Given the current state of the economy, gift giving this holiday season is going to be tough on a lot of people. However, if you are an animal lover, you can choose to buy inexpensive gifts for your loved ones that will benefit animals. The following are just a few ideas.
Choose holiday cards from the Humane Society of the United States (starting at $12.95)
Start the holiday season off right by buying holiday cards from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). HSUS has a vast array of holiday cards to choose from with images of cats, dogs, wildlife, and the entire animal kingdom. Buy them for yourself or as a gift for someone else. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these cards goes to help the HSUS with its active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, animals in research, and farm animals. They help protect all animals through legislation, litigation, investigation, education, advocacy, and field work. For more information, visit community.hsus.org
Adopt an endangered animal through Defenders of Wildlife (starting at $20)
Defenders of Wildlife has more than 25 endangered animals you can choose from to adopt. Adoptions are a wonderful way to protect endangered wild animals and share the importance of conservation. I have given this as a gift to young children and they love it. With the adoption you receive a cuddly plush animal, activities booklet, personalized certificate of adoption, 5×7 photo, animal fact sheet, and gift wrap with eco-friendly reusable tote. Defenders of Wildlife are encouraging wolf adoptions right now as aerial hunters are gunning down wolves from airplanes in Alaska or running them to exhaustion and then shooting them at point-blank range. You can give a special tax-deductible gift to help save the lives of these magnificent animals by adopting a wolf, wolf pack, or wolf mom and pup for a loved one or friend. For more information on adopting an endangered animal, visit wildlifeadoption.org
Buy bananas or nuts for monkeys in a sanctuary ($15 and $25)
For the person who has everything, why not buy them a 50-pound bag of peanuts or a case of bananas for the monkeys at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary. The recipient receives a whimsical card acknowledging the gift that you made in their name. The case of bananas is $15, and the 50-pound bag of peanuts is $25. For more information on buying bananas or peanuts, visit bornfreeusa.org
Buy heartwarming animal books (starting at $5)
A Dog Named Christmas, by Greg Kincaid. This is a wonderful story about an adoptive dog and his impact on both a family and a whole town. The book reminds readers of the importance of the spirit of giving and the needs of homeless pets. It also directs readers to Petfinder on its jacket flap to find adoptable pets. To buy this book, visit Dog Named Christmas
Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo. This is a story about a big, ugly, happy dog who teaches a 10-year-old girl how to explore her bittersweet world and learn to listen to other people’s lives. To buy this book, visit Because of Winn-Dixie
“Let’s Get a Pup!” Said Kate, by Bob Graham. This book is about a young girl who has grown lonesome for a new pet. Mom and Dad quickly catch Kate’s enthusiasm when she suggests, “Let’s get a pup!” and the family heads to the local animal Rescue Center. But instead of a puppy, the family rescues a large, sweet-natured older dog that tugs at their hearts. To buy this book, visit Let’s Get a Pup!
Give a cruelty-free gift basket ($20)
Give a cruelty-free gift basket filled with products that have not been tested on animals. Fill the basket with products from Burt’s Bees, Avalon Organics, Jason, and 100% Pure. Lazy Acres has gift sets of many of these products starting at $20, all you’ll need is a basket. Your special someone will know that you care enough to give a gift that saves the lives of rabbits, and so many other beautiful furry animals.
By thinking of animals during this holiday shopping season, you will not only save lives, but you will share the gift of compassion with those you care about.