You know those ASPCA commercials, right? The ones with Sarah McLachlan singing, and sad stories and image after image of abused, abandoned dogs and cats? They tear my heart out and stomp all over it. I know – they’re supposed to, and they are VERY effective. I can’t watch them. I mean that literally – I have to look away from the TV when they’re on, or change the channel. But one time last month I watched one – and then I remembered what I’d said about donating to good causes if I was ever able to again. So I went to the ASPCA’s website and registered to donate. Just $20 a month, but whatever – as long as I know I’m doing something to help animals (aside from the thousands of dollars I spend on my two horrible, rotten, spoiled, wonderful rescue dogs), I’m good. (Side note: I’ve said it before, but life was SO much easier before I was a dog lover. Honestly, before my husband twisted my arm and made me get our first dog, I could watch those commercials without wanting to run outside and personally rescue all the animals. I didn’t spend any time worrying about the plight of abused pets. I’m not saying I was better for it, but it was a hell of a lot simpler.)
So today I got an email from the ASPCA – the news alert you get, I guess, when you sign up as a donor. And know what? It wasn’t filled with horrible statistics and sad news and pictures of pathetic, abused animals. It was GOOD news – the subject line, “One Million Animals are Now Living Better Lives.” The pictures were of cute, happy animals that had been saved.
So THAT’S their game. You will be forced to see images of nothing but suffering and sadness until you give money. Then you get to hear the happy news, and see the flip side of the situation. It’s emotional blackmail, pure and simple. And I’m totally going to play along with it. As long as I can see cute, happy, unscarred dogs and cats in my inbox, they can have my money. I just wonder how much I’d have to pay to never hear “In the Arms of an Angel” again.