Animals that are victims of abuse or cruelty do not have a voice to speak for themselves. Instead they have to rely on the kindness of humans to stand up and defend their rights. Animal rights groups undertake a huge responsibility and have successfully improved the lives of millions of animals worldwide.
If you would like to become involved in the fight for justice, the following list details ten ways you can lend a hand to this worthwhile cause.
One of the best and most effective ways to support animal rights is to change your own eating habits. Millions of animals are slaughtered for food each and every year in the most horrific circumstances imaginable. Chickens and cows are kept in battery farms to provide milk and eggs for the dairy industry.
The animals are in tiny cages where they are unable to move. Animals are fed through a tube connected directly to their stomachs which pumps in a chemical cocktail of hormones and antibiotics.
Due to mass production, the meat and dairy industry produce tainted, unhealthy food that is not fit for human consumption.
Only Buy Products That Are Not Tested on Animals
When purchasing items such as make up, shampoo and soap, look for the leaping bunny logo that indicates that the product is cruelty-free.
Many different cosmetic companies now exist that source cruelty-free ingredients for their products and never test on animals.
Boycott Fur and Leather Products
There is no logical reason why people continue to wear clothing made from the skin of an animal when there exists so many cheaper, better quality alternatives. Donate all your leather clothing to second-hand stores.
Encourage your friends to do the same. You could even sell it on EBay and then donate the money to an animal charity.
Spay or Neuter Your Animal and Encourage Others to Do the Same
The large population of cats and dogs has led to them being labelled as pests in certain parts of the world. In countries such as Romania and Turkey, dogs are simply shot, poisoned, run down or tied up and left to starve by callous individuals.
The Greek government was behind the mass poisoning of thousands of stray and privately owned dogs in Athens before the 2004 Olympics in order to present a clean city to the visiting tourists and news cameras.
Volunteering is a fantastic way to help animals in need. Both shelter staff and their residents will be more than happy to receive you. For your next vacation, why not combine travel with volunteering and help out in an exotic location? You could work at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand or help to protect sea turtles in the Caribbean.
Boycott Zoos and Circuses
Although some zoos and circuses do take care of their animals, keeping them locked in cages and forcing them to perform for money is still an inhumane practice. Other zoos are guilty of mistreating and abusing their animals.
There have been many undercover investigations that have turned up shocking behaviour by animal handlers.
Attend or Organise a Protest
Gather a group of friends to organise a protest outside of a business that still practices animal testing. You can coordinate your protest to coincide with World Animal Day. Put out an open invitation on social networking sites to attract other likeminded protestors.
You can also join animal rights groups that list upcoming protests that you can join on their website.
Even if you don’t have any money to contribute, you can still help out in a number of ways. Donations of bedding, food, treats, toys, collars, leads and medicine is always gratefully received by local shelters and animal charities.
You could also donate your time to help out in local bazaars, fetes or charity shops that raise money for animal rights protection.
Never Purchase Animals from Pet Stores
Always adopt an animal from a shelter. Never purchase a puppy or kitten from pet shops or backyard breeders. Many puppies in pet stores have arrived from puppy mills where a female dog is kept in a small cage and constantly impregnated in order to sell her puppies for profit.
These puppies often have physical and mental disorders due to the mother’s extremely poor health.
Report Animal Cruelty
If you witness any examples of animal cruelty, call and report it to the authorities immediately. Western countries have strict laws protecting animals from abuse and exploitation. They also impose heavy penalties on those who break the law. If you live in a country where animal cruelty laws are not enforced, go to the media and raise awareness of the case until something is done about it.
Defending the rights of those smaller and weaker than us is a responsibility we should all undertake. Only by bringing perpetrators to justice and enforcing laws that protect the rights of animals can we hope to end all forms of cruelty. The best way to send a message to big corporations is to use your buying power.
If the large companies see that consumers no longer buy cruelty products, they will simply stop making them in order to protect their profits. If every person on earth made this commitment then the world would be a very different place for animals.