The Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed an El Niño weather pattern and warned of severe heat in the coming summer, so being prepared for the bushfire season is more important than ever. Emergency plans should address all members of the family, including those who are furry, feathered, or finned.
A companion animal survival kit can be packed right now so that it’s ready in the event of an emergency. Dogs need a secure harness and leash, and for cats or other small animals, a sturdy carrier should be kept on hand. Pack bottled water and dry or tinned food, together with bowls. Take your animals’ medical records in case they need care while away from home and their favourite toys or blankets to offer reassurance during stressful times.
Store your survival kit somewhere easy to access, especially if you know an emergency is likely.
If disaster strikes when you’re not at home, companion animal alert rescue stickers can help save precious lives. Heat-resistant stickers are available on Amazon, from local hardware stores, or on the PETA US online shop. Be sure to keep a sticker up to date with the number of each type of animal in your home so that emergency responders will know who needs to be rescued.
The El Niño weather pattern and the positive Indian Ocean Dipole event, combined with global warming, will increase the risk of catastrophic fires again this summer. Given that each of the last four decades has been hotter than the one before, disasters like bushfires will probably become increasingly common.
Whether you’re worried about greenhouse gases, water pollution, deforestation, or drought, it’s clear that eating meat and other animal-derived foods is bad news for the environment. According to the United Nations, raising animals for food is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global”. The most powerful action that you can take to address the climate catastrophe is to stop eating meat, eggs, and dairy. A global shift towards plant-based eating is essential to combat the worst effects of climate change, and going vegan is the single biggest way to reduce our individual environmental impact.
Each of us can make a significant difference through our choices. It’s not enough to sit around and wait for politicians and corporations to take action to save our planet.
If not you, then who? If not now, then when?