A puppy, a kitten, a dog, a cat or some other animal may be waiting for you at the local animal shelters or rescue groups. Would someone on your holiday list love to receive the gift of one of these animals?  This can bring great joy to the animal and the recipient, but please make the choice carefully. Rather than choosing the animal for your family member, bring them to the shelter or rescue group so they can choose for themselves. Also, it may be better to wait until after the holiday bustle to bring home your new family member as the transition can be more difficult with many folks coming and going and too little – or too much  – attention being placed on the newcomer. A nicely wrapped homemade “gift certificate” promising to visit the shelter or rescue group after the holidays will give the recipient something to open on the holiday itself.


In any case, please do not purchase a dog or cat  from a pet store as these animals come from puppy mills or kitten mills, where the mothers are bred over and over into exhaustion and the conditions are filthy and crowded, resulting often in sick puppies or kittens. Please don’t encourage these cruelties by purchasing from pet stores.

Another gift idea is a recipe book. How about SINFULLY VEGAN by Lois Dieterly  (2003)  There are more than 160 decadent desserts in this book – all vegan and some sugar-free, some gluten-free, some raw so that many dietary needs can be satisfied. Eating a lot of desserts – whether vegan or not – isn’t a balanced diet, but an occasional treat makes the holidays – and life – more tasty and fun.

Linda is President of People for Animal Rights.  For more information on the above topics, contact her at PAR, P.O. Box 15358, Syracuse, NY 13215-0358, (315)488-7877 between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. or  See This article was translated by Rob English.

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