At a loose end tonight? Finding that that hollow place in your ribcage just can’t be filled with red wine and biographies? Why not adopt something, for that warm fuzzy feeling that requires almost no follow-through.
Australia offers a wide variety of critters that you can adopt from the comfort of your living room. If you’d like an Australian animal, you can opt for a koala, quoll, bilby, miniature pixie goat, Tasmanian devil, dolphin, shark or freckled duck. For those yearning for across the pond, two cassowaries are available for adoption. The Australia Zoo, WWF, Australian Reptile Park and Reef HQ Aquarium all have a wide variety of animals you can adopt without the slightest worry about litter trays.
The original Adopt-a program, Adopt-a-Highway, has any number of Australian spin-offs — Western Australia’s Adopt-A-Spot, Queensland’s Adopt-a-Road, Victoria’s Adopt a Roadside — but keep in mind that these will involve effort, and will inevitably end with you holding a pair of tongs and cursing your fellow man.
Animal or a stretch of bitumen not your thing? You might want to consider adopting one of the following:
If you happen to live in Unley in Adelaide, you can adopt a tree on your nature strip.
An Australian Democrat
Do you know how many starving Australian Democrats are out there, quivering under parked cars and huddling in doorways? Through this program, you will allow one of these poor unfortunates to pay their membership dues.
A Painting at the Potter
The University of Melbourne has a whole stash of art that can’t be displayed for lack of conservation treatments. You can free these arts! It is, however, not clear whether you will receive a photo of the painting to go on your mantelpiece.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
A Polling Booth
Everywhere’s local outraged citizens GetUp allow you to adopt a polling booth, and presumably, stand outside it handing out literature.
A Wikipedia User
Think you’re a dab hand at Wikipedia editing? Why not take a fluffy new Wikipedia user under your benevolent wing and show them how the  world works.
A Member of the Tasmanian Police
Unfortunately it’s not currently possible for an individual to adopt a cop, but if you have a child, their school can adopt a member of the Tasmanian police.
A Scientist in the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Project
The human race’s most important scientific project is full of starving scientists. If you adopt one, you can boss them around. What do they expect, real funding?