Recently while at work, the most horrifying screams suddenly pierced the air of my little town. I’d never heard anything like it. Was it a child? Was it human? It was terrifying – someone was clearly in trouble.
Racing outside, there were a dozen people frozen in place, staring in the direction of the drama. You know how time seems to stand still in moments of distress like this? Everything was in slow motion as I raced past the onlookers, thinking, “Why aren’t they running, too?”
The source of the screams was a small puppy, alone in the bed of a giant pickup truck. Her leg was tightly caught in a strap that was holding a hunting carrier in place. Imagine taking a rubber band, and wrapping it around your finger 5 or 6 times. Somehow, this baby was caught in that manner – and it was clear her leg would break or be lost – unless someone acted fast. Calling for help spurred others to action. The guy from the hardware store helped me to free the little dog, who gently kissed our hands while we worked. When she was released, several witnesses approached and thanked us for taking action, “Good job – you two saved that pup’s leg!”
A couple weeks later, I was the one in need of help.
It was a freak incident that happened as I took out the trash behind our gallery. The welding shop across the alley has a wild “mouser” who is always trying to get in our shop (and who had just been fixed and vaccinated two days earlier). The little cat rushed to our back gate, but I was in the way. I don’t know if he was afraid of the wastebasket or what, but he flipped out, attached himself to my leg, and proceeded to bite furiously.
Once again time stood still; but now I was the one shrieking in shock and pain – and in slow motion, as the cat was still in attack mode and blood was everywhere, I heard the unthinkable: the neighboring restaurant closed their back door.
I remember realizing:
Oh. I’m making noise. It must be bothering someone.
(Later, I thought, what if that had been a robbery, or worse??)
But, still in slow motion, I saw two well-meaning heroes rush to my aid: the welder’s dog and Grayson, a cat we were fostering in the gallery. They actually weren’t any help at all, but it was very nice to know they were concerned. They were the ones to take action this time.
Have you ever seen the ABC series What Would You Do? It’s a hidden camera show where actors establish ethical dilemmas, like someone stealing a bike, or drugging a date’s drink. The reactions of onlookers are filmed, and it’s always interesting to see who will see the bad thing but ignore it? Who will take action? Who will break down with relief or be embarrassed when the host John Quiñones comes out and tells everyone it’s just an act.
It’s a good question. What would YOU do? When someone is screaming, do you pretend not to hear, or stand frozen? Do you take action? Every situation is different. There are times when I take action, and times when I don’t and later wish I had. Some days I feel braver than other days; it must be the same for everyone.
But going vegan is a powerful way to take positive action, three times a day.
Action for your health.
Action for the planet.
And most importantly, action for the millions of animals who are screaming, every single day.
And every vegan I know says the same two things:
- “It’s the best thing I ever did.”
- “I wish I had done it sooner.”
Are you ready to take action?
There is no better guide than Victoria Moran. Her books, including Main Street Vegan, can help you on your journey.
The puppy is fine and no longer left alone in that truck.
Grayson kitty is home with his “forever mom.”
We now fondly refer to “mouser kitty” as my stalker. He still tries to get in our back gate, and sometimes even sneaks into our car. (I carry a squirt gun for protection.)
Thanks to years of volunteering at free spay/neuter clinics, I had the know-how and first aid supplies on hand to treat the multiple bites and scratches.
This was a freak situation. Do not be afraid of alley cats. Take them home and tame them. They just might blossom and adore you one day.
Bonnie Goodman, VLCE. is a glass beadmaker and founder of Live and Let Livingston in Montana. She shares her studio/gallery Mordam Art with husband Parke, and lives with a dog, seven cats, and a parrot that meows. She’s especially grateful to MiChelle Franzen, dear friend and nurse, who checked her wounds (they were quite serious) every day for two weeks, just to be on the safe side.