Unfortunately, the world is not a very peaceful or safe place for many individuals. From conflict to abuse to exploitation, there is so much cruelty inflicted on both humans and animals. While this can get disheartening and difficult to hear about, petitions are a great way to use your voice for good. Just by signing one, you are a part of helping those who are not treated fairly. You can even share them with your friends and acquaintances to increase your impact.

Through petitions, we can reach those in power and demand justice for others. They are valuable tools for making positive changes in the world. If you are looking for a way to help animals and humans, here are 10 petitions you should sign this week, including Justice for Jacob Blake, Demand Nagashiki Shipping Clean Up the Oil Spill in Mauritius, and Ban Animal Testing for Cosmetics.

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We want to thank you for being the change you wish to see in the world and giving a voice to the voiceless.

1. Justice for Jacob Blake

Source: Al Jazeera English/Youtube

Jacob Blake is fighting for his life after he was shot in the back seven times by a white cop in front of his children and fiance. He got out of his car to de-escalate a fight between two women and when cops arrived, Blake returned to his car to let them deal with the situation. The cops followed him around his car and when he opened the driver’s side door, one of the cops grabbed his shirt, holding him in place while he fired at least 7 shots into Jacob Blake’s back. Blake’s children had to watch this extremely traumatizing situation. There is no reason to ever for a cop to ever shoot someone seven times at such a close range, even if a crime was committed. Blake had done nothing wrong; all he did was try to help his community by de-escalating a fight. Even if Blake had been noncompliant, he was not threatening anyone. There were so many other non-violent ways that the cops could have dealt with the situation. The cops are on administrative leave, which is another way to say a paid vacation. Sign this petition to demand that the cop who shot Jacob Blake is fired and charged with murder!

2. Demand Nagashiki Shipping Clean Up the Oil Spill in Mauritius

Source: Guardian News/Youtube

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In late July, a ship carrying approximately 4,000 tons of fuel ran aground on a coral reef in Mauritius and released 1,000 tons of oil into their uniquely bio-rich waters. Crew members were having a party on board, so no one noticed that the ship had gone off course. The situation has only gotten worse since then: the ship broke in half, causing even more fuel to leak out. Mauritians have been outraged by the disaster, rushing to set up relief funds and to volunteer in the clean-up efforts, even though civilians should never have to fix the problems that greedy corporations created. Sign this petition to demand that Nagashiki Shipping immediately pay the full costs to completely clean up this disastrous oil spill.

3. Ban Animal Testing for Cosmetics Now!

bunny shot

Source: unoL/Shutterstock

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Product Safety Commission in the U.S. don’t require animal testing. Despite the fact that animal testing is unnecessary and should be obsolete considering the multitude of ethical alternatives, many companies continue to test their products and ingredients on animals. The Humane Cosmetics Act would make it illegal to conduct or commission animal testing for cosmetics and eventually ban the sale of products and ingredients that were made using animal testing. The legislation was introduced with bipartisan support in the 113th and 114th Congress, but was never passed out of committee. Help push for the reintroduction and passage of landmark legislation that could end the suffering of millions of animals who are needlessly tortured and killed to test cosmetics in the U.S. Sign this petition asking your representative to support and co-sponsor the Humane Cosmetics Act.

4. Pass Red Flag Laws to Stop Mass Shootings

guns

Source: Kiattipong/Shutterstock

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Gun violence and mass shootings are a huge issue in the U.S. In 2019, there were 417 mass shootings in the U.S. according to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive. According to CNN, by November, there had 45 school shootings in 2019. Red Flag laws — also called Extreme Risk Protection Orders — allow police, family members, or other concerned individuals to petition a judge to temporarily remove guns from people who are a threat to themselves or to others. They can and do save lives. Unfortunately, only 19 states have Red Flag laws. Sign this petition to demand that the legislators and governors in the remaining states adopt Red Flag laws now.

5. Tell Nestle, Ferrero, and Unilever to Stop killing Orangutans for Palm Oil

palm oil deforestation

Source: Rich Carey/Shutterstock

At 66 million tons annually, palm oil is the most commonly produced vegetable oil. Its low world market price and properties that lend themselves to processed foods have led the food industry to use it in half of all supermarket products. You can find it in shampoo, chocolate, soap, candles, detergents, and so many other products. Sadly, this profitable vegetable oil has huge costs for animals, the environment, and indigenous peoples. Palm oil plantations have taken over 30 million acres of rain forests, destroying the habitat for endangered orangutans, the Borneo elephant, and the Sumatran tiger. Human rights violations are everyday occurrences, even on supposedly “sustainable” and “organic” plantations.Sign this petition to take a stand against palm oil!

6. Fight Climate Change to End California Wildfires

fires

Source: Aarti Kalyani/Shutterstock

California wildfire seasons are getting even more difficult to contain because of climate change. To make matters worse,  Trump’s presidency has been full of rollbacks on environmental protections. During these fires, California forces prisoners to fight fires on the front lines, but are paid as little as $2 a day. Upon release, these people are denied the opportunity to become professional firefighters. This kind of exploitation is unjust and outrageous. Rather than forcing prisoners into these dangerous situations without proper pay or the possibility of pursuing firefighting as a career later one, we need to be addressing the root cause of these fires: climate change. Of course, there needs to be immediate action to fight fires as climate change and its effects will take time to address, however, forcing incarcerated people into these dangerous situations is not the answer. The state needs more funding for fighting these fires and prevent them in the future. Sign this petition to encourage the federal government to take action on climate change!

7.  Oppose Ship Project that Will Threaten Orcas, Salmon, and Migratory Birds

delta river

Source: Alex533/Shutterstock

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The construction of Roberts Bank Terminal 2 (RBT2), a three-berth container ship terminal, is being considered near Washington State waters, over 437 acres of critical habitat for Southern Resident orcas, salmon, and migratory birds in the Fraser River Delta. It would increase shipping traffic as well as the risk of cargo, hazardous materials, and oil spills. Sign this petition to tell Governor Jay Inslee that you agree with the 41 organizations requesting that he oppose the RBT2 container ship project on behalf of Washingtonians and the environmental, cultural, and economic resources of the state.

8. Fire Dog-Killing Cop in Detroit

dog behind fence

Source: DMITRY TILT/Shutterstock

In Detroit, Michigan, a family’s dog was hanging out in its fenced-in front yard with its owner nearby. While the pup was sniffing around the grass, a police officer walked up with her own K-9. The two dogs initially sniffed noses and trotted along together, separated by the 6-foot-high wrought iron fence posts. Then, as happens with dogs, things turned nippy and the family pet grabbed onto the new dog’s muzzle. There were so many options she could have used to distract the animals or break them up. Instead, the officer pulled out her gun and shot the family’s pet dog in the head. Her department defended her and blamed the family of the dog that the officer killed. This is not that family’s or their pet dog’s fault. That property was enclosed, surrounded by a 6-foot-high, solid metal fence. They even kept a “Beware of Dog” sign featured prominently. Police officers have deadly weapons and should exercise extreme caution and prudence with them. Sign this petition to demand that the Detroit Police Department fire their dog-killing cop!

9. End the Poaching of Elephants for Ivory in Botswana

elephant with tusks

Source: JONATHAN PLEDGER/Shutterstock

Last year, Botswana disarmed their anti-poaching force. They also, made several other concerning proposals that put elephants at risk including suggesting that elephant meat be used for dog food and supporting the withdrawal of the ivory ban. Since then, there has been a slew of tragic poaching incidences with images and footage to prove it. One image shows the body of a mutilated elephant strewn out with its head chainsawed in half, its trunk and forehead a few feet away from the rest of its decaying body, and its ivory gone, likely headed to Asia. Their elephants are in extreme danger and need to be protected. Sign this petition and demand Botswana take immediate action to end the spate of poaching!

10. Find Person Who is Shooting Cats in Florida for Fun

cat oustside

Source: Horse Crazy/Shutterstock

In Tampa, Florida, someone is going around and shooting cats with a BB gun for no reason other than their own amusement. Stray cats are common, normally able to live happily and fend for themselves, and many families own pet cats that spend part of their time outdoors. Now, many of these cats’ lives are in jeopardy. At least seven cats have been shot in just the span of the week and three cats are known to have died from the gunshots and subsequent infections. One of the victims was just a three-month-old kitten, a sweet girl named FlowerSign this petition and show your support for Hillsborough County Animal Control, who must do everything in their power to stop this cat-killer!

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