Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Artists Speak up for Greyhounds

At its heart, GREY2K USA is truly a grassroots movement. Our supporters come from many different backgrounds and have diverse political views. Despite our differences we share one common value: we believe greyhound racing is cruel and inhumane and should end.

In that spirit we are proud to be supported this month by Etsy for Animals (EFA). According to its website, EFA is a team of independent artists, craftspeople, vintage sellers and craft suppliers on Etsy.com who are dedicated to supporting animal protection causes. These compassionate creators use their talents to help animals, and chose GREY2K USA as their Charity of the Month for September. This nomination will help us fulfill our ongoing mission to fight for greyhounds and bring about change.

That is probably why dog track promoters became so angry when they learned of EFA's choice to support GREY2K USA. The American Greyhound Council, the public relations arm of the racing industry, even sent out a national press statement calling EFA a "clueless group." Meanwhile, greyhound race supporters bombarded EFA with false information about GREY2K USA and tried to intimidate the artists with threats of a boycott. This response shouldn't come as a surprise. After all, the dog racing industry has a long history of bullying anyone who gives greyhounds a voice. In recent years they have personally attacked lawmakers, openly fantasized about the death of greyhound advocates, and threatened adoption groups who speak out.

In EFA, however, greyhound breeders met their match. Instead of backing down, the group responded to these threats by publishing a powerful essay about the cruelty of dog racing. In part, EFA wrote:
"It is not enough simply to continue to rescue greyhound after greyhound that has been purpose bred to race. The cycle of using these dogs as disposable commodities needs to end, and just like all other breeds of dog, greyhound(s) deserve to be born and live their whole lives as family pets."
This courageous stand should be an example for all of us. Etsy for Animals was faced with a choice: to continue speaking up for greyhounds, or be silenced by promoters of a cruel industry. They chose to do right by the dogs, and for that we should all be grateful.