Do We Really Need More “Stuff?”

Author/Animal Advocate Argues for “Giving Kindness” This Holiday Season

WHO: Kathy Stevens, seen recently on Good Morning America, is the founder of Catskill Animal Sanctuary, a haven for abused and abandoned farm animals located in upstate New York. Since its inception in 2001, CAS has saved the lives of 1,200 desperately needy animals, including a horse shot in the head, a 1,000-pound pig locked in a Bronx apartment, and the only survivor of an arson that killed 23 horses. In addition to emergency rescue, Stevens raises awareness of agribusiness and the havoc it wreaks on animals, humans, and our increasingly fragile planet.

WHAT: “Global warming is already impacting the work of Catskill Animal Sanctuary,” says Stevens. Hay costs have skyrocketed “because demand is up due to extreme drought conditions in the South. Winter hasn’t even arrived, and we’re inundated by calls from people who can’t afford to feed their animals.”

Stevens suggests that rather than give wrapped gifts this holiday season, we focus on acts of kindness, and that we all remember to put the planet on our gift list. “What’s your gift to the Earth this year? Eating less meat? (meat production is one of the leading causes of global warming) driving less? Planting a tree? (trees emit oxygen, which combats CO2 emissions) Donating to a charity that’s doing good for the Earth and its needy inhabitants? (CAS exists entirely upon the kindness of others, and has a hay bill alone of $60,000—a cost increase that’s related to global warming.)

She argues passionately and persuasively that Americans have a responsibility to consume less, and that a “wonderful, life-affirming gift” one can give to himself, to animals, and to the planet “is to change one’s diet.”

Kathy Stevens is “A Modern-Day Noah”––The New York Times



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