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?
What are you up to this weekend? I’m still catching up on things, after spending last week in the UK. But I’m also kind of in the mood for a truly inspiring documentary, something life-affirming that can teach me something new. Here are a few of my favorites, which also happen to touch on very important subjects:
1. Beyond the Myth: The Truth About Pit Bulls
All dog lovers should see this film, which highlights the problem of discrimination against pit bulls, which can actually be wonderful companions. It also examines the harm done by negative media coverage and breed-specific legislation.
I recently wrote about random acts of kindness—which got me thinking, what about random acts of kindness toward the animals of this world, specifically? Here are 10 easy and inspiring ways we can all be kind to the beautiful creatures sharing our world. Remember, kindness is contagious, so pass it on …
1. Choose cruelty-free products. Each year, 100,000-200,000 animals around the world suffer and die in laboratories due to cosmetics testing. Choosing to spend your hard-earned dollars on products from compassionate companies is one small act of kindness we can all do to support the rats, bunnies and guinea pigs commonly used in testing. Use PETA’s search function on its website to determine if the products you use are animal-friendly or not and find alternatives. (LUSH, a cruelty-free business with amazing beauty products, is a favorite of mine!)
Just when I think I’ve run out of inspiring reading material, a whole new slew of authors comes out with important works of nonfiction I can’t wait to read. Here are a few new releases for animal lovers worth that coveted spot on your nightstand:
1. Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld and the Truth Beyond Blackfish by John Hargrove
In this New York Times bestseller, former orca trainer and one of the stars of Blackfish John Hargrove reveals his journey from fulfilling a childhood dream of working at SeaWorld to realizing his life’s work was morally and ethically irresponsible. The book details the lives of cetaceans held captive at SeaWorld and lays out his reasoning for why it’s time we stop treating orcas like circus animals.