9 Ways To Be Animal-Friendly For A Better New Year

9 Ways To Be Animal-Friendly For A Better New Year

Whether your New Year's resolution is to go vegan or fight for animals, there are plenty of things you can do.

You’ve heard of all the horrible ways animals are treated, and you don’t want to support it. With a new year beginning, now is the perfect time to make a change. If helping end animal suffering is your New Year’s resolution, there are plenty of things you can do to help.

1. Eliminate meat from your diet.

Although many of us have been raised eating meat, the truth is that there is no such thing as humane slaughter. That being said, supporting the meat industry with your dollars funds these companies that are inhumanely slaughtering animals. Going meat-free will save animals and benefit your health.

2. Use plant-based milk instead of dairy milk.

The dairy industry isn’t as harmless as it is believed to be. In order to produce enough milk, cows are artificially inseminated and forced to repeatedly get pregnant. The calves are taken away from the cows almost immediately so they won’t drink any of the profitable milk, instead, being fed cow milk replacer. The male calves are usually sold to be slaughtered for veal. Rather than supporting this industry, try a plant-based milk such as soy, almond, coconut, oat, hemp or rice.

3. Check labels and look into the cosmetic brands you buy.

Let’s be real. It’s 2018. Testing on animals is cruel and totally unnecessary. Supporting companies who don’t test on animals will urge other companies to stop testing their products on animals. Clean out your make up bag, and shop cruelty-free for the bunnies.

4. Switch your eggs out for another source of protein.

Plants have a significant amount of protein with no cholesterol. Eggs, on the other hand, contain more cholesterol than a Big Mac and are not even legally allowed to be labeled as healthy. Who wants to eat a chicken period anyway?

5. Boycott SeaWorld

Vegans and meat-eaters alike, I think we can all agree on one thing. SeaWorld sucks. A swimming pool is no place for an animal that is meant to be in the ocean. If SeaWorld cared about their orcas at all, they would at least give them a place to swim that is bigger than their parking lot. Leave SeaWorld in 2017 because animals deserve better than being held in captivity to be used for entertainment purposes.

6. Trade your fur for an animal-friendly faux fur

It’s a very small switch that is the difference between what you are wearing and who you are wearing. The same goes for leather and wool as well. That is someone’s skin, ya know. This year, choose a fashion statement that is a little less Hannibal Lector and a little more compassionate. Companies such as Gucci and Michael Kors have recently made big changes just in time for 2018.

7. Tell your friends to adopt instead of going to a pet store.

Shelters are filled with animals who need homes. If you are looking to add an animal to your family, adopting and opening your home to one of these animals can prevent them from being turned away when a shelter gets too full. It may seem like a small difference but it gives the animal a chance at a better and happy life.

8. Support sanctuaries instead of zoos.

Believe me, I understand wanting to see the animals. However, animals are not happy being in cages to be used as entertainment. Their lives shouldn’t be a job they can’t escape, and they deserve to be in a better-suited environment. Visiting a sanctuary is a much more compassionate choice than a zoo, where you are funding the very place that keeps all the beautiful animals you come to admire in cages.

9. Encourage others to act for animals.

Unlike people who have fought to get the rights they deserve, animals can’t fight for themselves, which is why it is important for activists to spread awareness. By being an activist for animals you are giving them a voice that can be heard. Speak loud and proud because no matter what anyone says, it does make a difference, and it is the only way to spark change. If we ignore what we see, we can’t expect anything to be done about it. Let’s make 2018 the year of change -- for us, the planet, our health and the animals.

Cover Image Credit: Lexi Hammond

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At-Will Employees and Wrongful Termination

Did you know that there are reasons you cannot be fired?

 Unfortunately for most of us, having a job is a duty that we face every week. And as employees, we know that getting fired from your job is not ideal for future employment options. However, certain reasons for getting fired are not valid in the eyes of the law and you may have the option for legal recourse.

What is Wrongful Termination?

Wrongful termination can happen for a number of different reasons. According to the San Francisco wrongful termination lawyers at Rukin Hyland, if your employer fired you for one of the following reasons, you might be able to file a lawsuit:

1. Retaliation for taking allowed vacation, sick time, breaks, pregnancy leave, or filing a workers’ compensation claim

2. Retaliation for reporting illegal activity or some type of safety or ethical violation

3. Breach of an employment contract, either written or spoken

4. Discrimination for beliefs, gender, race, or age

There may also be instances where a job is made so miserable and intolerable by an employer that the employee has no choice but to quit. This is called constructive discharge and is treated the exact same way as a wrongful termination claim so employers cannot force you out of a position without ever actually firing you.

At-Will Employment

Although the above criteria may seem straightforward, it can become a little less clear if the employee is an at-will employee. Most employees in the United States are at-will, meaning that your employment can be terminated without warning or cause. Just as an employee can give their two weeks’ notice without providing a reason, so too can employers fire their employees without a concrete reason. Most of us signed some form of contract during our first week of work stating exactly this point and even if you chose not to sign the contract, most courts will still decide in your employer’s favor.

Therefore, although the idea of wrongful termination and at-will employment exist side by side, they seem to directly conflict with each other. One says that there are reasons that you cannot be terminated, while the other says you can be terminated at any time. 

At the end of the day, it all comes down to the ability to prove the reason you were fired with concrete evidence. An employer may very well fire you because of your gender, religious beliefs, or in retaliation for taking too many sick days, but if there is no evidence to support that claim, then your case will not hold up in court. In fact, many employers are smart and will not give you a reason for your firing because if your case does go to court, they do not have to worry about contradicting anything that they may have said. 

Because of this, it is imperative to document and collect as much evidence as possible. Did your firing come after a specific or controversial event? Was your performance up to standard and you were still fired? These are all great questions to ask yourself if you believe you were unlawfully terminated. If you have proper evidence and can defend your claim, speak with an attorney and see if they can validate the merits of your case.

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Before You Get A Pet In College, Make Sure You Have A Home To Give Them

It's not fair to get a pet if you can't give them a good home.

Since starting college, I've seen countless students and peers with pets — everything from dogs to cats to reptiles to pigs. Some of them have been service or support animals, others were just pets! Luckily, all the ones I've seen have been well-loved and well taken care of. However, there have been some stories I've heard of people — especially college students — getting pets on a whim and not being able to properly take care of them or offer them a stable home. In these cases, the pets are not well-taken care of and are passed from person to person without any stability or given to a shelter.

This is such a sad reality for thousands (if not more) animals and pets and something that has made me hesitate to get a pet myself while I'm in college. As much as I want a dog or cat right now, I know I'm in a fairly unstable situation being in college. I've moved to different apartments and houses every year, I often spend the majority of the day away from my apartment and on campus, and I don't have a lot of spare time to give to a dog or a cat.

And most of my funds are going toward college and books — there's not a lot of extra money to spend on necessary things for pets such as vet bills, food, toys, etc. As much as I know I'd love and care for a pet right now, I also know it wouldn't be fair to them to welcome them into a home that is constantly moving and often empty for hours at a time. When I get a pet, I'd like to be confident that I would have the time and the life stability to give them the best possible life they could have.

I'm not saying that everyone who has a pet in college isn't being responsible or are not providing a great home for their pets — many people are! I'm only saying that it's important to take into consideration all of the responsibilities that come with owning a pet before actually getting a pet. As great as it would be for you to get a dog or a cat, you've got to remember that this will be a huge change for not only you but for the animal you welcome into your life.

You want to give them the best possible life you can, which means taking care of them, giving them a safe and happy home, providing them with the supplies they'll need, and spending time with them.

So, before you get a pet in college (or any time), make sure you're providing them with a good and stable home.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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