Nov 5, 2008

They Would Thank You Themselves if They Could

The people of Massachusetts have spoken and thank god greyhound racing has now been banned here. Beginning in January 2010 there will be no more dog racing in this state. And this decision didn't come easily. Even after years of attempts to get this question on the ballot, it remained a struggle right up until the end late last night.

There were three questions on our ballot this election. Question number one was to decide whether to keep the state income tax or remove it. Question number two was whether or not to decriminalize the possession of marijuana and question three was whether or not to ban dog racing in the state. The results of the first two questions were nearly unanimous early in the evening, well before the polls had even closed. The majority of the state voted overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the state income tax as it has always been. Given that our schools here have already been skimmed of everything but the bare essentials and with the threat of losing police and fire personnel as well as so many other vital needs, this question was a no-brainer. Question two was a bit more iffy, but even with a great many conservatives here, still managed to pass with a large majority of the people voting to make it no longer criminal to be found with an ounce or less of marijuana on your person. And this vote too, with its resounding majority voice, was called long before the polls closed.

But question three was so close it could not be safely called until hours after the polls closed last night and all the votes were in. It made me realize once again how little the public at large thinks about animal welfare. The question didn't come down to how many animals were being used and abused and how this must be stopped, but how much revenue and how many jobs would be lost should the dog racing industry be closed forever here. And the fact that the vote was so very close just goes to show how many people could care less how animals are treated. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to be able to say that dog racing is soon to be a thing of the past here and I'm very grateful to everyone who voted with their hearts and not their pockets, but it still might have been nice if it had been as big a slam-dunk as the dope issue.

David says that I'm looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, that the owners of these dog kennels will simply pack up and take their dogs to another state where racing is still legal and as sad as it may be to know this is what will happen, I know he's right. But I also know that I now live in a state that refuses to tolerate the abuse and misuse of such beautiful creatures and I also know that I voted with my heart and my soul and I can sleep well at night knowing that I did the one thing I could do to put a stop where I live to this horrible industry: I cast my vote for the dogs and it was heard.

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