While some annual events seem limited (do we really want to promote only cat adoptions during “Adopt a Cat” Month?), they can help focus the attention of the media and the public on messages of compassion for animals. I’m therefore throwing out my own top five things to do to honor “Be Kind to Animals” Week, which has been celebrated during the first week in May ever since 1915. Are there actions that you are taking that are not on my list?
1) Be sure that your children’s or grandchildren’s school or your local public library knows about the many free resources available at TeachKind.org. Set a goal of asking one teacher to request a TeachKind starter pack so that he or she can consider how kindness might be incorporated into lesson plans, or your goal might be to get one librarian to agree to your request that he or she order a free copy of Ingrid E. Newkirk’s great book Making Kind Choices. The book and the pack are free, so what do they have to lose?
2) Take the 30-day Pledge to Be Veg, or if you’re already vegan, convince one coworker, friend, or relative to take the pledge. PETA often hears that those 30 days have turned into a lifetime commitment to a healthy and humane diet, so really push this for the benefit of the billions of individual animals who will suffer and die in the food industry in the next year. You could make your pitch over a dinner that you host using recipes at VegCooking.com.
3) Promote shelter adoptions or spay-neuter legislation, get your neighbor to unchain his or her dog, or otherwise act for cats and dogs with the resources available here.
4) Contact your local television stations and try to get them to run a PETA public service announcement (PSA) for free. Choose the one that means the most to you or one that you think relates to current issues in your community. See the PSAs and find out how to contact PETA for help here.
5) Create a free True Friends memorial for a companion animal you knew or a person who cared about animals, then e-mail the link to your family and friends and ask for a gift to help animals using the tips. You can create your memorial here.
What do you think is the best thing that people can do during this “Be Kind to Animals” Week?
Make your time with your friends and family—including your animal companions—even more meaningful.