It is a dream of many animal lovers to do something dramatic like start an animal sanctuary, or stop the whole world eating meat (I wish), but sometimes it is the small อนิเมะ things that count. Here are 10 things you can do right away to help animals and make a difference.
1. Go Vegan – Choosing a vegan diet is the ultimate form of activism. You are leading by example and sending a clear message that you will not stand for animal cruelty (not to mention environmental destruction). Not only will you help animals by not contributing to their abuse, but you will become healthier and have a clear conscience. That’s a great start if ever I’ve heard of one. You don’t have to live a life of denial to be a vegan. There is an amazing array of vegan food and if you cook you can create beautiful dishes that will wow your family and friends. You can make vegan versions of most meat dishes with a little thought and creativity. Go on, give it a try.
2. Volunteer – If you love animals and want to help in a hands on way, look up some local animal shelters in the Yellow Pages/online and give them a call to see whether you can volunteer. Volunteering with animals, or even in the office of an animal rights organization is an incredibly rewarding experience and a great help.
3. Leafleting – Contact your local animals rights organization or go online to sites like PETA or Animals Australia and order some leaflets on an animal rights issue you care about. If you have a decent printer, you can download literature straight away. Once your leaflets arrive you can walk around your local area and post them in letter boxes. You could also leaflet in public areas like shopping centres or universities. College students are often very open to change.
4. Write a Letter – I set myself a new year’s resolution this year to write at least 1 letter a week regarding an animal rights issue (goodness know there are enough issues to choose from). You can write to the editor of a local paper regarding a local issue (such as the circus or rodeo coming to town), or write directly to a company that tests on animals urging them to rethink the cruelty they inflict. Getting the word out about animal rights can really make a difference and it is something you can do right now.
5. Spend Time With Your Pets – For those of you who have pets it is important to make time for them every day. Not only for the basics like feeding, grooming etc, but also exciting and fun dog walks on the beach or in the forest. Living with animals is not just a matter of caring for their basic needs (although you must do that too), but giving them the best quality of life possible. Give them as much one on one play time and cuddle time as possible. If you haven’t yet had your pet neutered, book in the appointment straight away.
6. Join/Start a Local Animal Rights Group – Do some research to find out whether there is a local animal rights group in your area. If you can’t find anything take steps to start your own group.
7. Online Activism – If you are active in any online social groups like Facebook, MySpace or Twitter, add links to animal rights organizations in your profile. You can also add links in your email signature. You can also join animal rights online groups on Facebook where you can meet like-minded people and share ideas. This is also a great way to spread the message to your online friends who don’t know much about animal rights.
8. Go Shopping – We all love an excuse to shop and this is the perfect opportunity. Invest in some T shirts, buttons, stickers, bags or other accessories that have an anti-cruelty message. These are available from many charities and online retailers.
9. Help Wildlife – Let’s not forget our wild Neighbours. If you have a garden buy/make a bird table and hang bird feeders. This is especially important in the cold Winter months. Not only will you be helping wildlife, you can also get the fantastic opportunity to watch your local wildlife from the comfort of your own home. You can also plant native flowers and plants to attract butterflies and insects. If you have some spare time and really want to help out you can join a wildlife rescue group such as WIRES here in Australia. Becoming a wildlife carer could be incredibly rewarding.