As an animal healer, I am constantly thinking about animals–the ones in my care and those that are not. Lately clients from various parts of the country are telling me that they are living with 100 plus temperatures and that they”re just staying indoors with their animal companions. AND I cannot help but think of the animals who are not in air conditioning.
Some people love the heat—the hotter the better while others cannot tolerate it. No matter which type you are, there comes a time when hot is too hot. On the news during hot periods, you will hear of hospitals dealing with people suffering from the heat.
As humans we have options in getting help from the heat, but what is haunting for me are those who have no options such as the animals in factory farms. These barns house animals in aluminum barns which heat up quickly in addition to the heat from the bodies of thousands of animals in a small space.
One example, more than one egg-laying chicken is in one cage, and all around them are other cages. They are stacked on top of each other, their poop falling on those below them. Chickens that are raised for their meat are not caged yet their ability to move is at the most about the size of an 8 x 12 piece of paper. These barns are built for productivity not comfort. Animals die every day in these barns due to the conditions of crowding, drugs given to them daily in their water, etc. The conditions are difficult enough and then when the weather is extreme, well, I weep for them more.
The hot temperature is also hard on wildlife, and it is especially painful when I hear of wildfires destroying thousands of acres. Again, it’s difficult for people in the area, yet they have the means to relocate. That is not possible for all wildlife especially the very young.
Whether you believe in global warming or not, we can all agree that excessive heat and lack of rain is hard on all living creatures. Any body can get overheated, and no one can survive without water.
Small things we can do:
– Provide water for birds in the summer and winter
– Eat less meat and eggs (or buy organic) to keep demand for factory farms down
– Support natural habitat to allow wildlife enough land/trees for shelter