If you’re like most people, you like animals, even if you still eat them from time to time. Maybe you’ve thought about getting a pet but aren’t sure if one will fit into your lifestyle or if your family member will be allergic. Even if you can’t manage to introduce a pet to your home, there are still ways to connect with animals and live an animal-friendly lifestyle.
In this post, we look at ways to do just that, to live a lifestyle that looks after the welfare of animals in your local area and the ones further afield, let’s say on the plain of Africa or the jungles of India. These days it isn’t very hard to live a low impact, animal-friendly existence – here’s how.
Use cruelty-free products
You might not realise it, but many of the products you use every day for your hair, body and face are tested on animals. This means the lab has some mice, rats, or rabbits that they keep in small cages and test new products on in case they’re harmful. Not a very nice life for the animals.
Advocates of animal testing often say that it’s needed to protect people from harmful products, but that is no longer the case. Today, most of the products we use have easily been tested in the lab or with willing human subjects. The EU has strict rules about animal testing, but many places still don’t – like China.
If you were to use all cruelty-free products, protect the animals and live with a guilt-free conscience, the way to do it is to buy cruelty-free. It’s easier today than ever before. The next time you go to buy your skincare products or shower gel, look for the cruelty-free logo on the bottle.
People used to think that vegans were extreme people. It was unthinkable not to eat or use any animal products at all; apart from it being an extreme way to live, it was also difficult since so much of life and diets contain animal products. These days things are very different.
The planet is in the grip of a climate catastrophe, largely brought on by irresponsible use of fossil fuel and capitalism driving for profits. We need to put the breaks on this now, and going vegan can help. One of the most harmful greenhouse gases is methane produced by the many cows bred for the meat market.
Of course, going vegan isn’t only about the climate; it’s also an excellent way to be kind to animals. Maybe you worry about not having your favourite treats anymore, but there are loads of tasty vegan options on the menu now. Once you try them, you’ll happily give up meat for the sake of the animals.
Adopt a pet
If you love animals, you might be thinking about bringing a pet into your life. You could have a cat, a dog, or something more exotic like a reptile. But where do you go to pick one up? If you’re like most people, the first place you think of is the let shop. But that’s not always the best place to visit.
Pet shops get their animals from animal breeders. These are people who breed animals for profit, and it’s the profit they care about. To this end, animals are kept locked in small cages and transported many miles in poor conditions – many don’t make it. Unfortunately, you don’t do the animals any favours buying from pet shops.
When you buy an animal from a pet shop, you support the economy of breeders, which keeps the gears turning. A much better option is to adopt a pet from an animal shelter where they rescue animals from breeders and problem homes.
Support a charity
Sometimes people love animals and want to have a pet, but it’s just not possible. They might have an issue with the animal in the home – perhaps it claws the good furniture, or maybe there’s someone in the home that’s allergic to the fur. This is a shame, but it’s not the only way you can have a pet in your life.
There are many animal charities that need your support. They operate on the basis of donations and really appreciate some one-off money, or better still, a standing order. If you want a pet, you can even choose to support an individual animal in the care of a charity. This is a great way to have an exotic pet.
When you sign up to a charity, you receive regular updates about how your money is being spent and what animals are being looked after. Keep in touch with them and arrange to go and visit the animal for a vacation every now and then. A kind way to bring an animal into your life.
Learn about local wildlife
Another kind way to bring animals into your lifestyle is to appreciate the wildlife that’s around your neighbourhood, the way Arbtech.co.uk does. They are also your neighbours, though they don’t drive cars or love in your building. They live outside in the trees, bushes, hedgerows, ponds, and on telegraph wires. Make friends with them, and they will respond.
There is a lot of conventional wisdom around how to do this. If you feed the ducks and birds bread, for instance, they will keep coming back for more. This is not surprising; bread is like junk food to them, high in carbohydrates but low in everything else. If you feed them too much, they will get sick and poorly.
If you want to befriend the local wildlife and live harmoniously with them, you need to learn all about them. Where do they live, when are they active, what do they eat? Understanding the answers to these questions will give you a good idea of what to feed them and when. Soon you will have lots more pets than you imagined.
Learn about their needs
Different animals have different needs and requirements. As you probably know, some only eat meat while others only eat veggies. Some animals eat both, and these are called omnivores. Human beings are omnivores too. While it is usually OK to throw out leftovers for the birds, it’s better to find out what they really need.
Understanding what animals need helps you to make adjustments to their diet that supports their health and wellbeing. Your cat might keep begging for food, but is it not good for them to have more, or to have food that isn’t healthy for their systems, like biscuits. Getting your pet’s diet right can help them live longer too.
This is true of the wild animals in your garden as well as the pets you keep in your home. If possible, try to find Wholesome proper food for the wildlife that shares your local area. Nuts and seeds are good for birds. Cat and dog food works well for hedgehogs.
Make a wildlife garden
If you can’t have a pet in your home and signing up to a charity seems too distant, you might want to consider creating a wildlife garden at the back of your home. A wildlife garden is designed to appeal to the local wildlife so you can start getting to know them.
First, research the type of wildlife available in your area. You might be surprised to discover there’s more there than your first thought. Next, research what these animals eat and drink and buy in some food items. You can arrange your garden with plants and animals that appeal to your researched animals.
Making a wildlife garden like this is not only an excellent DIY project for the summer, it’s also a great way to learn and understand nature or your local wildlife and the local area. In some ways making a wildlife garden is a better way to have a pet since you get to know the local animals without much expense or effort.
Make a bird feeder
If you want to attract birds specifically, then it’s a good idea to make a bride feeder and stock it with plenty of healthy seeds and nuts. While some people might like to create a wildlife garden to attract hedgehogs, foxes, insects, and cats, a bird feeder is a much simpler idea and is focused on birds.
But that doesn’t make it any less interesting. Having a nice bird feeder attracts many species of birds that you will find a joy to watch and learn about. Depending on where you live, you will see many of the common types of birds, but with a bird feeder, you will also attract lots of rare ones too. Have your camera at the ready.
Bird feeder can be made in different ways. They can be free-standing or hanging. Usually, there is a place to put lots of delicious and healthy seeds and nuts for the birds. In many cases, you will also need a squirrel guard to prevent these cheeky rodents from snatching away all the bird food.