Avoid zoos, animal circuses and other forms of entertainment which use animals (rodeos, movies etc.) Animals in these situations are denied everything that is natural to them. It also offers children the message that it’s ok to keep suffering animals for our entertainment. Find animal-friendly alternatives such as animal-free circuses, the local animal shelter, and animal-free amusement parks.
Travelling abroad? Be aware of animal exploitation and do your best to avoid it. Explain to your tour operator why you refuse to watch animal performances, be photographed with animals, take an elephant or a camel ride or buy souvenirs made from animal parts that could be part of an illegal wildlife trade.
Eat less meat and dairy. The meat and dairy industries are responsible for more animal suffering than any other industry, with billions of animals exploited every year. Choose food with high welfare production values, cut down on meat and dairy or try being a vegetarian/vegan.
Go Fur Free! Leather, wool and fur are all animal products which rely – directly or indirectly – on animal suffering. There are many animal-friendly alternatives available which are also better for your health as they do not undergo so much chemical treatment.
Buy cruelty-free! Many cosmetics, household products and food are tested on mice, rabbits, dogs and other mammals before hitting the shelves. These animals are exposed to enormous cruelty. Although experimentation outside medical research is illegal in some countries, testing is widely carried out in countries with no protection legislation. As a consumer you have the ultimate power – choose cruelty-free products with a trusted cruelty-free label, or if you’re unsure, ask the company itself about its animal testing policy.
Share your home – If you want to bring a dog, cat or other animal into your home, contact your local shelter to adopt or foster an animal. Pet shops and breeders often run disreputable businesses with profit being a priority over welfare. Breeding conditions are often terrible, and health concerns neglected. Pedigree animals often suffer from inbreeding too, which can cause disabling traits.
Be responsible for your animals. If you share your home with an animal, remember that he or she is a member of your family for life, and learn what you need to provide to keep them healthy and happy. Consider companionship, shelter, exercise, food and veterinary treatment. Some animals are better-suited to life as a pet than others, so please avoid birds in cages or rabbits cooped in hutches.
Volunteer for an animal protection organisation. If you can’t volunteer at the shelter, distribute leaflets, collect blankets, donate money or ask what you can do to fundraise. Every contribution counts!
Become an animal advocate. Don’t stand by when you see cruelty. Learn how you can change things and when you witness animal cruelty, speak up at shops, write to newspapers, TV channels and politicians. Encourage children to spread the word in their classroom too – animals are a great topic for presentations.
Be kind to animals who enter your home. Choose humane traps to remove uninvited animals from your home. Poisons and glues to kill rodents cause prolonged suffering.