Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to a man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. Many people only seem to care about their pets or the animals that they like, but if we can see more than our individual selves then we can see the vast number of creatures who are suffering all over the world.
Remember that you have a choice- to help or not to help, and that is a real power. If you realize this, then it will be easier for you to empathize with other beings and take action. The right thoughts lead to the right actions.
Animals and pets play a huge part in our existence. I’m not a farmer. It is not my place to talk about the welfare of cattle or sheep. I do know a little about domestic animals such as cats and dogs.
“Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to a man”. That quote, attributed to the 14th Dalai Lama gives us some guidance about how we can help animals that are in distress.
8 ways you can make a difference
1. Donate to your local animal shelter or rescue group.
Donating to your local animal shelter is an easy way to protect animals and make a difference in your community. Many people don’t realize that there are many animals in shelters waiting for a second chance to find a home, just like the abandoned pets that people bring into shelters. The shelter environment is often very stressful, depressing, and crowded for the animals who are kept confined for weeks or months before being euthanized if they haven’t found homes.
2. Adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue group
Adopting a pet is easy. Not only will you save an animal’s life, but you’ll get to know your new companion in no time! Most pets are already spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped.
3. Volunteer at your local shelter
Want to know what it’s like to be a dog walker? How about a cat cuddler? Volunteering is a great way to get these hands-on experiences and know firsthand how you’re making a difference in your community.
4. Stop supporting indiscriminate breeding!
There are already millions of pets in shelters who need homes, while many people are buying more and more animals every year. Puppy mills continue to exist because they make money for breeders, but the suffering of the dogs in puppy mills is hidden from view by people who claim that they are providing a valuable service.
5. Sponsor an animal in need through an animal welfare organization
There are many ways you can help animals. One easy way to start is by sponsoring an animal through a program run by your local humane society. In the UK, the RSPCA runs one of the largest national sponsorship programs, where you can sponsor a dog or even an entire kennel full of dogs.
6. Educate yourself and others about the issues animals face every day.
I’m a big animal lover, but they’re not always treated well by humans. Let’s all get educated on the issues and make sure we’re doing our part to help. One of the first things you can do to help animals is to educate yourself. Once you’re informed, there are many ways to get involved; from signing petitions and donating money, to volunteering and working at a shelter or sanctuary. You can start with something as simple as letter writing.
7. Make a difference in the life of one animal, and know that you are helping to make the world a kinder place for all.
You don’t have to save a whole species in order to make a difference. You can make a difference in the life of one homeless animal by volunteering at your local shelter. Do you have time to sit and watch TV? Guess what else you also have time to do…
8. Pets save your life every day.
Activity and companionship help with heart health, relieve stress and anxiety, reduce blood pressure, and strengthen the immune system. Being more active does help us live longer and healthier lives, so let’s get active with our pets in healthy ways! But you can also go beyond these essentials. Your pet is worth more than just love and the occasional walk around the block. Pets are part of us in every way possible, which means they can help with some things that might not be so obvious.
Being responsible for the health and welfare of an animal gives us purpose. It gives us a sense of responsibility and it also comes back to help us too. What goes around, comes around. How many times have you helped someone and felt good about it? The same applies to pets and other animals too. They may not be able to speak and explain their gratitude in words. I believe that animals can communicate with us through their actions. A loyal and loving animal will want to be sociable and spend time with you.
As a child, my family had a dog, and during those difficult times when my parents were going through the argumentative stages of their divorce, I had the company of a big furry Chow-Chow. He couldn’t offer me advice or guidance but he was there to be a caring considerate and loving companion. We both found places to hide when we needed to escape the uncertainty of what was happening around us.
He got fed and had shelter. As did I. I think we recognised that we both needed to feel safe too. For that feeling of security and comfort provided by that wonderful animal, I am truly grateful.
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All the best,
Matt The Happy Human