The holidays are fast approaching, and I’m sure many of us are getting ready! This time of year, it’s easy to get caught up in the festivities and forget about all of the helpless and homeless animals in the world. Today I want to share a few easy ways that we can all help animals this holiday season! Here are a few of my tips!
If you can, donate some money to an animal rescue organization, or even to your local shelter. Both places will be able to use your donations to make a difference in the lives of many animals. Also, donating animal toys, blankets, food, treats, etc. is always a great idea! This will bring so much joy to animals in shelters who don’t currently have a forever home. It will help them all to feel loved, and it will also take away some of the financial burden of housing so many homeless animals — especially around the holidays.
If you can, adopt an animal from your local shelter. There are so many animals in need of a good home, so if you’re looking for a loyal friend, consider adopting!
Also, if you’re interested, consider adopting an older animal. They’re less likely to get adopted than younger animals. All animals in shelters (and on the streets) are in need of a good home, but I think it’s really special to adopt an older animal.
Finally, please don’t buy a puppy or a kitten from a breeder or pet store (the only exception is if the pet store is working with local animal shelters to get animals adopted). I’m highly against buying animals from breeders because it’s so unnecessary and, often times, there’s a lot of animal cruelty involved. Even if the breeder seems alright and the animals look happy and healthy, it’s not worth it.
While we’re on the topic of adopting, only adopt if you’re committed to loving and taking care of that animal for the rest of their life. There are so many people who adopt or buy an animal around the holidays because, at the time, they think it’s a good idea. But then once the festive season disappears and reality sets in, they decide they don’t want or can’t take care of an animal. So the animal goes back to the shelter — that is if they’re not just thrown out onto the streets — which is not right. Animals only want to be taken care of with lots of love!
If you’re not able to fully commit to adopting, consider fostering. Human interaction is so beneficial to animals. Even if you can’t keep an animal permanently, fostering them while they wait for their forever home is such a great thing to do. It will definitely make a difference to an animal!
CHOOSE VEGETARIAN/VEGAN OPTIONS
Another great and easy way to help animals is to leave turkey (and other animals) off your plate this holiday season. Choose vegetarian and vegan options! There are so many great and easy vegetarian and vegan recipes available on the Internet, so it’s easy to make those choices! I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 5 years now and, for the past few months, I’ve been working hard at choosing mostly vegan options! My attempt at becoming vegan is going pretty well so far; I would definitely say I’m heading in the right direction! Anybody that chooses vegetarian and vegan foods is helping animals!
GO FUR-FREE, LEATHER-FREE, WOOL-FREE, AND DOWN-FREE
It’s also important to be mindful of fur trim on your new winter coats. Animals who are either caught or raised for their fur suffer tremendously. It’s not worth using real fur, especially when there are so many faux-fur options available!
The down in winter coats is also many times from a cruel source. Birds have their feathers viciously ripped from their skin, which causes them a lot of pain. Try to choose down-free coats this winter!
Also, watch out for leather. I find there are a lot of people who are completely against fur but wear leather — which I don’t get. Animals raised for leather also suffer tremendously. There are a lot of leather alternatives available.
And finally, please also be mindful of wool. People are often unaware of the cruelty involved in the wool industry. You would think that sheep wouldn’t have to get hurt, considering you only have to shear their wool. The reason is that many sheep who are used for wool live on factory wool farms. And because quotas have to be met, many times animals get injured and many actually die.
Another great way to help animals is to volunteer if you have time, and if you’re interested. You can volunteer at your local shelter, with a local animal rights organization or group, or even handing out animal rights information brochures on the streets is a good idea. Whatever you can do to assist will help animals.
AND DON’T FORGET…
Always remember to show your own pets lots of love! They love you with all of their hearts, so don’t forget them this holiday!