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Helping Animals and the Environment

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How we treat the Earth has a direct impact on the animals of the world. This includes not only wildlife, but also companion animals and animals used in industry. Since the whole world is interrelated, if you care about animals, you also must care about the environment in order to protect them!
Did you know that an estimated 27000 to 130000 species go extinct every year? Wildlife, of course, relies on the health of our planet to survive. Although certain animals have adapted to city life, like seagulls, pigeons, and squirrels, the majority of species cannot survive in urban communities. Take monarch butterflies, for example—their only food source is milkweed. Since some people have allergies to milkweed and because it is not an attractive plant, we keep it off our lawns and out of our gardens—leaving the monarchs with nothing to eat! Not only this, but when we engage in overly-consumeristic practices like deforestation, draining lakes, and mining, the natural habitats of animals are destroyed.
Can we stop destroying the Earth, and, in doing so, save the wild species who inhabit it? Of course we can! It all starts with making small changes in our lifestyles. For example, we can start committing to using fewer resources, such as paper, water, and energy. Once we feel like we have made our own lives more eco-friendly, we can then move on to making larger-scale change. Don’t be intimidated—this can be as simple as reaching out to a friend with your own earth-saving tips, starting an environment-themed blog, or handing around nature-protection leaflets. It can also be more ambitious, like working for an environmentally-focused organization or organizing fundraisers to help the environment. Whatever you do, do something!
Our companion animals are affected by the way we treat the environment, too. Our dogs love to walk down nature trails and run through parks. If this was destroyed, or if the air became too polluted to breathe, they would not be able to go outside, and, consequently, would become very depressed. Some cities are already experiencing this, such as Delhi in India. Then there are cats. Cats who are let outside are not only harmful to bird populations, but they also are more likely to be hit by a car or abducted. Many of our other pets who we let outside to chew on the grass, like rabbits and guinea pigs, cannot go out if we use pesticides. And if we destroy any more of the environment, how are we supposed to feed our companion animals, let alone ourselves?
To halt this vicious path we are headed down, we should start by monitoring our city’s actions on parks and protected areas. If the city council wants to develop, tell them no! Circulate a petition amongst your friends, family, and neighbours, and then send it to the government representative for your area. The second thing we can do is use organic, vegetarian pet food. Now even cats can healthily follow a vegetarian diet using a new supplement called Vegecat, which provides them with the essential nutrients they need. By putting your pet on a vegetarian diet, you will be minimizing the amount of energy needed to produce their food. Also keep your cat indoors, as this will help prevent the wild bird populations from dwindling and reduce the risk of your cat being caught and sold for dissection labs. Lastly, don’t use pesticides on your lawns! They can give animals as well as humans serious health problems.
Animals used in industry include those raised for meat, milk, eggs, honey, leather, wool, and fur. The tragedy of this continues, with animals being shunted in tiny stalls and dark cages, mink being electrocuted to death so as not to damage their pelts, and new-born chicks being passed down conveyor belts—females to be egg-layers, males to be killed instantly. This also has a very negative effect on the environment—vast quantities of hay and grains are grown for livestock alone, and the animals require lots and lots of water!
The best way to help these animals is to be more Earth-friendly. Stop eating animals and their by-products, and boycott anything that has come from animals. This will greatly reduce your environmental impact. You can get started by ordering one of PETA’s Vegetarian Starter Kits, or by browsing the Internet for fun recipes!
Helping animals and helping the environment are inevitably connected at the most basic level. So why wait? Please help the animals by going more eco-friendly today. Take some of my suggestions and implement them in your daily lifestyle.
You’ll be surprised at how good it feels!



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

Light said...
Jan. 8, 2012 at 2:01 pm:
Thank you for this article Diamond. It is very well written! I wonder if you could explain the issues concerning honey production. Thanks!
 
DiamondStar replied...
Mar. 29, 2012 at 7:01 pm :

Hi Light! Sorry for not getting back to you sooner; I haven't been on TeenInk for a while.

Nowadays, the honey industry keeps the bees in an unnatural setting, which reduces the biodiversity of honeybees available for breeding. I remember reading this in a book called WorldChanging: A User's Guide to the 21st Century. Also, the queen bee is regularly killed in the hive. This is because once the queen becomes old enough, the hive splits up into two groups; one of them f... (more »)

 
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