Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Right Thing To Do

The older I get the more it seems that there are less and less people in the world who are willing to do the right thing. Often times, doing the right thing requires putting selfishness aside; sacrificing; taking a stand; and persevering. Lately, both in my personal and professional life, it seems like I have seen more and more people who want nothing more than to advance their own agendas and have no problem at all twisting information to meet their needs and in some cases, just outright lying. It’s so discouraging and it keeps me awake at night and breaks my heart during the day. However – just when I needed it most, I got a powerful dose of people who are still determined to do the right thing.

On September 27 and 28, I attended the International Equine Conference. I went as both a speaker and an attendee. It was a mix of scientists, academics, legislators, and advocates. I saw friends that I have met along my own wild horse journey and met new friends that have been on this journey for decades. Everyone’s agenda in this group is the same – collect correct data, stick to the facts, persevere, and do the right thing. There was a preview of the movie “Wild Horses & Renegades.” This should be mandatory viewing for every American. Every European being told or believing the myth that American horses are raised as food and humanely slaughtered, should have to watch this film. The individuals within the organizations that are fighting against the slaughter of both wild and domestic American horses in Mexico and Canada are doing the right thing. In some cases, they risk personal harm to film what powerful people don’t want filmed. They see things that are beyond gruesome. I do not have the emotional makeup to do what they do but I am so grateful that are people that are strong enough to never give up the fight against the cruel and inhumane treatment of horses. It’s the right thing to do.

On October 5th, I witnessed another group of people do the right thing. The powerful House Committee on Natural Resources voted to move H.R. 306, the Corolla Wild Horses Act, forward to the House floor for a vote. The bill is expected to pass and then will move to the Senate. Sponsored by Congressman Walter Jones, the bi-partisan bill would provide for a new management plan to ensure the future viability of the herd. The current management plan calls for a maximum herd size of only 60. Leading equine genetic scientists have recommended a minimum herd size of 110 and a maximum range of 120 to 130. Congressman Jones has worked tirelessly since October of 2008 to bring the bill to fruition and in his words, “It’s the right thing to do.”

If you do the right thing, no matter what the situation, no matter who is determined to stop you, no matter what their methods are – you are someone who, though in the minority, can effect change that will last far beyond your lifetime and inspire others to do the same.

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