Are you doing all you can for the animals?

Do your friends want to re-incarnate as one of your companion animals when they die because you’re such an avid Animal Lover? Maybe you’re even vegan. But if that’s not how you roll, you can still make a huge difference for animals. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

In 2016 it was everywhere: “Vote. Ya gotta vote!” Some of us did just that while others said ‘meh.” But if you don’t vote, you’re missing out on the primary opportunity to save animals. Ironically, the most essential thing you can do to help animals is also the easiest. Lemon squeeziest (sorry, couldn’t resist.)
 
 Wait! Before you decide this is one of those boring “do the responsible thing” articles, like wearing seat belts and DIY breast exams, hold on. Seat belts and breast exams may save OUR lives; but voting saves countless animals’ lives. (BTW, wear your seat belt, and check the boobies.)

Next November we’ll have 435 contested House seats and 34 Senate seats to decide. Let’s bring in animal people! People like us who will joyfully lend their voices to the animals because, you know, woofing and meowing and mooing is all very nice, but it doesn’t get the bills passed. (See what I did there?)

For example, the Florida House of Representatives is considering HB 871, a bill to create an animal abuse registry. Shelters and people who find loving homes for companion animals will be required to ensure the person to whom they’re entrusting an animal is not a registered animal abuser. The bi-partisan bill is sponsored by Jared Moskowitz (D), David Richardson (D) and Blaise Ingoglia (R). One Republican and two Dems. What could possibly go wrong?

If passed we’ll have a database similar to the one for sex offenders so we can see if any animal-abusing rat bastards are within rock-throwing distance. Hint: It’s always the neighbor who “is always so quiet and keeps to himself.” The all-purpose creep we all love to hate. Now, we’ll have the names and faces of those rat-bastards. (No offense to rats. Or bastards.)

Registered voters have great power and with that, yada, yada, comes great responsibility. So, if you are a constituent in a district represented by one of the above Congressmen, e-mail, tweet or call right now and thank him profusely for his courage in introducing an animal-friendly bill. But if your representative is anyone other than these three, you need to call and tell them to vote “yes” to pass this bill. Do it soon. Before the vote takes place would be best.

If you’re shy about calling, just wait until after 5:05 p.m. so you’ll get the voice mail. All you have to say is “Hi, I’m (insert your name) and I live in (insert your city) and I am asking Rep. (insert your congressman’s name) to vote “yes” on HB 871” That’s it. Just those twenty-one magic words left on voice mail will make all the difference in the lives of exploited animals.

Optional: You can also say “because creating an animal abuse registry is important to me and I’m just so curious to see if I’m right about that human enigma who just moved in around the corner. Or the guy I’m dating. Or just because I love gossip.” I bet once you get started you won’t be able to shut up. Really, how often have you said “Oh don’t get me started….”?

Because you’re an animal-lover, right?

So in the midterm election you can wield your power by voting in people who will give animals a voice. If you don’t know where they stand on animal issues, call and ask. You’ll get a Legislative Aide, of course, but they love to talk about their bosses.

Sending e-mails and tweets are cool, but phone calls make a bigger splash. The aides keep a running tally of the calls and tell their bosses how We The People want them to vote.

This is even more important when there are opponents because they mobilize so quickly it’s as if Satan himself is the community organizer. You think it’s easy to outlaw cockfighting? It’s not. There’s an entire army of cock fighters who organize within hours and we need to have an army of our own to face them down. It’s almost a sure win for the animals if the legislator is a badass animal lover. That’s why YOU put ’em there.

Animal-friendly legislation is also being considered at The Capital in D.C. and just as phone calls to your state rep is important on state issues, so are calls to your United States legislators. Don’t let the fancy titles intimidate you. Remember, they work for you. Be sure they know that if they vote against your cause, you’ll remember come re-election time. That’s the magic catchphrase. They hate it when you trot that out because it’s the TRUTH. Use it wisely. And often.

You don’t even have to leave your house to make such a difference. I have all my reps in my contacts and call so often they’re perplexed when they don’t hear from me for a while. You can too. When your friends sneak a peek at your contacts and see Senator Noshow Rubio and Congressman I.M. Not-Weiner, they’ll be curiously impressed.

So if you’re not registered to vote, do it now before you mysteriously lose that privilege due to re-districting or some bullshit like that. When you call, they may ask you if you are a registered voter and we wouldn’t want to lie to a politician, right?

Don’t know who your reps are? No shame in that since they change all the time. I still always double-check before I call. For all I know my rep got hit by a Coor’s Brewery truck last week and is in a medically induced coma in a respectable hospital because s/he’s got great insurance.

Start by visiting the Humane Society Legislative Fund and pick an issue important to you. Make your voice heard because the animals cannot. You can also download your reps Score Card to see how they voted in the past. Are they the good guys or the bad guys? Party designation is not a reliable indication either way. There are white hats and black hats in all parties. Not in the Green Party, of course. Green hats. Panamas, actually.

Visit any number of “Find My Legislator” sites such as USA.gov to find your legislator.

C’mon, you got this.

Like what you read? Give Michelle A. Rivera a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.