Listed below are simple things we can all do to improve the quality of our own lives, helping animals and our environment:
1. Be a voice for the voiceless; speak out against any injustice to animals you encounter.
2. Recycle: when choosing packaged goods, choose those with little or no plastic wrap.
3. Pick up litter wherever you go, especially in or near water, where litter can easily end up around the neck of a bird or embedded in a wing.
4. Do not spray pesticides and chemicals on lawns. Do not use bug zappers; they kill harmless insects that are food for birds, bats, etc.
5. Garden for wildlife, plant perennial gardens instead of grass. They attract birds, bees, and butterflies.
6. Feed local birds. Remember in the winter to continue feeding as they will depend on you as a source of food. Feed until late spring.
7. Keep your cat indoors. Vulnerable native birds are prey. Estimates say as many as five hundred million birds are lost each year to cats in North America. The rising population of feral cats increases the loss of birds and small mammals per year to about 3 billion.
8. Adopt a pet, or donate your time or money to a shelter or animal sanctuary. Do not support puppy mills, or breeders, when millions ofdogs and cats at shelters need homes. Euthanasia of often healthy, unwanted dogs and cats under the age of two years of age in the US is the number one cause of death – about 4 million dogs and cats per year.
9. Plant trees. One tree can soak up as much as forty-eight pounds of carbon dioxide in one year and produce enough oxygen to sustain two human beings for life.
10. Drive slowly and when driving or walking if you see an animal lost, in distress, or wounded, stop and help – do not assume someone else will. Learn in advance which facilities in your area help animals in distress. If you rescue an animal you will know where to go.
11. We can become wildlife helpers when we join forces with other people. Everywhere I go, I meet individuals who work tirelessly in their communities to help animals – seek them out and help any way you can.
12. Eat less (or no) meat. Read the book Dominion by Matthew Scully. If you eat meat, take a moment before each meal to honor the being who gave his or her life for you.
Dr. Linda Bender has worked for over 14 years as a doctor of veterinarian medicine, often from the front lines and in the trenches, around the world to rescue wildlife while advocating for endangered species and their habitats. She also started one of the first Pet Therapy programs in Cincinnati as part of their state mental health program. She has now dedicated her life to educating and advocating on behalf of animals around the globe. She has become a leading voice for those who are voiceless. She is founder of the non-profit charity From the Heart and author of the book Animal Wisdom: Learning from the Spiritual Lives of Animals. Her work has been endorsed by Dr. Jane Goodall, Deepak Chopra , Rupert Sheldrake and many more.