To The Victims Of Hurricane Harvey That Left Their Pets Behind

To The Victims Of Hurricane Harvey That Left Their Pets Behind

The lives of our pets are not more important than our lives, but they still deserve a voice, and to not be left behind.

Dear Victims of Hurricane Harvey,

Let me start by saying how incredibly sorrowful I am for what you are all having to go through. I am praying for you every day, and I cannot even begin to imagine what you are going through. No one deserves a tragedy such as this, and I am truly sorry that y'all are having to go through something so terrible.

I know there has been a lot of negativity on social media about the victims of Harvey that left their pets behind. No one can truly judge you from the outside looking in since they have no right to judge, and they are also not experiencing the tragedy that you all are experiencing. I completely understand that some of you felt as if you would have less of a chance in finding shelter for you and your families if you have pets. I totally understand that you put your families, and especially children, before your pets.

However, with that being said, I do believe that even in tragedy, our pets are still our responsibility. They depend on us. Domesticated animals are not meant to be thrown into the "wild" and survive on their own. Sure, they do still have some of their instincts but that is not enough to rely on for their survival. When you get a pet, you are making a commitment. You are saying that you will be their provider and protector until they are no longer in your care.

I know in times of danger and tragedy it is hard to think about your pets. That is probably the last thing on your mind... but it shouldn't be. If you don't want the responsibility, then it is as simple as not getting a pet.

The images of animals tied to trees and structures, left to drown in the storm, made me incredibly sad. Being a college student I can't, but I seriously wanted to drive to Texas and save them all so those animals would never have to feel unwanted ever again. I can not even imagine what went through their heads as their own owners left them to die.

I have never experienced true tragedy in my life thankfully, but even in times like that I don't believe I could leave my pets behind and live with myself. They are family to me, my babies.

So please, even in the worst of times, give your pets some thought. Please don't leave them behind. If you don't feel as if you can take care of them, get them to an organization that can.

For those of you who are taking care of not only your animals, but also rescuing the ones left behind, you are true heroes. Thank you so much for taking up for the little guys that depend on us humans.

All in all, it is a terrible thing that has happened to Texas. I pray for you every day and I encourage anyone that can to help in any way that they can. Also, a little disclaimer, I am in no way saying that the lives of pets are more important than the lives of people. I just feel as if sometimes when tragedy strikes, people are the only ones that get thought of. Sometimes our animals get overlooked, and I believe that they deserve a voice.

Prayers sent and God Bless.

Cover Image Credit: U.S. Navy

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The Sun Is Always There For Me

Whatever the day may bring, I know I can always count on one thing.

The sun is always there for me.

Whether she is shining down on me on a warm September morning, or hiding beneath the clouds on a rainy Sunday afternoon, I know I can always count on her.

The sun is always there for me.

After a long morning with spilled coffee and a failed exam, I lye in the grass and wait as the sun provides me with warmth, kissing me in the form of sunspots and light brown speckles.

The sun is always there for me.

As I sit beneath the rays, my eyes close as I look up. “Too bright,” I think, as I turn over and watch the colors of my vision change reality into warped images, making everything a little more beautiful.

The sun is always there for me.

I watch as my nail polish fades from blue to green, changing along with my mood. They too know the warmth and comfort the sun radiates.

The sun is always there for me.

Her warmth shines down upon the plants, providing me with nourishment and company. I am grateful today.

The sun is always there for me.

She paints pictures in the sky like watercolors. Red, yellow, and orange hues melt into one as the sun sets and says its daily goodbyes. Gone for the night, but always back for more.

The sun is always there for me.

Each day a new beginning, filled with uncertainty.

I might not be sure what will happen today or tomorrow. But whatever the days may bring, I know I can always count on one thing.

Cover Image Credit: Gabriella Scaff

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Climate Change Is REAL

The cold weather we've been experiencing is just as important as global warming.

Since 1880, the global average temperature has risen about 2.0 degrees Fahrenheit–around 1.1 degrees Celsius for all you non-American folk out there. While that doesn’t sound like a huge amount, the effect that this heat has on our planet is catastrophic.

The sun naturally gives off a wide range of electromagnetic radiation waves, a majority of these being ultraviolet rays that come in three forms: UV-A, UV-B and UV-C. These rays differ in their effects on us because of their wavelengths and energies, but UV-B–a shorter wavelength radiation that is mostly absorbed by the sun’s natural ozone–is quite harmful to us. It can cause cancer, intense sunburn and damage to your cell’s DNA.

With the increase in pollutants that humans are releasing into the atmosphere, the ozone layer that has been protecting us is depleting. The molecular bonds within the ozone layer are destroyed by chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) gases, which are contained in things like aerosols (hairspray), refrigeration (air-conditioning) and solvents (laundry detergent).

The use of these products has created a hole in the ozone, making us vulnerable to the dangerous UV-B rays.

This is only made worse by the increase of ‘greenhouse gases’ present in our atmosphere, and multiple studies have found that this change has been caused by human activities.

These gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH), are capable of trapping energy from infrared radiation, the form of energy that essentially makes things hot and is, therefore, preventing the heat from leaving the stratosphere, causing a global increase in temperature.

While I ramble on about global warming, it is important to note that cold weather still happens during the year. You've probably read about or are currently experiencing the current bomb cyclone that is ranging through the Mid-West, Northeast and just recently the East Coast.

You might be thinking "What is this girl rambling on about? It's freezing, we could use a little 'global warming' right now". The thing is, global warming is just one portion of the overarching worldwide problem of climate change.


The regional and global weather is affected by ocean patterns, upper winds, level of Arctic sea ice and the shifting shape of the jet stream. The Arctic sea ice levels have decreased dramatically in the past few decades, with between 0.17 to 0.2 millions square miles being melted every decade.

Last year set a new record for the lowest maximum sea ice extent ever. The jet stream, fast flowing air currents from the Arctic, naturally shift to blow cold air to various parts of the world such as Europe and the United States.

However, recent research has found that the decreased in Arctic sea ice has caused more divergence in the jet streams path, causing extreme winter cold into the mid-latitudes.


Of course, the bomb cyclone isn't the only extreme weather we have seen because of climate change–the hurricanes that swept the US Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico and Eastern Seaboard are thought to have been influenced by the warmer air.

The Hurricanes are fueled by the increased ocean temperatures, as well as the higher percentage of humidity in the air and are able to turn into the devastating storms we had during Summer 2017.

Here lies the problem: I can sit and preach all day about the causes of climate change, the issues it has caused and will cause for our society and the ways we can prevent it–but I am only one person. Trump's administration has continuously shown that they strongly doubt the human impacts on the changing climate, and without proper legislation and corrective measurements put into place, the issue is only going to grow.

You can help by doing whatever you can to use less fuel, fewer aerosols, minimal air conditioning and you can act now by signing one of the petitions down below. My hope is that we will begin to see real change in the way we treat our planet and that we can work towards bettering our world.



Petitions:

OCEANA Arctic Climate Change Petition

Tell Trump to #ActOnClimate

NRDC Climate Action Petition

Trump must acknowledge and address Climate Change



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