Mike and Thulani

#LiveKinder-Change the picture by being kind

World Kindness Day is celebrated today – how can showing kindness to animals change the picture for yourself, animal welfare and the planet? 


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Kindness is a fundamental part of the human condition which bridges divides.

However, if you want to make it sustainable and a part of your own personality, the character of your family and the heart of your community, it is necessary for kindness to be a genuine conviction of the heart.

To #LiveKinder we need to make better choices to transform our values and the world around us.

Transformation is never an easy task. So, how do we change the picture to transform the world for the better for ourselves, our planet, and the species we share it with?

It might start by choosing to change habits and getting out of our comfort zones, by consistently making kinder choices and replacing old habits with new ones. It is also about leaving inherited ways of thinking and in some cases even our traditional way of living behind, questioning norms to find and form our own.

But this takes innovative thoughts to form your own new #LiveKinder code of living.

Like author Anthony Douglas Williams wrote: “Kindness is not an act. It is a lifestyle.”

An effective way to reset your mindset is to ask yourself: How does the choice I am about to make impact on animals?

These #LiveKinder choices can help you build that new outlook, choice by choice:

  • Choose to be a kinder consumer:  Only put cruelty free products on your shopping list:

* Do research to formulate your own list of companies producing what you need in a compassionate way. Determine if the products are animal-friendly and if not, find alternatives.

* If plant-based cooking still leaves you confused or scratching your head, join a recipe exchange that circulates plant-based recipes and tips to change your menu one meatless meal at a time.

* When it comes to buying clothes, join the trend of buying vintage, pre-loved clothing and shoes, or clothes from recycled materials. Rather rent an outfit for a fancy evening out, rotate clothes or jewellery between friends by holding clothing exchange parties or shop online for vintage clothes if there is not a shop nearby. Especially say no to fast fashion that use animal-cruel materials like leather, down or mulesed wool.

“It takes nothing away from a human to be kind to an animal” - Joaquin Phoenix

  • Choose to be a kinder animal welfare neighbour:

* If you are unable to adopt an animal from a shelter, choose to foster an animal for a period. This will help your local shelter in freeing up space for other animals and assist animals in becoming more adoptable.

* If you are unable to care for an animal, pledge some enrichment activities to a neighbour by cat- or dog sitting, walking a dog or a gift of a pet toy.

* Help fight compassion fatigue:  People working in the front lines helping animals are often tired because of a lack of resources, also on a personal level. Boost their team morale by dropping off a personalised goody bag with a thank-you card at a nearby shelter. If this is not possible, donate your time as a volunteer to help overworked staff.

“As custodians of the planet it is our responsibility to deal with all species with kindness, love, and compassion. That these animals suffer through human cruelty is beyond understanding. Please help to stop this madness” - Richard Gere

  • Choose to be kind to wildlife wherever you are:

* On holiday: Say no to entertainment and tourism options that exploit wildlife and #TravelKind. Only visit True Sanctuaries for rescued animals such as LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary, by doing research beforehand about the way they treat animals, where the animals come from and more.

* Report wildlife abuse: Keep numbers of local animal welfare organisation with wildlife units on speed dial so you can make that call when necessary.

“Wherever there are wild animals in the world, there is always an opportunity for caring, compassion and kindness” - Paul Oxton

  • Choose to support causes that spread kindness to animals:

* Hold an innovative fundraiser for your favourite animal charity like an animal art festival, designing a pet calendar with handy animal care hints or a dog washing session at a popular dog park.

* Sponsor a pet of a friend who are having financial difficulties or sponsor a sterilisation at an organisation who takes care of feral cats in your neighbourhood.

* Collect a wish list from an animal welfare organisations and get friends and family to donate items on the list like clean sheets, wash cloths and towels as well as items that can be bought like sanitiser wipes and paper towels.

“If we're destroying our trees and destroying our environment and hurting animals and hurting one another and all that stuff, there's got to be a very powerful energy to fight that. I think we need more love in the world. We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that” - Ellen DeGeneres

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