Each of us may have our own idea of what it means to be kind to animals, whether it's showing respect for other living creatures, or becoming involved in helping to protect animals and making sure they are not mistreated. This is a good week to fill your bird feeder and make sure the water in the bird bath is clean. Or plant a bush that attracts butterflies. Or just spend some extra quality time with your own furry buddy!
In 1915, the American Humane Association initiated the first Be Kind to Animals Week to encourage everyone to unite behind a campaign of compassion for animals. It is still celebrated every year during the first full week of May, and more than a century after it began it is the longest running observance of its kind.
On the website Kindness100.org, you can electronically sign a pledge to do four specific things: buy humanely raised products, including eggs, meat and dairy products; protect all the Earth’s animals through conservation efforts; protect the thousands of animal actors who entertain us every year by looking for the AHA assurance that no animals were harmed in the production; and adopting our next pet from a shelter, not a pet shop.
Another way to celebrate Be Kind to Animals Week is to start with your own pet. Your furry buddy may not think you’re being kind when you take it to the veterinarian for a check-up but regular medical care and vaccinations will help to protect it and keep it healthy and happy.
If you see an animal that you believe is being mistreated or neglected, report it. Studies have shown that humans who harm animals often abuse children and even adults. In addition to protecting the animal, reporting abuse may also protect a human.
Show some love for homeless animals in your community by helping the pets at your local shelter or rescue group. Contribute food or supplies. Or volunteer your time to walk the dogs or play with the cats; it improves their outlook and attitude and makes them better candidates for adoption.
As Be Kind to Animals Week begins tomorrow, one of the best ways you can show kindness and compassion is to have your own pet neutered or spayed, to prevent yet another litter of puppies of kittens, and help to stem the tragic problem of pet overpopulation.
Be Kind To Animals Week reminds all of us that genuine kindness is not just an action; it’s an attitude, that comes from the heart – which seems very appropriate, when you’re speaking of pets.