So you know that you should care about animals and the environment, but you just can’t seem to find the time? Well worry no more! With these 8 ways, it might not take a whole day for your concern for animal ethics to take over. Let these 8 ways show you how easy it is to fall in love with animals — and save the world as well as a giraffe lifting boy into the air.
1) Buy an animal at a rescue shelter or shelter pet store
It’s simple: once someone adopts an animal from a reputable rescue or shelter, that animal is guaranteed to be healthy and loved by new owners. By giving an animal a home, you’re really saving two lives — the one you’re adopting, and the one that’s left in that animal’s place. In fact, by adopting a pet from your local shelter, you are doing at least two animals who are still there a favor: taking one of them out of their cage and giving another a friend.
2) Ask questions
By asking questions about how animals are treated to those who can influence change (such as your teachers), you may be able to get people to think about how they treat animals in their daily lives. Asking questions is effective because it spurs people into action. Asking questions is also easy, so you don’t have to worry about having your voice heard.
3) Support animal activist organizations
Animal activist organizations are wonderful, and often need the help of people like you to get their message out. By supporting them through donations or spreading the word about how important it is to protect animals and our environment, you help make change happen in a larger way than if you were to act on your own. The Animal Protection Institute , for example, has a policy that only one percent of its operating budget comes from donations from individuals; the rest all comes from foundations (including half a million dollars from the Ford Foundation) and corporations. But that one percent of their operating budget comes from small donations from individuals like you. (Check out their website to see how they use your donation!)
4) Don’t support organizations that hurt animals
The opposite of supporting organizations that care about animal welfare is not support at all. By making your opinions known to those organizations that harm animals, you remind them that we are watching. It makes sense: if you don’t want to support an organization, then don’t! If you know of an animal activist organization or company that is hurting animals, choose to support the other organizations instead. You can find out about these types of companies by reading about them online, and by asking your friends and family what companies they trust.
5) Try cruelty-free cosmetics
Cruelty-free cosmetics are a great option for animal lovers, as they ensure that no animals were harmed in the testing of their products. Every year, thousands of animals are killed in the testing phases of cosmetics. If you don’t want to support companies that cause animal suffering, then choose cruelty-free options instead (such as Pangea Organics or Dr. Hauschka).
6) Give up meat and dairy products
Sadly, over 10 billion land animals are killed worldwide each year for human consumption. By giving up meat and dairy products, you are saving those animals from a life in which they would know only slaughterhouses and factory farms. And by supporting vegan products (such as Alpro and So Delicious ), you are helping to advertise the fact that eating meat and dairy products is cruel.
7) Work at an animal sanctuary
Animal sanctuaries are places where thousands of animals are living in amazing conditions that they would never experience in their normal lives. If you want to help this cause, consider applying to work at an animal sanctuary as a volunteer, or donating money towards their location. Abundant Harmony , for example, provides a long-term home for rescued farm animals and wildlife through their “sanctuary” — the Equine Rescue Center in New England. And the ASPCA offers volunteer opportunities that range from greeting visitors to animal rescue work.
8) Attend an animal rights protest
A protest is a great place to express your concern for animals. You may not know the ideal solution to the problem of animal suffering, but at least you can make yourself heard by coming face-to-face with people who share your goals. You can also help to raise awareness about the importance of protecting animals and the environment through activism. By attending an animal rights protest, you are also finding out what inspired a lot of these protests in the first place.
Save a life, save the world. It’s as easy as that. By taking a little time to help out animals and the environment, you are really making an impact not just in your life, but in the lives of others.
In fact, when you care about animal rights, you’re really caring about your own rights. So fall in love with animals today — and change begins with you!