ALL THINGS ANIMALS: CELEBRATING A LOVE FOR ANIMALS IN EVERYDAY LIFE

Chances are that, if you’re reading this now, you already have a pretty big interest in animals and protecting them all over the world. Perhaps you discovered your love for animals through a childhood pet, a significant life experience or maybe you’ve just always had a natural affinity with them. We are, after all, animals too!

Well, whatever the reason is that brought you here, we’d like to introduce you to some new ways to celebrate your love for the animal kingdom in everyday life. In the list below, there are loads of different ideas ranging from the fun and casual, to the dedicated and potentially life-saving. Whatever your age, ability, spare time, interest level or, most importantly, your favourite animal, we hope that you find something here that helps you honour the animal world.

HOBBIES

Picking up an animal related hobby is perhaps the easiest way to inject more animal-based fun into your life! You can go for the obvious ones like helping out at a riding stables, volunteering at an animal shelter or signing up for charity dog walking – and that’s great! But with the fast pace of modern life, these big commitments aren’t always possible for everybody. So, what are the alternatives?

As with most things these days, in this case we can turn to the internet. Classic sites like Neopets or Moshi Monsters are still going strong, where you can care for and nurture an online pet of your own. Alternatively, sites like Michael O’Mara Books have online colouring pages featuring beautiful illustrations of animals; PokerStarsCasino has plenty of animal-themed slots games available; and Etsy has hundreds of animal-based knitting patterns for you to try out at home.

VOLUNTEERING

If you are lucky enough to have the spare to dedicate to a volunteering opportunity, then there are so many ways in which you can help out animals in need. National charities like Cinnamon Trust and Dogs Trust have voluntary dog walking programmes that allow those who aren’t able to have a pet to interact with some friendly canine companions. This can be an incredibly rewarding activity for both humans and dogs alike.

Alternatively, plenty of wildlife rescue centres need help with all sorts of jobs from cleaning living areas to socialising rodents to fostering young animals. These opportunities require a variety of different skill levels, so always check with the centre in question before applying. If you fit the bill, then they’ll be more than happy to utilise your helping hands!

PET OWNERS

Many people dream of owning a pet during childhood but then are nervous about taking the plunge once they get to adulthood with a house and income of their own. In response to this, we’d say that owning a pet can bring an incredible amount of joy, comfort and stability to your life, but you need to consider whether you can also offer this to the animal in question.

If the answer is yes, then you need to carefully consider whether you want to approach a rehoming centre, a breeder or adopt/buy privately. There are literally thousands of abandoned animals out there at rescue centres or in foster homes just waiting for you to offer them their forever home. If you feel this is something that you can offer, then reach out to the organisation concerned (after thoroughly checking their credentials of course) and see if you and said animal get along! The rest, as they say, is history…

DIET & LIFESTYLE

At the beginning of each new year, the numbers signing up to complete ‘Veganuary’ increase significantly. This is indicative of the recent trend for veganism, as well as the increasing numbers of vegetarians and ‘flexitarians’ currently reassessing their dietary choices. If you’re interested in animal welfare, then why not reconsider the animal products in your diet?

This doesn’t have to mean cutting them out completely; rather, you could choose to only buy free range eggs from now on or pick up organic meat from a butcher rather than whatever’s cheapest at the supermarket. Every little helps and the focus should be on what you can do, rather than what you feel you can’t do yet. You could even go further and stop buying leather shoes; there are now plenty of good quality vegan or vegetarian options out there including from big brands like Doc Martens and Marks & Spencer.

As you’ve probably realised by now, incorporating a little more animal love into your life is as easy as pie. You’ve already got the best starting point: a genuine love for animals. The next step is to seek out more of what you enjoy, but with a new focus on how this could help, honour or simply celebrate the animal friends that we share this world with.