Christmas is a wonderful time of year. It’s a chance to spend time with friends and family, to relax and enjoy the many festive treats that fill the high street. But, while all the excitement creates a buzz for us, it can be difficult for animals. The extra noise and activity can be stressful for our pets while the chocolate, turkey bones and other treats pose a danger to their health. Therefore, make sure they have space, a quiet place to hide and that the tempting treats are out of reach.
If you don’t have pets, you can still have an AnimalKind Christmas. Read on to find out how.
Think before giving pets as gifts
A pet is for life, not just for Christmas. According to investigations by the RSPCA, approximately three pets are abandoned per hour over Christmas in the UK. So, if you are thinking of welcoming one into your home, make sure you’re ready for the long-term commitment and that you have the time and money to spare.
Adopt don’t shop
There are many unwanted animals in urgent need of loving homes. So, if a pet is a welcome addition to your family, why not think about adopting rather than shopping? It’s rewarding, and your new friend will surely appreciate the comfort, love and attention.
If you are looking for a puppy, however, research breeders before you buy. Try to avoid cruel puppy farms that keep puppies in cramped cages and don’t socialise them properly. The puppies often have many health and behavioural issues, while females are also bred intensively and culled when they can no longer produce young – read more about this issue on our campaign site and in our recent blog post.
Meat from turkeys and pigs is a central part of Christmas dinner for many families. The UK consumes around 10 million turkeys over the holidays. And, in the US, a staggering 22 million are eaten over Christmas. To raise such high numbers, we breed turkeys intensively. They live in crowded conditions and can suffer from lameness because of their enforced weight gain. Their beaks may also be trimmed to prevent injury from pecking, which is a painful procedure done without anaesthetic. Pig welfare is no better, with sows generally confined to crates for prolonged periods. They are also bred intensively and slaughtered after they stop reproducing.
If you’d like to have a more animal-friendly Christmas feast, there are plenty of tasty alternatives. The internet is teaming with plant-based festive recipes that you can try out. See this blog post for more information about reasons to go vegan.
Give animal-friendly gifts
Christmas is the season for gift-giving, but how much thought do you put into your shopping? Be AnimalKind this Christmas, think about what you’re buying and purchase cruelty-free gifts. If you’re considering buying clothing, like a leather jacket or fur coat, for example, make sure it’s all faux. And, if you’re purchasing cosmetic gifts, check for the leaping bunny logo on the back of products as it indicates that no new animal tests were used in the development of the product – see our AnimalKind pages for ethical fashion and cosmetic brands.
Know of anymore ways to be AnimalKind this Christmas? Why not share them us in the comments.