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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.
1. Preserve the Ancient Bell Bowl Prairie
The Bell Bowl Prairie is a five-acre plot of land outside of Chicago that still retains imprints of the continent’s last glaciers. It houses endangered species of migratory birds, and a myriad of other wildlife. The Natural Land Institute has been working to preserve this area, but the area is now at risk of demolition as the Chicago Rockford International Airport seeks to expand. Airports like SFO have worked to preserve important wildlife areas, and Rockford Airport can too. Sign this petition and ask the airport to protect the ancient Bell Bowl Prairie.
2. Support Bat-Friendly Infrastructure
Gray bats have been an endangered species for more than four decades. Because their habitat is restricted to a limited range of caves, they are especially susceptible to Climate change and habitat degradation. That makes old box bridges a surprisingly important resource; with age, these bridges develop cracks that serve as shelter for the bats from wind, rain, and predators. In some heartwarming news, wildlife groups, scientists and local engineers in Kentucky teamed up to build a new bridge that includes crevices for gray bats. Sign this petition and ask other states—starting with Tennessee—to follow suit.
3. Protect Animals from Cruel and Unnecessary Experiments
Every day, research labs subject animals to unnecessarily cruel experiments, and governments under-protect these animals. It surprises most people, for example, that the Animal Welfare Act does not protect birds, rats, or mice used in research. Beagles are the dog breed most commonly used in research because they are small and docile—and in recent days, the news has been scrutinizing the National Institute for Infectious Diseases for allegedly funding exceptionally cruel experiments on 44 Beagles. According to some reports, researchers locked these dogs in cages in the desert for nine nights so they would contract parasites. Sign this petition to protest cruel animal experiments.
4. Protect the Cocaine Hippos
Controversy has surrounded the famous “cocaine hippos“—the offspring of animals that notorious drug kingpin Pablo Escobar illegally important into Columbia in the 1980s. Since authorities killed Escobar in 1993, the abandon hippos have thrived in an environment where they have no natural predators. Further growth of the invasive hippo population would continue harming Columbian wildlife. But that doesn’t mean these animals should have to suffer for humans’ mistakes, and thankfully, animal-rights organizations like Animal Legal Defense Fund are intervening on the hippos’ behalf. Sign this petition to stop the massive slaughter of 100 innocent hippos, and push for humane solutions like sterilization.
5. Cut Military Emissions
The U.S. Military has openly recognized the dangers of climate change—which is a very good thing. But at the same time, the military budget swallows massive amounts of tax dollars, many of which go towards the least climate-friendly technology on the planet. With access to the world’s largest research budget, the U.S. Military needs to lead the way in green energy. Sign this petition and ask the Department of Defense to invest in a green planet.
6. Do We Really Have to Shoot the Cows that Escape?
The beef (and dairy) industry may be the worst industry the world has ever seen. People confine cows in cramped and filthy enclosures, separate them from their young, and eventually lead them to slaughter. The industry also emits massive quantities of greenhouse gases and subjects laborers to dangerous working conditions.
People, of course, continue to eat burgers and cheese and yogurt. But even meat and dairy eaters show some sympathy for the rare cow who escapes. People love a good underdog story, and they can put a face to a cow who beats the odds. That’s why most cows who miraculously escape slaughterhouses end up safe, in sanctuaries. But in Blue Springs, Missouri, where three cows escaped, police shot two cows and brought the other back for slaughter. You can sign this petition to protest the beef industry—and, at the very least, to stand up for the rare cow who escapes.
The United States reached a big milestone when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned the use of chlorpyrifos on fruits and vegetables. But other countries still use chlorpyrifos on crops—some of which America imports. Chlorpyrifos is a pesticide that attacks insects’ nervous systems and, unsurprisingly, it can have negative impacts on children and farmworkers who are exposed to the chemical. Sign this petition asking the U.S. to set trade barriers on toxic pesticides, and to promote bans on these pesticides worldwide.
8. Ban Elephant Rides
The city of Jaipur is one of many places where people keep captive elephants and exploit them for human entertainment. Elephants are extremely smart and social animals. They mourn their loved ones. And in the wild, they are known for being playful and loving. But in captivity, people often beat them into submission, subject them to hard labor, and deprive them of access to food and clean water. Several U.S. states have banned the use of elephants for human entertainment in traveling shows, and it’s important to spread these protections around the world. Sign this petition to protect elephants from exploitation.
9. Support Government Funding for Child Care
Childcare is integral to our society. But often the people who need it most cannot afford it—and the people who provide it are underpaid. Child care workers are quitting to find other jobs, and day care programs are suffering as a result. The government can help fund childcare by providing free, Universal Pre-K for three and four year olds, and by subsidizing child care for low- and middle-income families. You can sign this petition to tell U.S. Senators that you value spending on child care.
10. Stop Animal Abuse and Neglect
Every once in awhile, a story pops up about individualized animal abuse and forces us to confront how cruel people can be to animals. A veterinary clinic in Savannah, Missouri recently had to euthanize a ten-year-old dog after a person shot him through the face and left him to die. By the time the dog was found, an infection had nearly eaten through his head, and he had endured weeks without eating or drinking.
Stories like this upset anyone who reads them. That’s because they’re awful and upsetting. But it’s important to remember that, while it’s easy to get up in arms about a single, cruel act, it’s harder to change our own behavior. Our society brutally slaughters billions of animals per year. We separate mothers from their young and drag downed animals across slaughterhouse floors. No form of animal cruelty should be acceptable, and you can sign this petition to speak out against animal abuse.