I feed birds, cheer for my neighborhood fox and smile when I spot cats on the prowl in my backyard. That behavior, I'd like to think, is relatively normal. What strikes me as strange, however, is the intense devotion people have to the area's many animal advocate groups. A disproportionate number of benefit events, including this "doggy trick-or-treat" fundraiser, raise money for animal shelters. A tremendous amount of energy has been invested in the anti-"puppy mill" initiative on the ballot in Missouri. I'm reluctant to pick on nice people attempting to do nice things, but I'm still compelled to question our society's priorities.