Preparing Your Home for a Pet

Animal Rights, Suzanne Grandt

Are you thinking of adopting a pet? They are a source of endless love and can bring cheer to any home. Some things should be taken into account, however, before you bring a pet into your house.

Space

How big is your house? It’s important to choose the right animal for the size of your home. A Mastiff won’t be happy in a tiny apartment. There are plenty of little dog breeds to choose from if your apartment is small. Or, if your residence doesn’t allow for animals that surpass a certain weight or size limit, you may want to opt for a cat, bird, or fish. 

Finances

Do you have the money to feed and take care of a dog or cat? Remember, they’ll need visits to the veterinarian as well as plenty of toys and treats. When considering a new pet, keep in mind that you’ll have to rearrange your budget for it.

Allergies

If anyone in your family has an allergy to dogs or cats, you might want to look for a hairless breed. That way no one will have to suffer because of their furry friend. We want everybody to be comfortable in their home.

Clutter

Do you have a cluttered home? Animals, when bored, are notorious for chewing on shoes and books left on the ground. If you want to keep your items safe from your pet, make sure they’re organized and out of reach before you bring your new friend home.

Read the full article at SuzanneGrandt.org.

Author and Activist Spotlight: Roxane Gay

Author and Activist Spotlight, Suzanne Grandt

Roxane Gay is one of the most influential and dynamic writers in America today. She’s known for her personal essays as much as she is for her academic work at universities like Purdue. Gay’s life story is also a great illustration of the American Dream, and evidence that it can still work.

Born in Nebraska, Roxane Gay’s parents immigrated to the United States from Haiti. Her father’s work meant that they moved often. An intense girl, Roxane Gay sometimes alienated her schoolmates. However, Gay never let that stop her. She’s unapologetically competitive about everything from her career to games of Scrabble. Even she has had to take a step back at times, though. The most notable example of that is the time Gay left college for a year in Arizona.

These days, Gay has more self-awareness and manages her feelings better. One way she does that is by letting the public in. Gay acknowledges her low self-esteem. She has struggled with her weight. Even though she’s a precise writer and incredibly well-educated, she is a relatable figure for women of all backgrounds. She’s made it a point to challenge her negative feelings about herself and her appearance, even becoming a prominent activist for beauty at all sizes.

Read the full article at SuzanneGrandt.com.

How Wildfires Impact Wildlife

Animal Rights, Suzanne Grandt

Originally posted to SuzanneGrandt.org.

Wildfires are becoming more and more common as climate change intensifies. From Australia to California to Europe, the world watches as fires scorch the earth and change the environment every year. While humans are intensely affected by wildfires, it is vital to remember that wildlife is also heavily impacted by wildfires. After all, their homes are destroyed when fires rage through the bush, forest, and savannah. The tiniest insects to the largest ungulates experience significant life changes because of wildfires.

The most apparent consequence of wildfires on wildlife is death. Not all animals can outrun the fast-moving flames, and they perish in the inferno as it rampages through their homes. Unfortunately, flying insects are attracted to the smoke and flames and succumb in large numbers during an active fire. Larger animals, such as elk and bison, die from smoke inhalation. Elderly, injured, and slow-moving animals have a difficult time escaping and become casualties. Fires that burn during birds’ nesting season cause significant damage, as entire bird populations can be eradicated in one wildfire.

Fortunately, many forms of wildlife have self-protection instincts that can keep them safe during a wildfire. Small animals may find shelter by hiding in logs or under rocks. Birds can fly away while the burn is active and return a few hours or days later. Amphibians and reptiles often burrow in the dirt for shelter. Unburned areas adjacent to an active burn site can later provide animals with the food and shelter that have been destroyed in their original homes. There are ways for wildlife to survive and then thrive post-wildfire.

Wildfires cause an incredible amount of destruction when they blacken the earth. Wildlife is heavily affected by the blazes, whether because their homes were destroyed or because there is no longer food available. Importantly, though, wildfires can also bring about positive change to a specific environment. The damaged vegetation and carcasses provide nutrition to live animals. Downed trees and stumps provide shelter for small animals and insects. Properly managed and maintained environments can even benefit from controlled fires, as they keep the forests from getting overgrown and provide protection, food, and stability for wildlife for decades to come.

This is not the first set of wildfires in 2020; earlier this year, Australia saw a blight of bushfires. It’s time we put aside our differences and help the people and nature in need.

Should You Foster an Animal?

Animal Rights, Suzanne Grandt

Originally posted on SuzanneGrandt.org.

The ASPCA estimates that more than 6.5 million dogs and cats find themselves locked up in shelters every year. Most rescues and shelters are overcrowded. For many animals, it’s not the ideal environment in which they can thrive. This is especially true for kittens, puppies, and pets with health conditions. Pets that have experienced mistreatment also have a difficult time in the shelter system.

Several animal rescue facilities have implemented foster systems. These systems give pets the chance to experience a home environment, rather than being stuck in a kennel or cage. There’s a huge need for more people to foster pets.

What does it entail? That varies by organization, but at its most basic, a pet foster parent offers a temporary home to a needy pet. This could be for as short as a few days or as long as a few years. The pet could be perfectly healthy, or it could have special needs. Most organizations pay for vet work and necessities while the pet is in your care.

There are many benefits to fostering. By taking in a rescue, you’ll free up space for other animals. This reduces the number of dogs and cats (and others) that face euthanasia. It also gives you the chance to see if being a pet parent is right for you if you don’t already have pets. You’ll get the experience of owning an animal without making a long-term commitment.

Shelters are high-stress environments. It’s confusing and frightening to the pets who are there. When you foster one of these animals, you give it the chance to shine. His or her personality will become apparent, which attracts potential adopters. You’ll also be able to evaluate the pet’s likes, dislikes, and general habits. This helps shelters identify better matches when considering adoption applications.

Don’t worry about being the perfect foster. Most rescues and shelters work with people who have all kinds of living spaces and work schedules. The important element of fostering an animal is providing them with a safe, loving, healthy environment—it doesn’t have to be perfect. You can work with the group to find a foster pet that fits with your lifestyle.

The Top Reasons to Go Vegan in 2020

Animal Rights, Suzanne Grandt, Uncategorized

With everything happening in the world today, updating your diet is probably at the bottom of your list of priorities—if it’s on the list at all! Still, the foods we eat have lasting impacts on our health and the world’s health. Additionally, if we are more careful in selecting which brands to support, we’re bound to make a world of difference. Who all benefits from a vegan lifestyle, and why should you transition to one?

Saving the Planet

Nutriciously’s feature article on the benefits of a vegan lifestyle summarizes the top benefits with a few simple statistics:

“Did you know that each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq ft of forested land, 20 lbs CO2 equivalent, and one animal’s life?”

A 2019 report found that traditional “meat and potatoes” diets harm the environment. In particular, the livestock industry is detrimental to our planet; livestock industry trends can be traced to global warming, biodiversity loss, and the siphoning of water and other resources.

A vegan lifestyle does more than impact how we eat and live—it impacts greenhouse gas levels, global acidification, erosion, and resource depletion. The faster we can cut meat and other animal-based products out of our lives, the sooner we can ensure a livable world for the next generation.

Learn more about vegan living at SuzanneGrandt.org