The first in a series highlighting seniors who are making a difference for animals.
THE POWER OF ONE
Mavis Frye of Aitkin, Minnesota, is “all fired up” about helping animals. This 75-year-old activist and member of United Seniors for Animals has started her own crusade to educate, inform and raise awareness about important issues involving animals.
Mavis’s journey into activism began two years ago after a friend gave her a copy of “In Your Face,” the biography of Last Chance for Animals Founder Chris DeRose. Mavis was apprehensive at first because she had never really delved into serious animal issues. But she had always loved animals and really wanted to help. After learning more about the abuses and cruelty that animals endure, she knew she had to act.
“I read a quote by Edwin Burke that says: ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,’” states Mavis. “I think people belie their love and concern for animals if they don’t want to hear the stories or bestir themselves to do even just a little something to help. And we can’t know what to help with if we don’t inform ourselves.”
Various issues have attracted Mavis and caused her to work even harder for animals, including vivisection, animal research, and the inhumane conditions at slaughterhouses. Aware that some people aren’t very comfortable with these topics, Mavis stresses that people have a right to know the truth. Once informed, she feels that others will be similarly inspired to take action.
For Mavis, letter writing is one way to make a difference that she is comfortable with. She tries to write two letters each day, and is encouraged by the positive responses that she often receives. “Some people think you have to go out and carry a sign actively protesting for animals,” says Mavis, “but you don’t have to do that. I’m afraid of going to jail! There are plenty of other things to do.”
Combining her activism with day-to-day activities is another way that Mavis gets the word out and helps to raise awareness. When she and her husband are at the store buying food for their four dogs, three cats, and two tanks of tropical fish, Mavis talks to other animal lovers about the animal issues she cares so much about. She also wants to establish an animal rights group and work alongside others to help animals. In fact, Mavis strongly encourages other seniors to get involved.
“You don’t have to be young and prosperous to work for animal rights,” declares Mavis. “There are a lot of things you can do right from home, such as letter writing and phone calls. I am very passionate about helping animals, and I feel honored if what I do can be an inspiration to others.”