Heroes

'Can we talk about the Yoplait design? We're getting hurt. Signed, Your Animal Friends.'

It's causing them to run panicked out into traffic, and other sad endings.

Lots of people love yogurt.

Mmmmmm. Yogurt.


Delicious, creamy, probiotic-rich yogurt. It's easy to see why the average American eats about nine pounds of it per year. By the way, that's up from about one pound per year in the 1970s.

9 billion-ish of these per year? YIKES! Image by Protopian Pickle Jar/Flickr.

At about five ounces per single cup, that would be nearly 30 containers per year for every American. So — assuming everybody buys their yogurt in individual cups — a rough estimate of how many yogurt cups we're plowing through each year in America is 9.2 BILLION. (Please tell me you're recycling yours!)

But lots of people also love animals.

Animals would do anything to get a few licks of the sweet stuff when they happen upon a container that perhaps fell through a hole in a recycling bag.

But too many wild animals without a designated human friend to help them out of a pickle are getting their heads stuck in those containers.

GIF from "ABC Action News."

And in a lot of cases, those containers are Yoplait cups because of their unique shape — wider at the bottom, narrow at the opening, and formed with a ridge around the top. It's the perfect combination for ensnaring little critters' heads. Once they're stuck, they're really stuck, which means they could run out into traffic to meet their doom, or eventually starve and suffocate to death.

Image by TheImpulsiveBuy/Flickr, adapted.

So the Humane Society is asking Yoplait to take some action to make it better. "Change your packaging!" they plead. And Yoplait's pretty much like, "Sorry! Not our problem. Besides, we have this little blurb telling people they should crush the container when it's empty."

UGH. Isn't the "not our problem" attitude what's wrong with the world?

The question becomes "Do people love animals more than they love yogurt?"

We hope so! And we hope Yoplait does too. Laura Simon of the Humane Society and many others have been asking Yoplait to change their design for a long time now — decades — and Yoplait has yet to budge. But that doesn't mean they never will.

Simon tells Upworthy:

"People eat yogurt in so many settings — at picnics, outdoors, when they're on the run, in the car, etc. You can't expect them to have a good scissors handy to cut up the container, or a nearby faucet to rinse it out! It would require a massive advertising campaign to really educate consumers, and even then, cutting up and disposing of the container properly takes some effort. People just won't do it. The container design is a clear hazard to wildlife, too many animals die a horrible death. The container design really needs to be changed!"
— Laura Simon, wildlife ecologist at the Humane Society of the United States

Sharing this and getting your friends informed to act is the first step. Because I'm betting that you love animals even more than you love yogurt.

Photo by Picsea on Unsplash
True

It is said that once you've seen something, you can't unsee it. This is exactly what is happening in America right now. We have collectively watched the pot of racial tension boil over after years of looking the other way, insisting that hot water doesn't exist, pretending not to notice the smoke billowing out from every direction.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

How can parents ensure that the next generation will actively refuse to perpetuate systems and behaviors embedded in racism? The most obvious answer is to model it. Take for example, professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Keep Reading Show less
Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash (left), Kimberly Zapata (right)

Picking a psychiatrist is a precarious situation, one I know all too well. I have bipolar disorder, depressive disorder and anxiety disorder. I have been in and out of therapy for nearly 20 years. And while I have left doctors for a wide variety of reasons—I've moved, I felt better and "been better," I've given up on pharmacology and stopped taking meds—I've only had to fire one.

The reason? She was judgemental and disrespectful. In her office, I wasn't seen, heard or understood.

To help you understand the gravity of the situation, I should give you some context. In the spring of 2017, I was doing well and feeling good, at least for the most part. My family was healthy. I was happy, and life was more or less normal, so I stopped seeing my psychiatrist. I decided I didn't need my meds.

But by the summer, my mood was shifting. I was cycling (which occurs when bipolar patients vacillate between periods of mania and depression) and when I suffered a miscarriage that fall, I plunged into a deep depressive episode—one I knew I couldn't pull myself out of.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo from Dole
True

As you sit down to eat your breakfast in the morning or grab an afternoon snack, take a minute to consider your food, how it was made, and how it got to your plate.

The fruit on your plate were grown and picked on farms, then processed, packaged and sent to the grocery store where you bought them.

Sounds simple, right?

The truth is, that process is anything but simple and at every step in the journey to your plate, harm can be caused to the people who grow it, the communities that need it, and the planet we all call home.

For example, thousands of kids live in food deserts and areas where access to affordable and nutritious food is limited. Around the world, one in three children suffer from some form of malnutrition, and yet, up to 40% of food in the United States is never eaten.

Keep Reading Show less

I saw this poster today and I was going to just let it go, but then I kept feeling tugged to say something.

Melanie Cholish/Facebook

While this poster is great to bring attention to the issue of child trafficking, it is a "shocking" picture of a young girl tied up. It has that dark gritty feeling. I picture her in a basement tied to a dripping pipe.

While that sounds awful, it's important to know that trafficking children in the US is not all of that. I can't say it never is—I don't know. What I do know is most young trafficked children aren't sitting in a basement tied up. They have families, and someone—usually in their family—is trafficking them.

Keep Reading Show less
via Tania / Twitter

Therapy animals have become a controversial issue of recent, even though they've helped over 500,000 people overcome psychological and physical issues that have made it difficult to perform everyday tasks.

It's because countless people have tried to pass off their pets as service animals, making it hard for legitimate, trained animals to gain acceptance in public.

So when people hear about emotional support llamas, they're met with understandable cynicism. However, studies show they are great at helping children with autism spectrum disorder, and they are routinely used to cheer up people residents in retirement homes.

Keep Reading Show less