Happy Valentine’s Day to my tribe! What are your plans this weekend? No matter if it’s dinner, dancing or a snuggle on the couch, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to celebrate love with your nearest and dearest (both human and animal). This day is also an opportunity for animal lovers like us to show our compassion and respect for all of earth’s creatures by celebrating in special animal-friendly ways. So before you finish up the last of your heart day shopping, consider these 10 awesome vegan Valentine’s gift ideas:
It’s a new year—which means an opportunity for new beginnings. You may have put a lot of thought into your own personal resolutions this year, like exercise more or eat less chocolate (that is definitely not one of mine!). But there are also so many ways we can all make small changes to help the world’s animals. Looking for some ideas? Here are 10 smart resolutions sure to help the animals of this world throughout 2016:
1. Support a new animal charity. You probably volunteer and send money to the same charities year after year. But new ones pop up all the time, and plenty exist out there that you’ve never even heard of—and even small individual donations can be a huge help. Spend a morning researching options and see what you find. Perhaps there’s a nonprofit in your community or a neighboring one you didn’t know about before. Or perhaps it’s a national or international charity that works hard on the causes close to your heart. So in addition to the ones you already support, choose one new favorite and map out easy and simple ways you can help out this year. By the way, do you know about my favorite charity, nearest and dearest to my heart, the Shelter Animal Reiki Association?
It’s the most wonderful time of the year … for plenty of us. But the holiday season is not a happy one for many of the world’s winter animals, which increasingly face a variety of threats, from extinction and oil spills to hunting and habitat loss. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite winter animals, along with some smart ways we can all help winter animals survive and thrive for generations to come:
Like many of the winter animals on this list, the Arctic fox is threatened by climate change, which changes the snow line and pushes them into new areas lacking prey. But they face another danger, too: the fur trade. You can help Arctic foxes and other animals used for their fur by living fur-free and just saying no to fur. PETA offers this pledge on their website; you can also tweet your support with hashtags #FurFreeFriday and #FurFreeForever. Learn more about the arctic fox here on the WWF website.
What could be more merry than shopping for holiday presents for the kids in our lives? While it’s super fun to make their holidays magical, don’t forget to balance out all that consumerism with some charitable giving—specifically, teaching children about the spirit of giving and helping those less fortunate during the holidays. With that in mind, here are five easy ways kids can help animals this holiday season:
1. Focus on their favorite animal. Does she love horses or dolphins? Does he love K-9 dogs? This is a perfect time of year to foster that love and show them how they can help the animals they love most in this world. Find a relevant sanctuary sure to interest them, then find ways to make it real and really bring the issue home. You can sponsor an animal in their name (which usually comes with photos and updates on the animal’s progress) and even plan a visit to a local rescue where they can see these animals being helped.
Can I confess something to you? I am a foodie. No, really: I love great food. Not good food, superb food! As I have transitioned my diet into a “mostly” vegan one (and gluten-free), many of my friends have said to me, “Oh good for you, but I could never do it! I just love ____ too much!” (Fill in the blank with your favorite dairy, meat or wheat-inspired food.)
I want to share with you that, yes, it takes some exploring and learning new ways to cook. And yes, it’s not always easy to find things to eat out at restaurants. But I am so blessed to live near one of the world’s yummiest cities in the world: San Francisco. Just a short drive from where I live, I have found a blissful vegan’s paradise …