The past three weeks I have been cat sitting my friend’s cat in Amsterdam. The cat never left the house and would sometimes climb onto the walls out of fear. I was not allowed to pet her because she was very fast with her teeth.
I do not blame the poor thing, because who wants to be locked inside their whole life?! The experience made me question the concept of owning a pet: what is the purpose? Why do people have pets? I assume it is to have some company. However, I find it quite selfish to have a pet solely for your own happiness.
Growing up, I was surrounded by cats, but they did go outside, just like we did. We lived in a small village and there was always something to do outside; climbing a tree, jumping over a river, or playing ‘ding dong ditch someone’. We had an amazing time and as far as I could judge, so did the cats. People and animals should not be locked inside, they belong in nature.
World Animal Day
In 1929 World Animal Day was called into existence on October fourth. It is a day that reminds us of the welfare issues animals face. However, our opinions on animal welfare are very diverse and strongly coloured by our cultures.
Last year, while I was travelling, I witnessed in horror how badly some animals are treated. As long as we do not teach children how to treat animals, the animals’ welfare will not improve in those countries.
Bad and good news
Unfortunately, there is more than enough bad news regarding animals, and it takes a lot more effort to find some good news. Despite that, I am aware of the countless pet owners that would almost give their life for their beloved pet.
In addition, I have witnessed many initiatives that provide animals in foreign countries with an opportunity for a better life. Those initiatives make me really happy!
Another thing that really lifts my spirits, and that I would like to share here, is the fact that the European Union has banned the sale of make-up products that have been tested on animals. That is amazing news so close to World Animal Day.
What can you do?
World animal day is a great moment to stop and think of what you can do to minimize animal suffering. There are many possibilities, such as buying animal friendly products, or consuming less or even no animal products, or purchasing your items from reliable sources.
Other options that you can consider are: not getting a pet if you do not have space or time, to opt for animal friendly choices when travelling, to boycott animal exploitation, to plant flowers in your garden or on your balcony in order to support our little friends the bees, and so on.
You can contribute to a better world for animals every day, which also means a better world for us.
Remember your power and enjoy World Animal Day!