Meredith Calhoun- She/Her/Hers Background: Fourth Year Psychology Major and Exercise Science Minor with the intention of going to school for Physical Therapy.
Contact Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
How did I get involved with IMPACT? I got involved with IMPACT last year as a participant on the winter break Agism trip to Charleston, South Carolina. As a participant, I fell in love with IMPACT’s values and the people I served with. This year, I am so excited to be a site leader for the Animal Welfare and Advocacy spring break trip to Charleston. As a site leader, I hope to educate participants, provide fun service-learning opportunities, and supply resources that will continue to guide participants towards becoming active citizens within their communities.
Why am I interested in my trip focus? My interest in animal welfare and advocacy was sparked by my love and compassion for all animals. Some of the topics that I have recently become more interested in are transitioning from inhumane factory farms back to family farms and creating better standards for shelters/rescues to decide which animals are labeled as adoptable.
Fun Fact: I raise puppies for the Guide Dog Foundation :)
How did I get involved with IMPACT? I first got involved with IMPACT my sophomore year when I attended the Education Access and Awareness trip to Charlotte, North Carolina. By the end of our trip, I had fallen in love with IMPACT as an organization and everything that it stands for. I loved the idea of service learning, and IMPACT’s ability to create such a strong, unique bond amongst strangers through the act of service. I knew this was an organization I wanted to continue to be involved in. IMPACT guides students on their way to being an active citizen, and I became a site leader because I wanted to help facilitate this journey amongst other participants and give others the amazing experience that I had!
Why am I interested in my trip focus?
One of the things that’s really interesting about animal welfare is that you are advocating for a group that literally does not have a voice. Animals lack the biological ability to speak out, which makes it impossible for them to use their voice to stand up for themselves. What they do not lack is the capability of experiencing pain and pleasure. Just like humans, animals don’t deserve to be neglected or abused. Animal welfare encompasses all facets of animal health and well-being, from cruelty in the pet trade to inhumane killing in the meat industry. I hope that I can be an advocate for this community and continue to grow my perspective about this issue.
Fun fact? My guilty pleasure is fried cookie dough!
access : freedom or ability to obtain or make use of something advocacy : the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal Confined Animal Feeding Operation “CAFO aka factory farm : a system of farming in which a lot of animals are kept in a small closed area, in order to produce a large amount of meat, eggs, or milk as cheaply as possible. free-range : animals have “access to outdoors”, though the term is not regulated well cage-free : unregulated term to imply that hens are raised in enclosed, windowless sheds organic dairy/meat : animals raised without antibiotics or growth hormones zoochosis : term used to explain the stereotypical but abnormal behavior of animals in captivity that is described as an invariant, repetitive behavior pattern with no apparent goal or function speciesism: inferior status given to animals which allows us to view them as objects and a means to fulfill humans’ own desires “no-kill” shelters : shelter saves at least 90% of its animals from euthanasia kosher meat : meat from ruminant animals (with split hooves) that have been harvested (slaughtered) according to Jewish law halal meat : meat that has been harvested (slaughtered) according to Islam law vegetarianism : a diet that excludes all animal flesh (including beef, poultry, and fish) but that includes dairy and eggs veganism : a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practical, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment
Facts about Animal Welfare :
The meat and dairy industry is the largest segment of US agriculture.
U.S. meat production totaled 52 billion pounds in 2017 and U.S. poultry production totaled 48 billion pounds in 2017.
The meat and poultry industry broadly is responsible for 5.4 million jobs and $257 billion in wages, the report found. An estimated 527,019 people have jobs in production and packing, importing operations, sales, packaging and direct distribution of meat and poultry products.
American men on average eat 4.8 ounces of meat per day and women eat 3.13 ounces of meat per day.
Approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year.
Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized
Roughly 100 million animals in US die due to testing yearly.
Rats, mice, birds, and cold-blooded animals aren’t counted or protected at all under the Animal Welfare Act.
A survey of the records of 4,500 elephants found that the median life span for an African elephant in a zoo was 16.9 years, whereas African elephants on a nature preserve died of natural causes at a median age of 56 years.
Animal Welfare in Athens
A consistent issues in Athens, as well as other towns, is overcrowding and understaffing of animal shelters. There are often not enough trained people to work, and overcrowding of animals can lead to the spread of disease. However, with the help of Athens Area Humane Society, the Clarke-County animal shelter has been able to make some improvements over the years. They have been able to instill new foster programs, provide certified training to staff, and initiated the Fear-Free Shelter Program to improve the emotional experiences of animals in shelters. All of this would not be possible without community partners. Athens Area Humane Society in particular is a large non-profit organization dedicated to lowering euthanasia rates in the Athens area. They care for about 5,000 animals a year, and spray and neuter 4,000 animals to get to the root of overpopulation.