What Does it Mean to be an Advocate?

I proudly call myself an animal advocate, yet sometimes I struggle with how to explain to people what that really means. The dictionary told me this:

advocate|noun| : a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause

I’m fortunate to have a career (TV, radio, and print journalism) that gives me other platforms to share my animal advocacy with others. I’ve hosted several TV shows showcasing the local animal shelter in my home town, filmed Public Service Announcements for their events, and written about ways to be a better pet owner for my site and for other publications. These are all ways I promote what I believe through my talents and skills.

marshfield-area-pet-shelter.jpgBut I believe being an advocate goes past support and recommendation, and means also being a voice and acting for a cause.

Yesterday I was driving down a busy road in Montgomery, and I spotted what looked like a rock in the middle of the road. When I got closer I realized it wasn’t a rock, but a turtle.

I immediately pulled my car to the side of the road, got out, quickly grabbed the turtle, put him in my car and drove him to the nearest pond.

This is what I believe in and this is how I live my life

turtle-saving.jpgI can preach animal rights and respect all day long, but if I drove by that turtle, I don’t think I would be living what I’m preaching. It’s fun to play with puppies at the human society, but I want to do more than that. That’s what I think being an advocate is, going beyond what is fun and glamorous for a cause you believe in.

I believe…

in being respectful to all animals; from soft and cuddly puppies and kittens to random turtles I find in the road.

I believe…

domestic animals are a responsibility and that people who can’t care for them and treat them as a responsibility should lose ownership of them.

I believe…

in only supporting animal tourism that is humane and educational about the animals it showcases.

I believe…

perfectly healthy wild animals shouldn’t be captured and taken from their pods or families and kept in cages or tanks.

I believe…

when an animal is in pain or in trouble and I can safely help them, I should.

Being an animal advocate, for me, means I live my life by these beliefs. So maybe that means I stop on the side of the road for turtles. Call me crazy if you want. I call it passionate.

What are you an advocate for?

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  • This is so true! We can’t forget that even though we talk about things that are important to us, we also need to act as well! Our dog Dart was hit by a car when he was younger (he’s 100% ok now and is perfectly happy and healthy!), so my husband and I always stop and try to capture dogs that are out loose in our neighborhood. We would hate for another family to feel the same pain that we did! I think it’s awesome that you stopped and picked up the turtle and moved him to a safer place!

    • I thought of Dart the other day actually! i was at the dog park and there was another tripod dog there that was just the sweetest most wonderful dog. He had been hit by a car and then adopted because his previous owner “didn’t want him anymore” (seriously what is the matter with people?), and his owner now was the nicest girl who said getting him was one of the best decisions she’s ever made. I was literally on the verge of tears hearing their story. just so heart warming.

      • I can’t believe that his previous owners gave him up because he didn’t have 4 legs! I always tell people that he’s the most expensive dog and that I wouldn’t have it any other way! God gave dogs 4 legs for a reason, right? I’m just so glad that the other pup now has an awesome owner!

  • I feel the exact same way about animals! They really pull on my heart strings! My dad and I are known around my neighborhood as the “turtle savers” as we always get out of our cars and move turtles to the side of the road 😀 Funny story actually- I was saving a turtle once in high school shewing him to the side of the road near the beach and and older woman saw me doing it, pulled over and gave me $5 exclaiming “we need more people like you in the world!” Hahahah I was soooo happy and immediately ran home to tell my dad 😀 Keep on being an advocate Carrie! SO important!

    • awww!!! what a sweet story, Lauren!! I just got the biggest smile on my face reading it! I am so glad there are people out there with kind hearts like you 🙂