The times are changing and people finally seem to be coming around to animal rights. A recent poll showed that approximately one-third of Americans, 32 percent, believe animals should have the same rights as people. This is great news! Even people who don’t believe they should have the same rights largely believe they should have some protection, 62 percent.
These results are higher than in 2008, when 25 percent thought animals should have the same rights. People are particularly concerned about animals used in circuses, research, and sports. These concerns likely come from more coverage of animal related issues as well as films l that are bringing more awareness to the issues. While the fact that Americans clearly care about animals is amazing, it would be even better is if they took these feelings and turned them into action. Luckily, that’s easy to do in their daily lives as the ten suggestions for action below show!
1. Reduce Consumption of Meat and Animal Products
One of the best ways that Americans can show they care about animals is by reducing their consumption of meat. Whether it’s once a day or for the rest of your life, choosing to minimize your consumption of these products (or eliminate all together) can have a huge positive impact. Join One Green Planet’s #EatForThePlanet to get started! You can also try out Meatless Monday, this program started in 2003 and is now active in 36 countries. By going meatless once a week you are helping to save animals and the planet!
2. Adopt Don’t Shop!
If you’re looking for a new animal companion don’t even think about stepping foot in that pet store or contacting a breeder! There are so many animals in shelters that need homes, including dogs of every breed. About 2.7 million animals are euthanized in shelters each year, and you can save one of them. Plus, when you save and animal from a shelter you are not supporting puppy mills or the pet stores who profit from them.
3. Grow an Edible Garden
Another way to help animals now is to grow a garden for them. Gardens can attract a wide variety of wildlife, including hummingbirds, butterflies, woodchucks, foxes and more. To help animals in your area, grow native plants and learn what these animals need and want for sustenance. Also be sure to plant for all seasons so there’s always something growing for them, plus your yard will always be beautiful!
4. Opt for Cruelty-Free Clothing
A super easy option to help animals is to choose only animal-free clothing and avoid animal products including leather, wool and silk. There are a ton of faux leather options that are better than the “real” thing without the cruelty. Companies like Tom Bihn, MooShoes, Pangea, Matt & Nat and more provide a multitude of stylish cruelty-free options for clothes, shoes and bags.
Most people are already on the fur free bandwagon, but if you’re not you should be. Fur is incredibly cruel and it’s so easy to avoid now. Even Stella McCartney uses faux fur in her fashion line. Its popularity in high end fashion is growing by the year, so you can easily find a faux fur piece of any kind.
5. Ride a Bike
Everyone knows that riding a bike to work or on errands is good for the environment, but it’s also great for animals! Biking reduces noise pollution. Animals avoid places with too much noise, and these can be difficult to find these days. In addition, you’re also much less likely to kill an animal with a bike than a car.
6. Get Involved With Animal Organizations
Donating your time is another option to help the animals. You can help out at your local humane society, or if you’re lucky enough to be close to a farm sanctuary you can volunteer there. Farm Sanctuary also does a yearly Walk for Farm Animals where you can form a team and fundraise to help out!
7. Speak Out for Animals
If you’re really feeling inspired and want to help out the animals, you can speak out for them in a variety of ways. One easy way is leafleting. Your local park would be a great place to start and spread awareness of what’s happening to animals and what people can do to help. Lots of groups offer free literature online you can print out or order for a small price. If you’re looking to minimize your paper footprint, become and online activist and share all the awesome articles you read on One Green Planet and other sites with your friends on social media!
8. Bake Delicious Plant-Based Food (and Share!)
The way to people’s hearts is always through their stomachs, so if you have an opportunity to make some delicious plant-based food and share it you can make an immediate impact. Often people have no idea how delicious healthy vegan food can be, so if you show them they are more likely to make compassionate choices!
Lead image source: Independent