The truth about animal sentience—and why it matters

Though a majority of scientists today agree that animals are sentient, that hasn’t stopped outmoded beliefs from persisting. This editorial published by Psychology Today claimed (in basic terms) that animals don’t speak, laugh, cry, think, get depressed, fall in love or have spiritual experiences. (We’ve all met people like this; the essayist isn’t alone in his beliefs.) Luckily, a few weeks later, Mark Beckoff—author, scientist and behavioral ecologist—followed up with his own essay, knocking down each one of these misguided statements.

Why do so many people continue to discount the worth of an animal’s life? Perhaps because “going there”—where your food come from, where your makeup, handbags and fancy leather couches originate—is too painful and awkward to face. But the truth about animal sentience is out there for those who will listen:

12 healthy habits from animals you need to emulate

As caregivers for our animals, we work hard to keep them healthy—with vet visits, healthy food, regular brushings and the like. But sometimes we forget that they, too, can show us important ways to stay healthy and happy every day. Here are 12 animal habits you need to emulate:

1. Exercise each day. Animals are masters at sitting around and chilling (see #2), but they also find joy in keeping their heart rates up. Hamsters run in their wheels, cats tear through the house like buffalos, and dogs bring their leash to you in their mouth. They remind us that exercise isn’t just healthy, but it can be fun, too.

10 fun ways to spread happiness to animals

Tomorrow is April 22—and millions of people worldwide will come together to celebrate Earth Day, the annual event born in 1970 to highlight support for important environmental causes. Will you be celebrating? You can do a Google search to find local Earth Day events near you, or even search this map on the official Earth Day website for ideas.

Since we share our planet with animals, I’m going to celebrate Earth Day tomorrow by spreading happiness to animals. How am I going to accomplish that, you may ask? Here are 10 fun ways:

How to go green with your dog this Earth Day

This Friday marks the 46th annual Earth Day—but as lovers of animals and the environment know, every day can (and should) be Earth Day. That’s because every single day we make small decisions about which products to use, whether or not to recycle something, whether we should buy local or not, and so on. And day after day, these seemingly small decisions add up—big time. Sure, living green is a conscious effort, but as you’ll see below, it doesn’t have to be a difficult one.

If you share your life with dogs, check out the following 14 easy and inspiring ways both you and your pooch can go green, every single day. (If you’re more of a cat person, keep in mind that a lot of these tips will work for you, too!) From donating unused products to shelters and buying in bulk to choosing organic food for your favorite furry friend, we’ve got you covered with easy tips and tricks for living greener and smarter. (A big thank you to our friends at Ultimate Home Life for sharing this fun and inspiring infographic with us!)

10 alarming statistics about animals—and how to help

Animals today face a host of threats—to their habitats, their health, their very survival. And unfortunately, most of the problems they face are the direct result of decisions made by humankind. But even though facts such as the ones listed below can be alarming, they are also opportunities for change—and reminders that it’s not too late for us to fix things. Here are 10 such statistics, along with tips for what we can do to make things right:

7.6 million animals enter shelters each year. And every year, about 2.7 million cats and dogs are euthanized. (Source: ASPCA)