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Make animal welfare the focus of your NEw years resolutions 

Together, we can make the world wonderful #LiveKinder.


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Living a life making compassionate animal welfare choices is not always easy. It is however worth your while, because a series of good choices can lead to a life that makes a big difference.

To change things around for yourself, friends, the planet, and animal welfare, will however not only need a list of strong new year’s resolutions – it will take actions! So, we suggest you put a #LiveKinder action plan together!

Compassion, in which ethics takes root, does not assume its true proportions until it embraces not only man but every living being. – Albert Schweitzer, 1952 Nobel Peace Prize speech.

NEW YEARS RESolutions 

  • #EatKinder

If you want to be kinder to animals and the planet, you need to know where your food comes from. The animals we traditionally farm for food and the way they are farmed, need a rethink. FOUR PAWS has a rule of thumb to put such a lifestyle in place. It is called the 3Rs principle: Reduce, Refine and Replace. These refer to keeping to the most animal-friendly diet by reducing animal products, refining choices to better welfare products and replacing animal products with plant-based alternatives.

Doing research about what you eat, how it is prepared and where it originates from, is a good way to start the new year in a healthier way. Think about what is on your plate and ask yourself if it synchronises with your values.

Action plan: Declare an animal-product free day once a week. If this comes easy, move on to doing this a few times a week, and before you know it you will be living kinder to animals by following a plant-based, vegetarian or even vegan lifestyle.

  • #LiveKinder for pets 

No two pets or pet owners are the same, but a few golden guidelines can help you to put a new action plan together to be kinder to your pets. Pets need companionship, warmth, and unconditional love.

First off, be careful of the times you need to leave them alone. Perhaps break it up with a short visit in between, ask a friend, family member or neighbour to pop in and heck on them, or leave them with enough enrichment to keep them busy. A good idea is also to tire them out with a good walk or ample playtime before they need to spend a few hours or a day alone.

When you are at home, be sure to play with them and have toys for enrichment activities. Sticking to an exercise routine, can release energy and prevent negative behavioural issues.

Action plan: When pets are sick, it is your responsibility to help them and ensure they get healthy again. Prevention is better (and cheaper) than cure. See to spaying and neutering your pet, vaccinate on time, protect against the basics like ticks and fleas, and make sure you provide them with healthy and nutritious food.

  • #LiveKinder towards wildlife

Wild animals are not pets, nor toys. These animals are difficult to care for and captivity can make them suffer. We do not need more animals in captivity that look at humans for their survival.

Keeping, breeding, and encouraging wild animals to be kept as domestic animals is cruel. Keeping them in environments that cannot give them what they need to be happy and healthy, can impact their welfare negatively. They belong in their natural habitats.

Action plan: If you are living in an urban area, treat wild animals such as birds, squirrels, baboons and more with respect by not encroaching on their habitat.

  • #TravelKind

A new trend is the ‘slow travel’ trend. This new way of traveling is not only good for animal welfare but also good for the environment. This is the sort of travel where you are more aware of the journey than the destination, where you think about your travel choices and how to keep them focused on not inflicting harm on animals.

For these types of travellers, it is important to have an ethical and compassionate vision while travelling. Our #TravelKind resolution fits in perfectly with this - #TravelKind is a movement to ensure you can enjoy all the world has to offer, without contributing to animal cruelty.

Click here for our #TravelKind Guide and create your own cruelty free travel plan.

Action plan: Enjoy animals in the wild where they belong and support companies that offer ecotourism trips or non-invasive photo safaris. Avoid destinations that offer trips that include interactions like touching, walking with, or taking photos with wild animals.

  • #WearItKind

This year, make it a resolution to plan your wardrobe differently by being wide-awake when it comes to the materials as well as methods used in the production of clothing. Animal welfare is compromised by companies producing clothes without a thought to the animal materials used in the production.

You can do it differently this year by sticking to a few rules when choosing clothes and shoes to build a cruelty-free wardrobe. Stick to clothing, accessories and home décor that is fur, leather, feather and pure wool-free.

Action plan: Look for materials that are animal product free when choosing accessories, like durable bamboo and hardwood handbags sourced from sustainable timber from accredited suppliers.

  • #LiveKinder while shopping

FOUR PAWS is a beneficiary of the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet giving programme. The beauty of this programme is that it will cost you nothing to get a card, and nothing to use, yet every time you swipe, we will receive some much-needed funds. Apply for a free MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card and add FOUR PAWS as a beneficiary or link your WOOLWORTHS card. Existing supporters can also split their current beneficiary and share the love, and points, with us.

Action plan: Head to our website now:

  • #LiveKinder for the environment

Living in an urban life often prohibits us from truly benefitting from any exposure to nature. Yet, it should not keep us from being kind to the natural world that is close to us. You do not only need to plant a tree or a seed to be kind to nature. An act of kindness can be something like not using single-use plastic. This matters in an urban environment because it can prevent animals like strays from not eating plastics and choking on them. While plastic does not decompose easily, it does break down into tiny pieces, known as microplastics. Microplastic pollution can be consumed by aquatic life and affect the health of marine animals.

Action plan: Be on the lookout for plastic clean-up projects in your neighbourhood, nearest beach or river area, or forest or park, and join in to ensure no animals are harmed by plastic pollution.

Elize Parker_ZA Press Officer

Elize Parker

Public Relations Officer

Elize is a former environmental journalist who specialised in the writing of wildlifecrime and endangered species. She was also a columnist for seven years with a weekly magazine and has a popular column on a foremost portal. She has published more than 40 book titles ranging from fiction to motivational books.

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