How to Become an Animal Advocate in Five Easy Steps

Becoming an animal advocate is a choice many people make when they see abuse or hear about animals in need. Watching television shows on Animal Planet, or finding animal news websites, can inspire people to become active in fighting for their welfare. And for people who have rescued animals or adopted from shelters, making the decision to volunteer to help animals is made easier once they become familiar with their local humane society or SPCA.
Once you have decided you wish to devote time to help animals, here are five easy steps you can take today that will save lives.
1. Change what you eat. It is a fact that 10 billion farmed animals die each year to become meat products for the American public. On average, each American eats 31 animals per year. By giving up meat and becoming a vegetarian, you are in essence saving 31 lives each year.
2. Avoid products and drugs tested on animals. More than 25 million animals are used in laboratory testing in the United States each year. Despite this, dozens of drugs tested on animals and approved by the FDA are taken off the market after they show harm to humans. Buy products labeled “not tested on animals” or from companies who refuse to do such testing such as The Body Shop and Kiss My Face.
3. Adopt shelter dogs and cats rather than buying purebreds from breeders. Over 4 million healthy dogs and cats are killed in shelters each year simply because there are not enough homes for them. Yet 25% of dogs in shelters are purebreds. When you adopt a dog or cat from a shelter you are saving their life.
4. Boycott circuses and aquarium shows. Every US circus company featuring animals has been cited for violating care standards under the USDA’s Animal Welfare Act law. Whether they are performing or traveling to a new venue, elephants, lions, and other exotics used in circuses endure extreme suffering from abusive training techniques and confinement in trailers and railroad cars. Visit circuses such as Cirque du Soleil where the performers entertain audiences through amazing feats of human abilities.
5. Refuse to buy products made from fur or skin. In 2006, the annual Canadian seal hunt killed 350,000 baby seals which were used to make seal skin products. In the US, 30 million mink, foxes and chinchilla’s are killed by electrocution and other inhumane methods to produce fur coats for humans. Purchase leather and fur-free clothing and footwear from cruelty free websites such as Alternative Outfitters and The Vegan Store.
By making changes such as eliminating meat and animal products from your diet and wardrobe, not attending circuses or aquariums, avoiding products tested on animals and by adopting homeless dogs and cats instead of buying purebreds, you can become an activist for animals without ever visiting a protest demonstration.