Friday, March 06, 2009

What Do You Think?


Back in 2000, Roger Daltrey of The Who established a charity called the Teenage Cancer Trust. The charity basically does what its name implies. The charity raises money to establish special care units within hospitals to treat young adults battling life threatening illnesses. It sounds like a great cause. Apparently Roger sets a goal each year for the amount of money he wants to raise and says it is getting harder and harder to raise the money. He says it is not because of the credit crunch or the recession, but rather because people are giving more and more money to help mistreated animals, and he is not really happy about that.

"It is a blot on our society when, if these teenagers had four legs and fur or feathers we would raise the money in a year. It's tragic and it makes me want to fight even harder."

He does make a point. I have never really thought about it previously. What is the more important priority for our charity dollars? Should we be contributing to animal rescue centers or trying to find a cure for say, cystic fibrosis? It must be tough to go up to a kid and tell him he is going to die because there is no room for you in the hospital, because everyone is giving their dollars to help abandoned dalmatians.

I don't really have an answer. I obviously think there are lots of worthwhile causes involving both human and non-human endeavors, but I'm wondering which you think are more important to fund with your hard earned money?

45 comments:

Quintessential Southerner said...

THANK YOU!!!

i respect animals, and do not torture them or create misery for them. however, humans are higher up on the food chain than animals. we have souls. they do not.

i despise when people do this shit!!! if you can give 20 bucks per month to an animal cause, find 30 bucks to give to a cause that helps humans.

Tania said...

All the charities I donate to are for people. Sure, I think animals need protection too, but I've made the decision that since I can't spare much, what I can spare, goes to humans. That's my priority.

Goodgrief said...

This is really opening up a can of worms. To alot of people their pets are their family, sometimes their only family. However, those pets are well loved and taken care of, so we are talking about the ones who are abandoned. While I think the animals also need help I think if you have to chose between saving animals or humans it should be humans, especially children.

ms_wonderland said...

The two most over-funded charities in the UK are the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty for Animals, and a Donkey Sanctuary. Both do great work, but get more donations than they can use. That's what Daltrey is talking about. The big medical research charities (Heart, Cancer) do well, but smaller ones get overlooked.

Keep plugging away there Rog!

not on my dollar said...

I'm not a pet lover but I know there are a lot of bloggers on this board who are so I don't want to disrespect them or their concerns.

That being said I wonder if this person knows for sure that the donations are being redirected towards animal causes or is this just an assumption?


If it's the truth then that's horrible because if we don't take care of the human race 1st, who is going to be around to continue to give donations to care for the animals?

Pookie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pookie said...

*what everyone above me said*

figgy said...

First of all, Quintessential Southerner, people do not have souls. Please don't pull that "g/God(s)/ess(es) say we are more special cuz we are in the image of [insert your g/God(s)/ess(es) name here]. That's bullshit, and until more people realize that there is no higher being that's going to save them if they beg enough, we'll continue to treat both other humans and animals poorly.

I'm one of those people who donates money, quite a bit, to animals. I also give to humans, and in fact, my career is devoted to children's health research. I have a PhD and make a lot less than I otherwise would by working on pediatric research; I do this because children are enormously important to me.

On the other hand, are they more deserving of help than animals? No. One can support both children and animals.

Sheyna said...

Animals in a heartbeat. Of course kids with cancer are sad. Kids with cancer aren't killed by the millions in shelters every year, nor do kids with cancers lead miserable trapped existences on factory farms to be turned into a steak at Denny's.

I also feel like there's nothing that makes humans more inherently worthy of saving than every other species on the planet.

Every human life is precious but the raccoon smashed on the side of the road is just another piece of trash. Luckily I get to choose what I donate my money to and what is worthwhile to me.

jib said...

As much as I have loved the pets in my life, I love my children more and donate accordingly (human causes).

And Thank you for mentioning CF - there is no cure currently, but they have come a long, long way in how they can control it. A person with CF can live a long life now - many til their 40's - compared to 25 years ago when many barely reached 20. I remember the first time I met someone with CF - she was 13 or 14 years old and was already planning her funeral.

Quintessential Southerner said...

figgy you are entitled to your opinion as i am to mine. you have your beliefs as do i.

and yes, people can do both give to animal and human causes.

A Pimp Named DaveR said...

Funny, I don't remember being given the opportunity to tell Roger Daltrey how he should spend HIS money...

nichole said...

I give to both human and animal causes. It works out to roughly a 50/50 split. My two cats were rescues and by giving a little back to the shelters that helped them, hopefully another abandoned animal finds a forever home. That being said, I also give to the Williams Syndrome and the Komen foundation. While I do value the lives of humans higher than my pets, I also feel the need to give back for the unconditional love that my rescues give to me.

Quintessential Southerner said...

good for you nichole! i adore my mom's cat. :)

Mooshki said...

I do both. The amount of money animal charities need is a drop in the bucket of what the human ones do. Sure, it would be nice if he got the money donated to animals, but what about the thousand other human illnesses that need research funding? Not to mention all the other human needs. Or non-human or -animal charities, like the environment?

That's why I'm a liberal - I think our tax dollars and government should be funding human services, then they wouldn't have to depend on the whims of people. The University of Minnesota just made a huge breakthrough that may someday be able to block the transmission of HIV. That was funded in part by your tax dollars.

I think people need to donate to whatever cause they care about. The better you feel about the cause you're giving to, the more likely you are to keep giving more.

Look at what "humans first" thinking has done to our planet. Is it enough for us to just keep existing, or do we need to make our lives worth living? And to me, part of living a valuable life is caring about other living creatures, including humans. :)

Kara said...

I probably give more money to civil rights organizations than to anything that saves lives - human or animal.

I also give money to environmental causes and I suspect that probably benefits people and animals.

I think, to a certain extent, his point is a comparison of apples and oranges. Who is to say that if people were not donating to an animal organization they would then turn around and donate to his organization?

I have no problem with anyone that donates to any charity. It is a CHARITABLE act. Something you didn't have to do. So in no way are you stupid, thoughtless, or selfish because you chose to support a charity - whatever it be for.

__-__=__ said...

Until Chris Brown gets the beat down he deserves I'm going to have to give any extra money I might have to animals. Sometimes humans just aren't worth it.

I might get over this next week. Not this week.

nancer said...

people should give according to what their heart tells them. there's room for both.

i get sick and fucking tired of this line of thought, quite frankly. we should ALL focus on humans and not animals? well, i'll do what i want with my money, thank you. and obviously this problem would NOT be fixed in a year if people didn't give to animal causes. that's ridiculous.

what would he prefer? we make giving to human charities mandatory? he doesn't understand the meaning of the word charity.

Katsluvme72 said...

First time poster but been lurking about for quite a while....guess some of the comments really irked me....especially comment made by Roger Daltry.

I'm one of those "people" Roger was complaining about....I donate mostly to animal causes. Why? Many reasons but mainly because it's what's closest to my heart & because IT'S MY HARD EARNED MONEY. I should be able to donate to whatever cause I find important to me without being critized for not helping the human race.

Whenever you contribute to a "cause" close to your heart then your doing good for society...animals or humans.

Sorry, to rant. Just hate it when people say "animals are just animals" and humans are most important. Never been let down by an animal. Can't say the same for most people in my life.

Roger Daltry should to promote his cause without pissing off half the people who donate their hard earned money.

SFG said...

Well said Katsluvme72. My dog is about the only constant thing in my life. She is completely and utterly defenseless and dependent on me. I choose to give to other great rescue orgs like the one I got her from because I believe animals are one of the few things that are completely innocent on this planet. I don't make much money but I give a certain amount to charity annually and since I worked my ass off for my dollars, I feel I should be able to give to whom I want. I don't criticize people when they donate to children's charities, why should they judge me?

jax said...

"Funny, I don't remember being given the opportunity to tell Roger Daltrey how he should spend HIS money..."

EXACTLY.

this old fossil needs to STFU, he's not doing his charity any help by yapping and judging what people spend their money on.

open your own fricken wallet Rog.

MrsDepp said...

Maybe what Daltrey was saying was, Wouldn't it be wonderful if there was a PETA or Greenpeace-like organization that was as zealous about curing cancer in teenagers as the PETA-ers are about fur coats or the Greenpeace-ers are about saving dolphins? That's the way I took it. Like, there are still millions of kids with cancer in the world, but let ONE fur coat show up at fashion week and people are losing their fucking minds and throwing paint everywhere and having sit-ins and threatening people and shit. It would be nice to have people be that militant about curing cancer, and that's what I think Daltrey was saying.

PeepStone said...

UNICEF and local food banks.

Anonymous said...

While Roger Daltrey's cause is a noble one I think he is forgetting something very important. His charity is not entitled to peoples money just because he thinks it is the most important one out there. People work hard to earn their money and in times like these giving away anything is a great gift. A little more appreciation for what comes your way and enouraging people in a positive way might be the way to go....ya think?

BlahFrickinBlah said...

I've always had a bug up my ass about this subject. Humans>animals. If the humans aren't right, there isn't anyone left to save the animals now is there? It's the same with health insurance. In my state, no kid will go w/o health insurance but it's next to impossible for an adult to get any. The on going joke is that "the kid will be healthy but the parent will just die." Animals are cool but people have their priorities fucked up anymore.

MrsDepp said...

I still think he meant that it would be nice if people would get as batshit crazy about a cure for cancer as they do about chinchillas and minks.

bramblewitch said...

Thank you figgy. This is a very, very important matter to me and I always side with the animals. I believe that whatever "souls" we might have (or not have) animals have the same. They are just defenceless from people who think they are inferior. I donate to mostly animal causes and sometimes to causes for humans.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me while I laugh, Roger !
The most over-funded charities are children's charities. Just because your damn charity doesn't make more money doesn't mean that all the other gazillion of "give to the chiiiiiiiiiildrun" shit isn't getting any cash. It only means you're an outdated celeb nobody gives a rat's ass about.

And yes, I EXCLUSIVELY give to animals' charities. Because humans are mostly like you, Roger. Dumb, cruel and just not worth the effort.

Snautrag said...

As someone who runs an animal rescue charity I find this offensive. You can love animals and love people too yanno. Fortunately, with animals I can get into the trenches, get my hands dirty and make a difference.

There are a lot of charities competing for a little money and to bash one in order to prop up your own is tactless.

It would make more sense to ask everyone to choose their own charities and work for them. If more people did this the difference would be incredible. Take just a few hours away from the TV or internet and volunteer!
[God this is my pet peeve].

Sometimes putting in man hours and sweat and effort to a cause you believe in is more important than just giving money anyway.

No one likes to see suffering anywhere at anytime (well most of us) but it is part and parcel of the human condition as is disease.

biteme said...

Hello! Humans are not on the top of the food chain. Go tell that to a polar bear and see what he thinks (humans are responsible for the polar bear plight).

Also, when we get tired of our animals because do not want them or cannot afford them, we dump them on a shelter or abandon. Also animals are destroyed if they are not adopted in a timely manner because of the over population. Do we do that to children simply because they are abandoned and have not been adopted by a certain time? No, we do not.

I am also one of these people that Roger is talking about. I gave money to animal organizations during Hurricane Katrina instead of human relief organizations (see how well that went).

Humans are the reason for the condition of this planet and for the conditon of animals. How many are extinct?

I also agree with the person who talks about what happens after they become adults. We do all this stuff for kids/babies and then once they are an adult - nothing.

Over anything else, I give to charities that keep the money in the USA. We need to take care of our own first.

Sorry, this is so long but this is is hot topic for me.

bionic bunny! said...

i kind of like what mrs. depp says.

i blow my horn about my favorite charities, but i support different things.

what pisses me off the most is the comment that "animals don't have souls". i don't know what kind of upbringing you had, but i'm very, very sorry.

Thisisridiculous said...

I give to the aspca. I adore my pooch. I've also given to the Leukemia foundation, but deep down I know these diseases will never be cured. The pharmaceutical companies are gonna make sure they never stop getting "funded".

jenna (original) said...

While I'm not sure how well researched Mr Daltry's comments were, but for me, what ever little extra I have is going to go to a 'human' charity before it goes to an animal.

Stella McCartney really f**ks me off, she makes a big song and dance about the use of fur in fashion when there are lot more serious problems going on in the fashion industry such as the exploitation of millions of textiles workers across the world. While I'm 100% against animal cruelty, It concerns me more that children are being forced to work 20 hour days in the dark with no breaks, than there being a few less minks in the world.

Amanda said...

When you think about it-- what does most of the money given to animal charities go towards? Its usually to 'undo' somehting done by a human...abuse, neglect, loss of habitat.

Anonymous said...

I think people are taking Daltrey's comments way out of context, I don’t think for once that he is implying that people should not give to animals, I believe that what he was trying to say was that the same attention and funds given to animal charities should be given to humans too.

In the western world especially more attention, money and care is given to animals and animal charities. There was an experiment on UK TV years ago about whom would people save first, an animal or a human, and animals came out trumps.

IMHO, I believe that care, attention, money, etc should be given in great proportions to both groups.

And to end it with a biblical bang:

- A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal (Proverbs 12:10)

- Thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself (Mark 12:31)

- The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' (Matthew 25:40)


Gift

McDooks said...

This is a tough one. When it comes to kids I am happy to donate. But to say that if I have only a certain amount of money to give and it SHOULD go to human causes is crap. Animals need help and protection too. When it comes to more "adult" type charities, I am more skeptical. Kids and animals can NOT help themselves, as where some of the charities I see are for drug/homeless/battered stuff, and flame me if you want to, but much of that is tied to BAD CHOICES.

WBotW said...

I would venture to say that the people going on about how lovely animals are, and how they don't do all these awful things that humans do, likely neither have children of their own nor have they ever had to watch a child they love die from an illness that could PERHAPS be cured if more funding for reseearch were available.
So, go ahead and pour your hard earned money into animal charities. My money goes to charities that help children. When my hard earned dollars help find the cure for cancer, or CB, you can look back on the bags of kibble you paid for with pride.

Anonymous said...

"The pharmaceutical companies are gonna make sure they never stop getting "funded". "

I totally agree with that statement. As someone living with 4 incurable and difficult to treat conditions/diseases, I am all for spending money on medical research. I hate to think that my daughters will go through what I am going through.

However, I don't have any hope that there will be any better treatments or cures for me or people like me because there is no profit to be made.

I do donate to both human and animal charities. I like to think that my small donations do make a difference to all the charities we donate to regular basis.

I try to hope for the best in people and that we can all take care of this world-both human and animal.

Sonia said...

Going to throw in my two cents FWIW.

First, to me - it's all about choice - and putting your money where your mouth is. You can sit there and donate to a charity like UNICEF and feel all smug inside about the "good" you are doing, but do you really know where your money is going? Do you know that UNICEF offered to give twenty-five freaking million dollars to the then-President of Guatemala to halt adoptions... that was money into HIS coffers, not to the children... and when adoptions were halted, now there are hundreds of babies being thrown in garbage dumps because the poverty striken birthmothers can't, or won't, care for them? And the orphanages are overflowing and there is NO where to take these children? What do you think twenty-five million would have done for those babies? And I know what I'm talking about, because I adopted my daughter from Guatemala three years ago. UNICEF doesn't give a rat's ass about the single child - it's all about the politics. So I give my money to an organization where I am given pictures of the children wearing shoes that I helped pay for... where I see the parents getting a new water filter to give them clean drinking water...where I sponsor a child who I see getting to go to school and eat a healthy lunch (probably the only one they are going to get all day) and see them getting an education that they are otherwise denied because their parents only make 2-10 dollars per WEEK. Yes, that is per WEEK. One hundred percent of my money is helping these kids - not 30 percent while the rest goes to "administration" and big salaries. As far as the animals go, I rescue... and foster... and I always have a dog in my house that needs a home. And I have two dogs of my own. I give money to rescue charities to help defray costs to give medical care for helpless animals who have had the crap kicked out of them because some punk got in a bad mood or was drinking... to those who were dumped at the local school because the owners had to give up thier homes. I see my money doing things... I see my money being used FOR the animals, not for the bureacracy.

Show me a charity where at least 95 percent of the money is going directly for the cause, or where you can actually SEE your money at work, and I'll support it. I will give to both animal and children charities, and I'll walk the walk and not only do my part financially, but physically - through volunteer work and mission work. But I'll be damned if I'm going to give one dime to these so-called non-profits where the administrative costs and the salaries and the expenses run as much as 70-80 percent. You are just tossing your money away.

The moral of the story is - do your research. SEE where your money goes. But don't tell me who I should support - because it's not going to be some big shot having fancy parties and flying around the country to raise more so he/she can bonus themselves on how well they are doing. And when I start seeing hospitals and HMO's and insurance companies pouring 10-15 percent of THIER profits into finding a cure for cancer, then I'll start donating there as well. But in the meantime, I will be someone who WILL take pride in that bag of kibble... because at least I know it's filling up a stomach, and not some bureaucrat's wallet.

Jasmine said...

I also am an animals first person. When Katrina happened my first thought was what happened to the animals? I feel like as many people have said that we keeep taking over land that animals used to inhabit and we kill many animals inhumanly and for lots of other reasons animals should be a huge huge priority. I also donate TIME to homeless shelters and give every once in awhile to human funds. The thing is, and dont hate me for saying this people, is that if we cured cancer and aids and all that we would just have tooooo many people and the enviroment cant support that. So yes i do care for the suffering of people but animals are abused and abandond and without a voice to speak up. And this is why i give to pro enviromental/ animal causes.

Lioness70 said...

I try to give locally. I'm sure I know where my money's going when I do. I give to the local animal shelters (I adopted one of my cats from one. I had five altogether, have two now), and I give through my church, which handles local charity cases.

bookjacket said...

Part of the explanation for Daltrey's problem boils down to marketing. Read this article.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/26/us/26charity.html

If child charities had an ad this effective and a central group that could buy lots of cheap broadcast time, there would be an impact. But ironically, human charities receive much more scrutiny about their advertising funding.

yogoodgurl said...

I had cancer for more than a decade starting in my mid-twenties. In 2003, I lived to see the cure to what had been diagnosed as terminal. My money goes to people, because if people are well, they'll take better care of their pets....whereas if my money went to animals, they wouldn't know how to take care of sick people.

Mooshki said...

"...if my money went to animals, they wouldn't know how to take care of sick people."

Actually, not only do pets help with our emotional health, pet ownership has been known to have a curative effect on some diseases. :)

cricket said...

I give to my local animal shelters. And yes I am proud of those bags of Kibble because a few less dogs are going hungrey tonight because of them and I care about that. I think people should give to what is closest to their heart be it animal or human.