My job is to go out of business

I strive to become irrelevant. Every strategy is focused on how to make my organization totally unnecessary and leave my staff bored, twiddling their thumbs, checking their social media, swatting flies. All I want is no more calls, no more messages, no more desperate pleas for help.

What people want

People want to buy French Bulldogs they thought were cute on Instagram because a rescue is too much of a “hassle”, not cute enough, or not flashy enough to show off to their friends.

What honesty gets you in animal rescue

Going out of business for an outspoken, vegan animal rescue is easy. We just have to be honest. We just have to stop upholding the lies of the rescue industry that perpetuates the myth that individuals should bear no responsibility for animals, but rescues can take them all. We just have to let that ugly truth slip that shelters are not the answer to animal suffering, but being vegan and sterilizing and vaccinating all domestic animals will effectively stop putting more innocent lives on this planet that will inevitably live a short life of horrific suffering. Then we lose it all and have an empty account and animals we cannot even feed because we gently reminded the public that they are the ones harming animals everyday with their consumer choices, not just the random Asian man on a shaky viral video hitting a dog. We have failed to do the work we set out to do because the rescue industry has made its money by perpetuating the need for it rather than eliminating it. The rescue industry thrives on non-solutions and when you try to address the root issues of animal suffering, you are quickly hushed and lose your funding. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” feels appropriate for this case.

Where do we go from here?

The field of rescue needs a reset. We need to look at the big picture of what it means to love animals and how we are all responsible for avoiding being part of animal suffering. As rescue organizations, we need to all work on going out of business by eliminating the need to take animals harmed by humans not only in their homes, but in the industries that kill them for profit. We need to see ALL species as of worthy of life and happiness and that bringing more into the world to suffer does not make you an animal lover, but just part of the problem. When the rescue world accepts moral consistency, and is not afraid of marketing that, we will finally start to go out of business the right way.

Cat Besch is a ferocious animal activist, pig snuggler, amateur vegan chef, and runner who is the founder and director of Vietnam Animal Aid and Rescue-US.