Our OneKind volunteer Grayson Black is keen to see animal-friendly celebrations this festive season. We’re delighted to be featuring his guide to having a kinder, cruelty-free Christmas …
The holidays can be a joyous, but sometimes strenuous time, especially when trying to navigate ethical consumerism. We at OneKind would like to help you navigate the Yuletide hustle and bustle by giving some examples of the ways we can create a kinder Christmas.
One (big) kind family
New furry family members are bound to make an appearance in numerous households this year; what an exciting prospect! If you would like to add a pet to your family this year, please adopt a rescue animal from your local animal shelter. Animals advertised for sale online may likely be from a puppy and kitten farm, where animals live in squalor and may suffer from a range of health and welfare issues, as their intrinsic worth is ignored for personal profit. There are so many animals in rescue centres waiting to join a loving family!
Additionally, while puppies or kittens are surely adorable, adopting an older canine or feline that does not yet have their forever home can still be the perfect union.
Don’t kill them with kindness
Please remember, giving your pets a place in your home does not mean a place at the table. Feeding them leftovers often have unintended harmful consequences, as many types of food that humans eat are poisonous to animals.
Kindness on your table …
While dishes including turkey, pig or salmon may be a holiday staple in your household, we would invite you to have fun in creating your own meat and dairy analogues. Alternative vegan products such as mock salmon are delicious and are exciting ways to get the entire family involved in the culinary festivities! Creating new, positive traditions centred around a plant-based harvest can endure for generations to come. Not convinced? Take a look at our blog post: 5 reasons to leave salmon off your plate this Christmas.
… and kindness in your clothes rack!
Kindness can extend much further than just your plate too! When shopping this year, make sure to check if fur-trimmed or leather-lined clothes and accessories are faux! Unfortunately, some high street retailers may disguise advertise real fur as fake, and oftentimes, this fur is not the fur that it is supposed to be mimicking. Dog and cat fur is regularly substituted and then imported for our procurement. Although avoiding fake fur will certainly prevent the problem, taking a page from Santa’s book and checking it twice is best.
Along with Christmas markets and shopping excursions, reindeer petting zoos may excite and entice a little one. Unfortunately, these petting displays and photo opportunities have major ramifications for these symbolic ruminants. Along with being forced out of their natural habitat, they are treated like props, and not living beings that need rest, play and, socialisation (along with natural feeding and drinking routines).
In addition to other festive activities, heralding in the New Year with pyrotechnics can be fun for many. Nonetheless, fireworks cause air pollution and leave toxic debris and harmful chemicals in the air for hours and days. Wildlife is also affected by the loud noises emitted, often disorienting and frightening them. These noises may also disturb pets, so, if you still would like to watch fireworks, we recommend only attending organised firework displays.
While these ways are a great way to get started, we encourage you to have fun this holiday season. Search for and create ways in which to promote kindness for human and non-human animals! We wish you and those dear to you a delightful month of December.