Thinking about those new year's resolutions? Here are just a few easy things that everyone can do to help make 2007 the most animal cruelty-free ever!
1. Go Veg! If you haven't already, then make it your goal for this year. The horrors of factory farming are alarming, and massive in scale. There are so many delicious meat and dairy alternatives available right in your local grocery store. Give them a try! And for all those pescatarians out there, remember that fish are friends! Give it up for 2007. Did you realize that just by boycotting Canadian seafood you can help to save the baby seals from slaughter?!?
2. Adopt a pet! If you don't have one already (and you have the time, space, and love to give) then bring a needy animal in to your home. There are so many unwanted and discarded animals right here in the Twin Cities. Consider making one of them your forever companion. The love of an animal is a love that will truly awaken your soul! Please, don't support breeders or puppy mills (which are filthy and cruel!), as this only adds to the out of control pet population. Adopt animals from your local shelters or other rescue organizations. Be sure to have all your pets spayed or neutered!
3. Be fashionably compassionate! There is no excuse to wear fur...ever! Make the compassionate choice not to purchase it in any form. This includes coats, fur trim, fur in/on boots, fur hats, etc. etc.). Pay attention to labels, as sometimes fur may be hidden in products. And don't forget!!!!!!!! Leather and wool are cruel animal products, too. Rid them from your life. With all these cool alternatives, there's no excuse to wear the animals! Oh, and check out this coolest of animal alternative stores right here in our own city!!
4. Be buyer conscious! Refuse to buy products or support companies that test on animals. It is an acknowledged fact that animal tests are not only cruel, but essentially unreliable and useless. There are many, many alternatives to animal testing that are more reliable and scientifically beneficial. And remember, be choosy about where you lay your money down. Even though you might not be purchasing a fur coat or animal tested products, shopping at stores that sell these products is helping to support those cruelties!
5. Volunteer! There are so many opportunities and ways to get involved to help animals. There are a host of shelters and animal rescue organizations right here in the Twin Cities just waiting for someone like you to lend a hand. Get off the couch and do it!!
6. Pay attention to politics! The officials we elect have a huge say in the laws and regulations that govern the treatment of animals. It is so vitally important that we all perk up our eyes and ears and become diligent stewards for the animals. Write letters to your local papers, write letters to your senators and representatives, pick up the phone and make a call! If we are not a voice for the animals, then they have no voice.
7. Help the animals in your neighborhood. Is there a dog on your street that stays chained up outside, or a cat that is homeless? If so, get involved and do something about it. Help. Offer to take the dog for a walk or buy him a toy to play with. Try to find a home for the cat, spay or neuter it to help control the pet population. In general, if you see an animal that you think is suffering in some way, take action!!!
8. Protect wildlife! Can you ever imagine a world without an abundance of magnificent and awe-inspiring wildlife? Then we all need to do our part to protect it. Get involved in defending wildlife and wildlife habitat. If you're having a problem with local wildlife, try a humane solution before hauling in an exterminator. For example, find out where mice are getting in and seal the entry. If there's an abundance of deer eating the vegetation in your yard, add some deer-resistant plants as a way to ward them off. Or, contact the Humane Society of the United States' wildlife experts, and they're sure to have a humane solution.
9. Talk to kids about animals. The children really are our future. Teach them that animals are sentient beings who are capable of suffering. Teach them that animals are not ours to exploit, but are intelligent, curious creatures, each with his own unique personality. Take them to an animal sanctuary. Expose them to humane treatment of animals. Refuse to take kids to circuses and zoos or other forms of "entertainment" that are harmful to animals. Tell them that classroom dissection is wrong, and help lobby their teachers and legislators to win the right to choose alternatives to classroom dissection.
What are your animal-friendly tips for 2007? I welcome and encourage all ideas!