July 4th Fireworks


I didn't grow up with an animal companion. My mother didn't want the responsibility and expense of properly caring for an animal. I know she loved them. She just knew her limitations and was honest with herself and us. When I had my own place, I made up for it. I had an entourage of animals: dog, cats, ferret, hamsters, bird, iguana, and turtles. I loved them all. It was during this time that I stopped liking the fireworks.


Every single animal had negative reactions to the neighborhood fireworks. In those days, we were not even allowed to have anything more than sparklers and small firecrackers. There were always the people who had the "illegal " stuff. They set them off all night, or until the police came . Today, it seems that every neighbor has something! Not only that, people begin setting off fireworks a week or more before July 4th! So not only are theneighborhood sounds more abundant, but they last for days, even weeks. The poor animals have to go through their fear and anxiety for that much longer. What solution did we, the earth's stewards come up with? Pills. Instead of changing or limiting the use of fireworks, we give our companions drugs. They still hear the sounds, it still scares them, but now they have no ability to move or react.


What about the wildlife? No one thinks of them. They are just as affected as our animal companions, maybe more! Wild animals cannot hide safely inside. They run, scattering around not knowing what is going on. Many get injured or die from being in the crossfire. Their family units are disrupted. Babies are left behind or killed. The chemicals and ash from the fireworks go into the environment: the air, soil, and water. If the animals escaped being hurt by the fireworks, they are still affected days later while eating and drinking.


Animals are not the only ones who do not like fireworks. Babies, the elderly, special needs people, and people with PTSD are all negatively affected. Of course, you will always have an exception to the rule, but for the most part, these groups suffer.


Fireworks are pretty; however the emotional and physical damage they cause so many groups does not justify the continuation of their use. Will all the knowledge and technology at our fingertips, can we not find a way to have the visual beauty of fireworks without the noise and debris?


Be safe out there. Comfort your animal companions. Be responsible stewards.



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