Abbie, a commenter on a previous post, asked how to help animals. We all have so many choices! I am going to list as many as I can think of right now; if you have more to add, please post them as a comment.
- When you adopt animals, as much as possible, adopt them from shelters or rescue societies. That way, you are helping to provide homes for animals that might not otherwise find one.
- If you have the funds, donate to no-kill animal shelters, or to a local animal rescue society.
- If you have the time, volunteer to help with a local shelter or animal rescue society. You only have to contribute as much time as you wish. But even if that is only two hours a week, that is two hours more of help a week than they would otherwise get.
- Be aware of the conditions under which food animals live. For instance, most chickens being raised to produce eggs, even ones that are raised “free range,” are de-beaked. There is a growing movement toward small chicken ranches on which the animals are well taken care of and are not de-beaked. The eggs will be more expensive from such places, but isn’t it worth it? Likewise, if you eat meat, buy organically raised meat only, or do without. (I do eat meat, but tend to eat vegetarian when I dine out, because I don’t know what those animals might have gone through or whether they have hormones and antibiotics in them.)
- It may not seem directly related, but if you have a yard, go organic. Your own cats and dogs, as well as those of your neigbors, and all kinds of helpful wildlife will thank you. I’ve had my cats come home sick because they had obviously been exposed to some kind of pesticide or herbicidal spray at a neighbor’s house. Pesticides and herbicides are poison, plain and simple, and you do not need them. Pull weeds by hand. Once your garden is alive again, the beneficial insects, who will eat the pests, will move right in. Even fertlizers kill the helpful microorganisms and worms in the soil. If you use compost and mulch, and encourage clover to grow in your lawn, you will find you don’t need it. With one exception, my yard has been completely organic—no sprays, no pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or fertlizers of any kind. Within a year of implementing that policy, the hummingbirds started showing up. Within two years, I had earthworms in my soil again. After I build a large, low, non-mortar stone planting area, the lizards moved in. (The exception? My gardener used a weed-‘n’-feed type product in one area of my lawn strictly against my “no chemicals” policy, And we believe that our beloved cat, Rose, died as a result. She started coughing right after he applied it, and our local vet just could not figure out what was ailing her. She died a few months later, and we are still grieving for her.)
- Reduce your purchases of leather items (shoes, purses, coats, and for example), and never buy items made with genuine fur. There should be no reason for them. You might consider not buying even fake (faux) fur, as even that can give the idea that wearing fur is okay.