October 15, 2011

The devil you know

I am more and more surprised by people, acquaintances, friends, even, that I would normally classify as conservative or moderate or libertarian, that have some weird liberal, democratic or socialistic streak that comes to the surface.  What is most disturbing is that they don't even recognize it for what it is.

I serve on the advisory board of a non-profit farm animal rescue organization.  I consider the founder a good friend.  I have spent my own money, blood, sweat and tears volunteering for the organization.  My daughter worked for them last summer, mostly as a waste management specialist.  (Meaning she shoveled manure ).  To date, we have had similar political views, similar values, no major disagreements about anything of substance.

I recently learned that this organization, which I am publicly associated with, has started some sort of ridiculous petition and PR campaign, asking Governor Rick Perry 'to use state resources' to help alleviate the hay shortage in Texas.  They were even on the news pleading their case. 

Number one rule of effective petitioning; ask for a specific thing in a specific manner.  WTF does 'use state resources' mean?  Do they want the state to grow hay?  Buy hay?  Transport hay?  A few weeks back, my cousins in Kansas let me know how much excess hay they had and how much it cost to get it here.  I have one horse, and while it seems like she eats constantly, I don't have the need for 500 tons of brome hay.  So I did a little checking to see how I might find someone in need of that hay.  Our state's agricultural commissioner has a 'hay trading post' website.  They let people list hay needed and hay for sale.  This is a free service.  They have a 'hay hotline' to match people up with needed resources.  This, too, is a free service.  There are state and federal grants for livestock feed.

There are several taxpayer funded services already in existence to help people in need locate hay.  I have a bit of an issue with that much being done on my dime, and I am one of the unfortunate people paying triple what I did last year for hay.  I have helped with animal seizures, seen abused and neglected animals die.  I am no stranger to the horrors.  But that doesn't cloud my sound judgement on priorities (always human over animal) nor does it affect my basic values about what the government should do for me or anyone else.

I am left to shake my head, state my case, tender my resignation and walk quietly away.  My stepdad has a plaque on his wall that always comes to mind when things like this happen.  It says, 'Once you give up your integrity, everything else is a piece of cake.'

3 comments:

Paul said...

So, do I interpret this to mean you are leaving the organization?

Harper said...

Yeah. I don't mind volunteering and doing other stuff under the radar, but I don't want my name on anything that asks for a government bail out of any sort.

CenTexTim said...

Not questioning your decision, but just wondering - would it be possible to 're-educate' the board?

Or are they so focused on the mission that the larger issue eludes them?