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Doing a Little for Our Little Friends
Across the political spectrum, if there is one thing to be agreed upon, it might be that the world is a tough place and does not reflect the type of place in which we wish we lived. If you are anything like I am, that stark reality can be a major contributing factor to feeling down and overwhelmed.
I have found that it is the little things that help me fight back against the oncoming depression and darkness. Indeed, it is the small acts and the small creatures that bring a lot of light into my life.
We cannot change everything overnight, but we can change how we engage with the world on a daily basis. If we take direct action to change our own environments, we are doing something tangible and something empowering.
Direct action is a concept heavily associated with anarchism, but you do not have to be an anarchist to benefit from the practice.
Managing to do small things for small creatures allows a sense of satisfaction and interaction that is vital for my mental health. Certainly not everyone is wired the same, but it is worth a shot.
If you have companion animals, then taking care of their basic needs is a requirement, but one that you should feel good about. Getting your animal friends the proper shots and medicine, having them spayed or neutered, and making sure they are fed, watered, walked, and bathed will help make you and your animal friend healthier and happier. A dog with fleas is an unhappy creature indeed, and so is a household with fleas.
Taking care of a companion animal, however, is a pretty big responsibility. One that not everyone can or should attempt, depending on where they are in their lives.
Have no fear; there are a plethora of ways to do a little something for an animal that won't break the bank or stress you out.
If your neighborhood is like mine, you might have lots of stray cats. There are many levels of ways you can help stray cats. Probably the simplest is to leave cat food out for them. They will appreciate it, and over time you can develop a front yard full of the witchy babies.
Another thing you can do for stray cats is build them little houses for the winter. I found some articles online about the construction of the cat houses, and I built four. It was really rewarding to watch Darkness, one of my black yard kitties, stretching and walking out of his house in the mornings. My roommate is also growing some catnip that we can put in the yard for the local strays to enjoy.
With a higher level of involvement you can also help to get stray animals spayed and neutered. Contact your local animal control or SPCA to find out if they have any programs in need of volunteers. Luckily for me, all my strays had the docked ear that is a sign of having been fixed.
When you see a stray dog, if it seems safe, take the time to stop and try to get it home. I was riding my bike to work a few months ago and saw an older black lab on the sidewalk. I biked past, then chastised myself and turned around. I was able to get the address from the dog's tag and walked him back home. If I had just gone to work I would have been feeling that guilt and worry for the rest of the day. And if my dogs were ever out, I would certainly hope that someone would help keep them from getting hit by a car.
Birds are a whole other set of amazing creatures you can help. You can build or put up bird houses, feed the birds by making them peanut butter and bird seed pine cones, etc. Then you can also have the joy of watching birds outside of your window. You could even plant berry bushes of the variety that birds crave if you have the space (although you might end up competing with the birds for those fresh local berries!)
Some of our very smallest friends, like honey bees, also need help to make it in this world. Bee populations have been plummeting in recent years, most likely due to pesticide use. If you can keep your own bee hives, that helps, but if not, you can still be of tremendous help by not using pesticides and by planting certain plants.
I want to see a world where dogs and cats and birds and bees and all other animals are taken care of and not ignored. So I do what I can to feed them and keep them safe, even the ones who do not live in my house.
Making a small routine, like tending your plants for bees or feeding some feral cats, helps stabilize your mental and emotional well-being and bring positivity into your life. Over time animals will begin to trust you and show affection. And you can always feel like you have done something meaningful each day if you start it off with a small act of kindness.
We create the world we want to see every single day. We just do not always take the time and brain power to really be conscious about what we are creating. Our behavior fashions our reality. Fashion a better reality through small acts for small creatures.
#Otherworldly #Imaginative #AnimalRights #AnimalCruelty #KindnessToAnimals #SaveBees #FeralCats #DoGood