support. They tell us we are wonderful and must carry on with the good work. They are with us all the way. Vivisection is terrible and they would die for the animals. The heavily pregnant silence that follows when I ask what form their support will take used to make me sweat with embarrassment, but now I leer as the caller squirms. Many well-wishers write in their advice and suggestions. They tell us what we should be doing and how best to go about it. They give us the benefit of their expertise and experience, have friends in high places and give us detailed histories of their pets.
This all eats into our corner time and by now even the most naive reader will have pen aloft writing short legible notes, offering assistance. Ideally they will refrain from making suggestions, asking questions or offering advice. They will ask which night of the week is suitable or how about Saturday.
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