As activists for the earth and its many species, we call ourselves passionate. Others, however, may call us annoying. Nobody said this was easy. We do the best we can while taking the heat and we admit we’re not perfect, all while trying to make a difference in the world.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s cutting out meat or animal products from your diet, adopting a pet instead of buying from a pet store or switching up your beauty regime to be cruelty free. These things matter and every little bit helps. The more people commit to making the world a better place, the better the world can get.

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People will give us a hard time, make assumptions and lump us into groups. It’s bound to happen when you’re passionate about anything. There are times, however, where we shouldn’t have to apologize for our passion to bettering our world.

1. Spending Money on Cruelty Free Beauty Products

In the culture we live in, beauty is a luxury. You don’t need hair, makeup, face and body products to function day to day, but the industry is worth billions. Unfortunately, many heavy players in this industry practice animal testing with their products. Let’s be honest: We’re not curing cancer with lipstick, so subjecting animals to extensive testing for these products seems to be a little unnecessary. The positive in all this is that we live in a culture of supply and demand. The more people who buy cruelty free products, the less money spent on companies that do animal testing and less animals are harmed in the name of beauty.

So, next time you take forever in the beauty isle looking for a jumping bunny icon, don’t let anyone make you feel sorry for it.

2. Viewing Farm Animals and Cats and Dogs as Equals

It has been proven that pigs are just as smart and sociable as dogs, but one gets the share in our enjoyment of life and the other ends up on our plates. The trouble is that sometimes seeing is believing. We interact with dogs and cats all the time, whether they are our own or a loved one’s. We don’t get the chance to interact with farm animals all that often and see their different personalities. That’s why sharing visuals of these animals’ intelligence, personalities and bonds with humans is important, because it gives people a chance to view the animals in a way that is not so different from how they view cats and dogs.

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So, don’t let those friends who complain about the number of adorable cow videos you share get you down!

3. Participating in Nonviolent Protests

It’s true that there is strength in numbers. Nonviolent protestsnot only show that people care about an issue, but they show how many people care. They raise awareness for an issue, and get the attention of lawmakers and people behind important decision making in our communities.

No need to apologize for skipping this weekend’s brunch for a protest … you’re changing the world.

4. Recycling

Whether it’s beer cans, paper or plastics, recycling is one of the easiest things you can do to help the environment. Most cities and towns have recycling bins that you can put out on the street corner to be picked up. If not, chances are there’s a recycling center close by. On the other side of the ocean, Sweden has even found a way to recycle 99 percent of its trash. Looks like we’re slacking in comparison.

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So go ahead and pester your friends until they sort their lunch trash into plastic, glass and paper!

5. Not Eating Animal Products

Cutting meat and/or animal products out of your diet in a meat-eating world presents its own challenges. There are times when it just gets exhausting. You have to explain why to new people, deal with not-funny jokes (“Plants are alive. Why do you eat them? Heh, heh, heh”) and look up menus ahead of time when you plan on going out to eat. But no matter how many people think your vegetarian or vegan diet is “elitist” or “just a fad,” remember the bigger picture. Not eating animal products means removing cruelty from your diet and protecting the environment for future generations.

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No need to feel bad for turning down that burger at your next family barbecue – they’ll thank you in the long run.

6. Learning More About the Cause

The more you know about the cause, the better your answers will be when you get asked questions or someone tries to start a debate arguing against your ethics. You’ll be able to give informative, fact-based responses and maybe even teach them something as well.

So go ahead and read all the articles you want and above all never feel sorry for sharing what you’ve learned. When you know truth, you must share it!

7. Dropping Everything to Save an Injured or Homeless Animal

Chances are you’ve had to reschedule some plans in the past because you found a homeless or injured animal. If your friends know you, they know this is just part of the package. Because when it comes down to it, a life saved is more important to you than a night full of cocktails.

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Image source: Youtube