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Must-Read Articles About the 4th of July

Written by Marsha Rakestraw | Published on July 4, 2016 | Filed under Humane Connection
The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Humane Education website at http://humaneeducation.org/blog/2016/07/04/must-read-articles-4th-july/
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sparkler and American flag

by Marsha Rakestraw

Even though I’m grateful for America’s independence and all the good things about the U.S., the 4th of July is hard for me.

It has become a time of worry and fretting.

I worry about the impact of the noise and toxic pollution of fireworks on nonhuman animals, our veterans, and the earth. I worry about animals who might be harmed by the new ways we invent to harm them, like tennis ball bombs.

I worry about the workers, often women (and sometimes children), who face dangerous conditions to create these ephemeral products.

I fret about the waste generated, the child labor used to create the fireworks, the animals being eaten at all the BBQs and parties.

I fret that we’ve turned such an important and complex piece of our history into just another chance to blithely consume and create havoc.

July 4 needs to be about more than fireworks and fun, and we humans can enjoy ourselves while being mindful of the impact of our choices on others and the earth.

Here are a few recent must-read articles that can help us reflect and think more critically about how to celebrate this special holiday.

Of course we should feel free to celebrate something as momentous as Independence Day. But as humane citizens there’s so much we can do to ensure that we’re celebrating in a way that maximizes our enjoyment and our reflection on the immensity of what July 4 means, while not causing harm to others.