Human beings might be the only ones who make expensive dinner reservations and put florists’ kids through college every February 14, but all animals display affection for their loved ones. From elephants, who rub trunks, to rats, who love to be tickled and make chirping noises that sound like laughter, fondness is universal in the animal kingdom. So this year, instead of the same drugstore chocolates, why not choose romantic, cruelty-free gifts that show love to both your valentine and animals?
Dogs get credit for their aptly named “puppy kisses,” and any dog guardian will tell you that it’s deserved. Your sweetie can help dogs in shelters find the homes that they deserve by displaying PETA’s “Adoption Is Love” poster, which features an artist’s update of the classic valentine’s heart.
Dogs don’t have a monopoly on tongue-to-cheek displays of affection, though. Benevolent bovines do it, too (“cow kisses,” perhaps?). You can help these gentle giants by choosing vegan chocolates—complete with a heart-shaped box.
We all know that bunnies have a, ahem, reputation. But these sensitive animals love to snuggle up with each other just like humans do. Spread the message that bunnies are not coats, and light your valentine’s fire with an “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” candle.
And let’s talk turkey for a minute. These affectionate birds don’t just preen their own feathers—they love to be caressed. And when you can’t be there to rub your favorite guy’s or gal’s shoulders, an “I ♥ Veggie Burgers” tee can do the job—while reminding people that turkeys are for petting, not eating.
Not to be outdone, pigs, whose personalities and intellects are often favorably compared to those of dogs, are champions at nuzzling. They’re showing off their talented noses on their own T-shirt with a message that goes straight to the heart.
And let’s not forget our closest relatives: great apes. Like us, primates have so many different ways of saying, “I love you,” that it’s a wonder that Hallmark doesn’t have a line of cards just for them. Unfortunately, people have come up with many ways to abuse primates. But PETA’s mission-statement tote, in lover-ly burgundy, will remind everyone that, just like humans, primates and other animals deserve respect and love all year long.
Written by PETA
[Image at top by I Art Tangelo at Flickr.com, Creative Commons license.]