The Chasm Between Belief & Reality
Ever find yourself thinking one way but behaving another? If you answered “no,” my question then is: how do you know? I think of myself as a healthy eater – so when my doc asked me recently to keep a log of everything I ate for one week, I was pretty shocked. And my shock turned to dismay as she took my list of foods and analyzed the sugar, carb and fat content. Then my dismay started verging on horror when I started thinking that if I was so sure I ate a good diet and I’ve been living this delusion…what of my other “truths” are false?
At least I can take some comfort in knowing that I’m not alone in my delusional thinking. When beliefs and behavior don’t mesh…our beliefs often win out. Take, for example, the fact that a majority of Americans are concerned about the environment, but fail to act in ways that will protect and preserve the environment. The environmental movement has been battling with this disconnect – coined the “value-action gap” – for some time, and one thing they’ve discovered is the importance of identifying and eliminating the barriers to acting pro-environment.
Perhaps we’re facing a similar disconnect when it comes to pet adoption. In the recently released Hartz Pet Trend Report, we learn that 60% of respondents said they’d prefer to adopt their next pet from a rescue society. But according to the latest American Pet Products Association (APPA) research, corroborated by the 2009 Pet Smart Charities survey, only about 24% of owned pets are actually acquired through adoption.
Determined to find the bright side here, maybe the Hartz data is an indicator that we’re making headway on making adoption both a known option and a socially acceptable one. If that’s the case, perhaps we would do well to learn from our friends in the trenches for the environment and begin identifying and tearing down the perceived barriers to adoption. In other words, maybe we need to make it easier for people to behave the way they believe when it comes to acquiring new pets.
I have some ideas on what those barriers are, but since my recent diet analysis…I’m experiencing a healthy lack of faith in my “beliefs.” So you tell me: What have you identified as barriers to adopting at your agency? And what are you doing about it?
Tags: Shelter Management