Why animal rights activist Mary Alice Pollard is a voice for animals
Mary Alice Pollard of CVFA explains why animals?
Please introduce yourself to my readers here.
I can say that I am happy to have been born into the life of an animal and human rights activist (thanks mom!) and it is something that I have not had to work at becoming. I know that from birth this passion and respect for all life is something that I was born with and it has become a way of life, a lifestyle. Now 55 years on, I can say with no regrets!
I can say also that I must have been born with an extra little gift, that being having an eye for photography, which I have put to use since the age of 7 when I first picked up my mother's Brownie camera. It is only a serious hobby, one that when I do make a little extra money from is a huge bonus! It is for me a great way to wind down as there is nothing more therapeutic than to go out hunting and shooting as I call it, with one's camera!
My classic line when confronted with hunters who use GUNS - I tell them how wonderful it is to capture that moment forever, turn and walk away leaving things as they were, as they should be - untouched and alive! The old saying 'leaving nothing behind but your footprints', comes to mind.
What exactly is Cornwall's Voice For Animals?
From alerts to political lobbying, Cornwall's Voice for Animals is just that, a voice speaking out from a little home office in Cornwall UK for the rights of animals to live free from exploitation, suffering and death at the hands of man. Campaigning not only locally but world wide. Not a registered charity, not a large organisation or small one either - just one individual with a rather large following, dedicated to doing what she can in one lifetime to help animals and to educate those that need educating!
How would you describe your work?
From the seal slaughter, to bloodsports, fighting against live transportation of animals and puppy mills and everything in between, and hands on rescue - Cornwall's Voice for Animals will give support any individual or any organisation which is doing good for animals or humans.
No one is perfect - no organisation has it right all the time - but I keep away from all the politics of animal rights/welfare and keep on with supporting the issues, the causes which bring us all together. Cornwall's Voice for Animals was formed/named in 2001 when I first came on line. What an amazing tool it is. Now I am able to reach over ten thousand people world wide with one mail.
Oh, I remember the days when I had to type the
alerts, copy them and add pictures, stuff envelopes, apply stamps and then
SEND - how anything got done back then is beyond me because by the time the
news got out - it was TOO LATE!
Communication now is instant and the news spreads within minutes, world wide. Hundreds of animals are saved daily, issues are exposed and people are able to respond immediately because of this amazing tool called the internet!
I have always said that I am like a spark which starts a fire and hopefully it will rage enough to bring out the firefighters to put it out ! If I know that by my being who I am has helped to save the lives of some animals and has change one person's life for the better with regards to the way they treat animals, then there is my reward.
Mary Alice Pollard's photos
Animal cruelty cases
Can you describe some of the worst cases of animal abuse you have come across?
I recognise after working in various countries that are two different types of animal cruelty. There is cruelty with intent, and cruelty because of lack of education ( the way people are brought up, culture, lifestyle ). There is no worse case of animal cruelty, especially for the animals who are subjected to such cruelty. How can one put on a scale, the suffering they are experiencing?
Mental pain, physical pain are both as horrific. I will do everything I can to help educate those who need to learn better and the right way of caring for their animals, be they pet's or working animals, but I will not tolerate from anyone, anywhere - cruelty with intent!
I have seen up close and hands on too much physical cruelty, the photos and video's also which cross my desk daily in alerts present the most horrific cases of animal cruelty that one could possible imagine - but there is one little dog that somehow dominates my mind and heart.
She was a little collie mix that was brought to me by a gypsy (not all gypsies are bad - I have met many over the years who have such a heart for animals ) to the shelter I was operating in Salonica Greece back in the mid 80's, he had spent 10 days trying to help her but without success. Someone had cut her ears with scissors trying to give them the 'pointed look' and I suppose what happened next was that she probably lashed out from the pain - she was doused with petrol and set her on fire.
By the time she was brought to us the infections had set in and she was realistically beyond help and our vet said that it would be best to put her to sleep. You know that dear little dog, after all she had been through and the pain she had was licking my face and wagging her tail when Panos did the injection. She knew that she was loved .... People ask why I like to work with animals? Their love, and their forgiveness is unconditional.
What do you think the reasons are that animals get so badly abused by people?
The only way I can answer that is that possibly God was having a bad hair day when he created the human race! Seriously, I have tried to find the answer to that question all my life it seems, and I think if there was any simple answer the issue of animal and human cruelty would have been dealt with better years ago, as people have been speaking out against animal cruelty and writing about animal rights as far back as 1485 (see: http://www.animalrightshistory.org/index.htm), so it is certainly nothing new!
Why do you think people are so cruel and what can be done to help stop people being like this?
At a very early age we see children being cruel to animals, why is it that some get so much pleasure out of pulling the legs off of spiders, kicking the dog or setting the cat on fire while others are from the start compassionate and caring for all life? It is said that children are born innocent and that their actions are learned. I tend to disagree with that. Who or what would teach a little 3 or 4 year old child to pull the legs off of spiders or to throw rocks at ducks in a pond?
And how annoying it is that most of the parents do or say nothing to correct them! It is all too common these days to hear about very young children doing the most horrific acts of cruelty on animals. Children as young as 7 and 8, who or what taught them these actions and what happens if they are not corrected immediately?
We know that the majority of serial killers first start out on animals and in cases of domestic abuse, one can most certainly find that if there are animals in the home, they too are victims. And it goes the other way around.
People who have anger issues do not direct their anger selectively! I think that the cases of animal cruelty have to be taken more seriously by those in power, firmer and stricter laws that are acted on and enforced are required - It is the responsibility of the judge, lawyers, police, schools, social services and oh yes, parents especially, to be more vigilant. Only if cruelty is stopped at the grass roots will we start to see change!
Can you please describe some moments of real success with animals and animal rights issues?
I have threatened for a long time to start THE GOOD NEWS site for animal rights success stories but have never had the time to get it going. Every time I see a campaign to save just one dog from death row - and to find out later that because of the amazing connection between rescues worldwide on the internet, the dog has was saved - well, that to me is amazing.
When the EU agreed to ban the importation of harp seal products, oh didn't that just put a huge smile on my face! When I hear that a COUNTRY has banned the use of wild animals in circuses - When I hear that a fashion outlet has given up the use of fur - When I hear that a hunter puts down his gun and has turned to using a camera instead - When I hear that a puppy mill has been raided and hundreds of dogs have been rescued - When I hear that a huge dog fighting ring has been busted - When I hear that another city has become bullfighting free - When I hear that the people in China are standing up for their rights and the rights of their animals - When someone down the road tells me that they picked up a seagull chick off the street to save it from being run over!
There is something to be thankful for each and every day but more than anything when I hear of the many children out there like 10-year-old Angel Morgan who do the most wonderful acts of kindness to animals and who have the courage to speak out for animals and set an example to other children - I feel there is hope for this planet and all who live on her.
Please tell me a bit about Chris Pollard?
Chris was born in the small parish of St Gerrans on the beautiful Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall in 1950. His passions are history and music. Both of these loves he has pursued. Singing and playing the guitar in several bands since the 1960s and rubbing shoulders with a few famous faces.
He has recorded two solo CDs in recent years. He began writing Cornish history in 1992 and has had 9 books published, two of which are now available world wide. He has also written two children's stories. He has had a lifetime love for animals and it was his dream come true when he found in 1997 a disused field close to our home which is now known as Jollity Farm, a farm animal rescue where he spends all his spare time and what little spare cash he has.
STOP PRESS: Jollity Farm is being forced to close due to housing developments in the area and Mary Alice and Chris have been devastated by this. They are having to find new homes for all the animals they have been looking after.
Films with Melita Morgan on Amazon
Animal welfare and animal rights groups and people
Please list some important animal welfare groups or individuals you think deserve supporting and say why?
This is very difficult for me to answer because I give my love and support to so many individuals and organisations and I don't want to leave any one out but I will recognise here a few of those who have been well that little extra special and have been a great inspiration to me.
FAACE: Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe - http://www.faace.co.uk/ - Vicki and Tony Moore deserve world recognition for their fight against blood fiesta's and other forms of animal cruelty in Europe. Vicki passed away in 2000 but her love and passion lives on - always, she was a huge inspiration to me.
Animals Asia Foundation
The Animals Asia Foundation: http://www.animalsasia.org/ From the rescue of moon bears from bile farms, to the dogs and cats that are used for food and fur and the horrific bashing to death of dogs in the streets because of a rabies scare, in China - Jill Robinson MBE is a guardian angel to the animals in China, she, her staff and supporters there are subjected to the most horrific scenes of cruelty each and every day but they never give up fighting the battle to stop the cruelty there.
Maria Daines, CVFA Patron: Music United for Animals http://www.maria-daines.com/
As I am a bit of a rock chick, I know that music is an international voice and is an amazing and peaceful way of protest and bringing thought and awareness to various issues. Maria Daines and Paul Killington have become THE MUSICAL VOICE for animals everywhere. Their songs against the fur trade, puppy mills, dog fighting, greyhound racing, the meat industry, horse slaughter, circus's who use wild animals - to name a few that have become smash hits within the animal rights movement, and their heart and soul dedication to animals is recognised all over the world.
Together they write, record and produce CD's which help small animal shelters world wide in their efforts to rescue and care for animals. Maria is now co-founder of One Life Rescue dedicated to raising funds to save one death row dog at a time! Rock on Maria & Paul!
World Animal Day: I think this explains on it's own why this is so important. It brings the whole world together, so far for 2009, 18 countries will for at least one day, on October 4th., will unite and celebrate the lives of our animals and give thanks to those who work for them ! Come the day I hope many more countries will have joined!
Melita Morgan: British/Hollywood Actress and Animal Rights Activist - Proud to have her as a part of our extended family and to support her in her animal and human rights work. She is beautiful and soft spoken but don't be fooled, there is an amazing power felt when she speaks for what she believes in because that love, that passion comes from so deep within her soul!
The Mare and Foal Sanctuary in Devon: http://www.mareandfoal.org.uk/ "To rescue and provide care for and prevent cruelty and suffering among horses and ponies that are in need of attention by reason of sickness, maltreatment, ill usage or other like causes and to provide temporary or permanent homes for such horses and ponies." So many lives saved because of the work they do and we are proud to have with us two of their rescues, Rosa and Sooty!
Greyhound Action UK: http://www.greyhoundaction.org.uk/
Locally and world wide, greyhound action is just that - feeding the public and media the facts about greyhound racing, the vile industry from birth of the dogs, training, racing and death of so many beautiful dogs! They have an amazing adoption scheme for the lucky dogs who end up in safe homes waiting for adoption.
I wish to also recognise a very special lady, Helen and co from SWAP, South West Animal Protection, because, whilst they are only a small team, they work so tirelessly for the good of all animals at risk world wide and they are always there to help everyone. If not for them many animals would not have a voice, especially our precious Greyhounds who suffer endless exploitation at the hands of society because they are sadly seen as a commodity, rather than a dog.
They don't have a website as such but their global email campaigning reaches thousands and they have world wide support for their dedicated and magnificent advocacy and peaceful activism for the voiceless. To join their mailing list please email firstname.lastname@example.org
It was also a huge thrill for me to attend Scooby Medina's 20th Anniversary last year with Maria Daines and Paul Killington. http://www.scoobymedina.org/ To be able to meet this international team of rescuers and to see so many happy rescued dogs face to face - well just being there you quickly understand the reason we all do what we do!
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society: http://www.seashepherd.org/ Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately-balanced ocean ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations. Countless lives have been saved in our oceans because of the work of Paul Watson and his crew.
There are so many groups and individuals that I love, respect and who have inspired me over the years, and they can all be found within my website. I am so proud to have in one way or another, worked with each and every one! What is so tragic is that we have all come together, lifetime friendships have been made because of the animals who are abused and killed.
Find out more about Animal rights
© 2009 Steve Andrews
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