The ultimate guide to easy things you can do to combat animal cruelty.
Whether you have pets at home or not, your daily actions can directly harm or help animals. Everything from the products that you buy to the food that you eat has a massive impact on a huge amount of animals. It is surprisingly easy for us to make lifestyle changes to make this impact a positive one!
Animal rights are important because animals are thinking, feeling beings. Many animals are conscious, can remember things, and can form plans for the future. Because animals are not machines or objects and have interests of their own, it follows that we as humans should respect animals, which includes doing our best to avoid exploiting, hurting, and killing them.
We cover many aspects of animal cruelty in this post to create the ultimate guide for regular people to help save animals. Here are 9 easy things you can do to combat animal cruelty:
1. Reduce your meat intake
Reducing or stopping your meat consumption has a huge positive impact on animals, yourself, and the planet! It is the best way for an individual to save animal lives because you are directly reducing the demand for animals to be hurt and eventually killed for human consumption. The meat industry also contributes a huge amount of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and is accelerating climate change. Raising animals for human consumption uses up an extensive amount of land and food, and thus takes up a wealth of resources.
By reducing your meat consumption, you are not only saving animals, but also trees that are cut down to make space for farming, water that is used to maintain crops for animals to eat, and the food that is fed to animals. A plant-based diet can also be very healthy for you! By reducing your meat intake, you are creating a positive impact in so many ways.
If you are used to eating meat, you can slowly introduce plant-based meals into your life. Perhaps you can start with Meatless Mondays, and practice eating and cooking vegetarian food just once a week! Another option is making the commitment to cut out either dairy or just one specific type of meat.
2. Switch to cruelty-free
The bad news is that many cosmetics and skincare brands still use animal testing. They torture animals, mainly rabbits, with allergic reactions and exposure to harsh and painful chemicals. The good news is that scientists have now developed rigorous and safe ways of testing product safety without using animals. There are also tons of big and accessible brands that produce only cruelty-free products.
Here are some cruelty-free beauty products that you might want to check out:
- This concealer (available in a wide range of colours), from Elate Cosmetics
- This lip gloss from Noyah Cosmetics
- This red lipstick from Noyah Cosmetics
- This powder foundation (available in a wide range of colours), from Elate Cosmetics
- This glowy bronzer from Elate Cosmetics
- This pink eyeshadow from Elate Cosmetics
- This cream blush from Elate Cosmetics
3. Abandon single-use plastics
All of the plastic that has ever been manufactured still exists on this earth! Many plastics can take 1,000 years to decompose in a landfill. 8 million tons of this plastic ends up in oceans every year, and marine animals end up either consuming the plastic or getting entangled in the plastic, which causes choking, suffocation, starvation, and drowning. Thus, the plastic ends up killing aquatic animals that come across it. You can invest in a reusable water bottle or metal straw to replace plastic, disposable water bottles and straws.
4. Shop from companies that are committed to saving animals
There are many companies that sell products in order to raise money for saving animals. Consider purchasing from and supporting these businesses to contribute to their causes! Buying a bracelet from 4Ocean funds the removal of one pound of plastic from the ocean and supports the protection of a specific animal. The bracelets themselves are also made from recycled materials and are handmade in Bali by workers who are treated fairly and ethically. The proceeds made from purchasing this soy candle will support rescue animals. This candle is also homemade and the container is made from recycled wine bottles.
5. Adopt, don’t shop
A huge amount of pets are left in shelters, but shelters only have a limited amount of space and resources to care for a certain number of animals. This results in the devastating reality of pets being euthanized. By adopting from a shelter, you are saving an animal and giving them a loving home, and also opening up shelter space for another pet that might need it. The money that you pay to the shelter to adopt your new pet also directly goes towards helping the shelter take better care of the animals they take in.
There are lots of other benefits to adopting instead of buying your pet as well! Many pets in shelters are already trained, and adopting from a shelter will also cost less than purchasing a pet. Additionally, animals that are sold at pet stores usually come from puppy or kitten mills, which are factory-style breeding facilities that put profit over the welfare of the animals. The animals are housed in poor conditions without medical care. Adults are kept in cages to be bred over and over for years, with no hope of human companionship. By adopting your pet, you are making a huge positive impact in not supporting these puppy and kitten mills!
6. “Adopt” an animal for the World Wildlife Fund
If you don’t want to have a pet yourself, but still want to do something to save an animal, the World Wildlife Fund has an awesome way to symbolically adopt an animal. Browse their website to pick from their wide range of options and learn about each animal. They have multiple price options that you can pick from, and they will send you a plushie of the animal that you adopt in the mail, along with an adoption certificate! This is also a great gift idea for animal lovers.
7. Boycott industries known for animal cruelty
Although many aquariums and zoos do good work to rehabilitate animals and educate people about animals, there are some that have been proven to do more harm than good. SeaWorld has locations in Orlando, San Antonio, and San Diego, and is a theme park and marine zoological park. Many of the orcas that perform at SeaWorld were stolen from their families at young ages for the entertainment and profit of humans.
Their lifespans are dramatically reduced when they are forced to live in captivity, they are forced to live in cramped spaces when they usually swim over 100 miles a day in the open ocean, and they are harshly sunburnt from performing when they naturally stay deep in the ocean away from the sun. Luckily, these companies rely on consumer support to continue their work. You have the power to boycott these places so that they lose your monetary support, and pressure them into doing better for their animals!
8. Stop purchasing real animal fur, leather, and down
Fur, leather, and down are often unethically sourced and cause serious harm to the animals they come from. Real fur is sourced from fur farms, where animals are kept in tiny cages to be used for their fur. Luckily, faux fur is becoming more accessible than real fur! Leather is often sourced from factory farms and slaughterhouses where animals are severely mistreated. Opting for fake leather is often more affordable and better for animals and the environment! Down is the softest layer of feathers that lays closest to a bird’s skin.
Oftentimes down feathers are painfully plucked, allowed to grow back, and replucked repeatedly from birds while they are still alive. Either opting for vegan down or sustainably sourced down makes a huge difference!
9. Spread awareness
Share this post or any of the information that you learned from it with people in your life! By sharing the realities of animal cruelty, and the many ways that humans harm animals, you can help stop others from unintentionally contributing to animal cruelty. Using your voice is an extremely effective way to help the cause!
Although many of the facts shared in this post are dark, there has been really positive change in recent years, and you as an individual have the ability to create a huge positive impact in helping to stop animal cruelty.