This profile is part of the "Giving for Animals Stories" Series. Tania Luna is a co-founder at Scarlet Spark. Tania took the Giving What We Can pledge to donate a part of his income to animal charities.
What inspired you to start donating to the animal advocacy cause and what motivates you to continue?
I have always loved animals. But in spite of that (or maybe even because of it), I found it too painful to really, truly look at the degree of turmoil they experience in every second and every place in the world, especially through the institution of factory farming. For years, the very thought of it was so overwhelming that - without even realizing it - I let myself look away.
I donated to animal rescues and sanctuaries because it felt more tangible. I understood how much feed my money could buy. I could picture the immediate relief and joy of these animals.
I think the big shift for me happened when we adopted our first pig -- and later, goats and roosters. I found myself snuggling with the Outlaw Josey (Jo for short) and thinking about how unfathomably different this moment was for her than for the trillions of individuals locked up in cages, or worse, feeling no love or hope or consideration.
That's when I really made myself look. I lay on the floor, holding Jo and crying into her fur, as I scrolled through images of factory farms and read article after article. It felt like my heart was being torn out of my chest. But by the next morning, I was able to start looking at the solutions that exist to help end factory farming and minimize wild animal factories.
It turned out - there are SO MANY ways to make a difference. There are hundreds of terrific organizations making meaningful progress for animals. I am so grateful to get to support them with my time, skills, and money. And I continue doing it for animals like Jo (who never even received a name) and for humanity as a whole.
How can we hope to have a healthy culture when exploiting those who are weaker than us is an accepted fact of everyday life? When the institutionalized abuse of animals ends, we will pave the way for us to care more fully for our own species. We will make strides toward a world where mutual flourishing is normal.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking the pledge/earning to give for animals, but is unsure?
Take steps to be on the right side of history. Make it possible for yourself to look back and say, "I helped make this change possible for all animals, humans included." Don't overthink it. There are so many terrific organizations changing the world for animals, and they each play an important role in the shift we must make as a society.