A few weeks ago I wrote a story about a so-called friend and how they hurt me. So, I thought I will do a quick update to that story.
Just over a week ago, Brian and I flew into Tel Aviv. Brian had said do not expect our “friend” to meet us at the airport. However, there was a part of me wanting to believe they will show. I wanted them to show, I believe because I was hoping 20 + years of friendship meant something and there was still a part of me was hoping there was some big misunderstanding. However, our plane landed on-time and cleared the border very quick. Unfortunately, Brian was right they did not show. It left me feeling devastated.
So, Brian and I took a cab to our hotel. To make things worse the hotel was in the worse place in Tel Aviv and I believe it was not fit for habitation. At that point, everything began piling up. In a foreign country where I have been before but had a “friend” who helped me navigate it. From my previous experience, I know Israel to be a very welcoming country where people work together and there is a sense of community. Luckily I was able to draw on my past experience and explained my situation.
As I explained my situation, to a complete stranger, I was hoping my perception of Israel was correct and they will help me. I hail one cab but that cab wanted a name of the hotel and refused to take me. So, I call a hotel that is 3-star chain hotel and quotes me $400 / night, which is too much for me. I explain this to the person, with whom I am speaking. Luckily, I was right, they helped me find a cab and the driver knew of a hotel that we could stay.
At this point, I was crying in the back seat of the cab because everything up to this point has gone wrong and now, I am putting my complete trust into a total stranger. What else can go wrong? This person, the cab driver, has to power to either make or break my holiday. About 15 minutes later we arrive at the Ness Hotel, “the moment of truth,” arrives. Will my holiday/vacation be ruined or will things change?
I go into the hotel and the desk person says they have a room available and it is reasonably priced. Even better the hotel is no more than a 5-minute walk from the beach. Tired from the harrowing day, Brian and I finally get to our room. The next day, when we get up, we are greeted by the hotel manager. Again I explain my situation to whom and he offers to help us with our other hotel and helps with finding things to do in Tel Aviv.
I may have lost a long-time friend. However, I made new friends and I will be returning the Ness Hotel. From this experience, I have learned that it is better to remain positive than focus on the catastrophic worse. Finally, I have learned the meaning of friendship and I sustain my belief Israel is a great nation from, which offers something to all of us to learn about working together as a community and working together with a common goal
Endless Possibilities: The start Maxine Berry’s Journey
We are living in a truly exciting time, in the United Kingdom. Brexit and the upcoming general election provide endless possibilities. The most exciting possibility began about 8 months before the vote to leave the European Union, in November 2016. It is the Animal Abuse Register, Justice for Chunky, petition started by Maxine Berry.
Tennessee Based Register Modified for United Kingdom Standards
Her vision is having a register, similar to the state of Tennessee, whereby family pets are protected and those who abuse animals face longer sentences. The amazing thing about Maxine’s vision, the register not only protects pets but people too. At this point, you may be gobsmacked believing the register will only protect pets? Reality, there is a link between those who abuse animals and the increased likelihood they will harm people. No link is 100% and there are other factors that influence the decision, like longer sentences.
Now, imagine the UK having Maxine’s vision what type of country will we have? This author believes it is a safer country. Whereby animal cruelty, especially against family pets decrease, domestic violence decrease, and where appropriate support is given to help those overcome their violent ways. In essence creating a brighter tomorrow for many people living in the United Kingdom.
Is Anti-Americanism a Roadblock?
Next, if the register will protect people. Then how come the United Kingdom does not have the register? No path to change is simple and because animal cruelty is an emotive issue, there will be roadblocks along the way. When Maxine started her journey, she was realistic and knew it was not going to be easy. Her belief in making pets safe from harm and keeping people safe is her driving motivation. Currently, one roadblock Maxine is facing is the collective feeling inferior to America along with a bit of anti-Americanism. She will not let anti-Americanism or a feeling from other of feeling inferior to America.
UK Papers Can Publish Names and Photographs of Those Convicted of a Crime but the Animal Abuse Register Cannot?
So where does this roadblock originate from? The state of Tennessee since January 2016 implemented an animal abuse register for the whole state and 10 other states are currently legislating some form of animal abuse register. The argument that Maxine Berry is facing lies in the public exposure of those on the register. In the United Kingdom it is easy to search a local paper; find someone convicted of a crime with their photograph published and name published.
Publishing Names Leads to Vigilantism: Fact or Fiction?
Moving on, a part of the roadblock lies in the belief public exposure will lead to vigilantism. So what evidence exists Tennessee model will lead to vigilantism? This author has spent time searching for records indicating vigilantism after implementing the animal abuse register in Tennessee. At the time of writing this article, this author cannot find any reported cases of vigilantism in the state of Tennessee against those on the register.
This brings up the next question what about the UK? This author can find sporadic reports of vigilantism against sex offenders. Nonetheless shortly after the UK introduced the sex offenders; register vigilantism appeared to have decreased. This article seems to suggest the link between the media and fueling vigilantism.
Another issue this raises, there is a difference between those who commit animal cruelty and those who commit sex offences?
Why Design an Original Register When a Model Already Exists?
Many people fear Maxine is advocating a “naming and shaming” of those convicted of animal cruelty. In response to the misinformation, Maxine explicitly advocates it is not the public naming of individuals that makes the Tennessee model ‘an out-of-the-box solution.’ Instead Maxine continuously states it is the legislation. In particular, it is the longer sentences for those who abuse animals and the definition of animal that makes the Tennessee model that can be easily modified to fit the needs of the UK. If MPs review the cost and benefit analysis done by Maxine’s husband Brian they will see it is more cost effective to focus limiting the definition of animal to companion animals than the wide encompassing definition of animal as provided under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and MPs will see over time the animal abuse register can be self-sustaining.
Tennessee Model Works
All things considered, how come United Kingdom has not implemented an animal abuse register based on the Tennessee model? What is the reason the animal abuse register, based on the Tennessee model, has not become law in the UK? Is it beliefs rooted in British inferiority to America, is it anti-Americanism, or a combination of? Such a question may seem harsh and maybe unfair. Nonetheless the question needs to be asked. It is important to remember, Maxine advocates it is the legislation not the public naming that makes the Tennessee model viable.
Furthermore evidence suggests the register might decrease vigilantism and the evidence suggests there is no link between the two, regardless of the model used. Moreover, the Tennessee model is a working model that has been around since January 2016 and has a history. Finally there is some evidence to suggest a UK animal abuse register (point of sale and employer checks) based on the Tennessee model is cheaper and may be self-sufficient without the need for strict enforcement or violating civil liberties.
Regardless of anti-Americanism and regardless of some feeling inferior to American exceptionalism in the field of animal rights, Maxine Berry will continue to fight for animal rights. She will continue for fight for the Tennessee model because it is the most cost-effective and the easiest to implement. Plus the Tennessee model provides an excellent model for legislation in defining animals and sentencing. It is time for us to unite to protect our pets and protect those who do not have a voice. By implementing an animal abuse register based on the Tennessee model we can make millions of lives better in a very short time.
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