Be Careful Where You Blow and Throw! (from Janet)
Most people know the basic no-no’s when it comes to be “animal aware”.
- We shouldn’t leave animals in hot cars.
- We shouldn’t keep driving if we hit an animal with a car if the animal is still alive but injured.
- We shouldn’t leave animals outside in warm weather without water and shade.
The list goes on and on, and it should.
But here’s one no-no that may not be on your Animal Aware list, and it should be on your radar:
- We shouldn’t toss our chewing gum any place but in the garbage can.
Many gum loving people are not aware that even a tiny piece of chewing gum can choke an animal, domestic AND wild. This is especially true for wild animals like bunnies, who may find a wad of chewing gum in the lawn. Gum, for animals, is too sticky and chewy and more difficult to manipulate in the mouth, causing choking and asphyxiation. Sadly, some people chose to use chewing gum as a way of killing smaller animals who tend to eat or nibble in their gardens. Small animals will gravitate to chewing gum because of the smell and taste, without realizing before it’s too late that they can’t handle it once they put it in their mouths.
So chew away! But after you’re done (and teach your children and students and older folks this too), put it in a tissue and toss in the the can, NOT on the ground – not on any ground. Not ever.
And yes, it’s gross to pick up someone’s else wad of chewing gum on the street – but if it’s saves a life, then it’s worth it to carry that small box of tissue to do just that.
And, we have to say it: sometimes we grapple with these kinds of postings. We all know that there are all kinds of weirdos out there who get enjoyment and fulfillment out of hurting animals. Sometimes, posting a helpful hint about what NOT to do to help animals, is just the incentive for a weirdo to go do it, just because they can. Remember that if you see ANYONE doing ANY harm to ANY animal for ANY reason, speak up and report it. That goes for reporting even the weirdo who wants to see if an animal can really choke to death from chewing gum.
Here’s to responsible gum chewing!