Learning about some of the horrific things that happen to animals can be difficult. But rather than becoming depressed, try to channel your energy into action. You’ll feel much better knowing that you’ve done something to change the situation. And although trying to get people to understand why the success of the animal rights movement matters can sometimes be frustrating, remember that they are much more likely to listen if you stay calm and upbeat instead of getting angry.
Animal rights isn’t an abstract issue. It impacts everything from the clothes you wear to the food you eat. Your compassionate, cruelty-free lifestyle can have a positive influence on the people around you: By cooking delicious vegan food for friends and colleagues or boasting about the great new pair of nonleather boots that you just bought, you can challenge preconceptions and show others how easy it is to make kind choices.
The following are a few simple things that you can do:
Make Your Voice Heard Online
- Whether you prefer Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, social media can offer hugely effective ways to spread kind messages and help raise awareness of significant issues. Use online resources to share campaigns, inspiring stories, and other animal-related content and to connect with other likeminded people. Following PETA Asia-Pacific on Twitter or Facebook is an excellent way to start.
- You can also include a link to an animal rights website in your e-mail signature. And don’t forget to share PETA Asia’s YouTube videos.
Be a Caring Customer
- Buy only products that aren’t tested on animals and that don’t have animal ingredients. Refer to PETA US’ Beauty Without Bunnies database of cruelty-free companies to ensure that your purchases don’t harm animals. You can even introduce your hairdresser to animal-friendly hair products and purchase cruelty-free gifts for your friends and family.
- Feeling charitable? Donate to animal and health charities that don’t support animal testing.
- Wear animal rights T-shirts and buttons. You can order them here or design your own.
Spay or neuter your animal companions, treat them well, and don’t ever chain or cage them. Try to make sure that all the cats and dogs in your community are “fixed” by explaining to your neighbors why spaying and neutering are so important and by encouraging them to have their animals sterilized. Some local veterinarians may even be willing to offer discounted or free spaying and neutering services.
Always report cruelty to animals to the police and/or humane authorities immediately. Be persistent—speaking up about cruelty helps show authorities that the public cares about animals and wants abuse to be taken seriously. If authorities are unresponsive, contact PETA.
Offer to show videos, sponsor speakers, or hold seminars on animal issues at your school, community group, or public events.
Make your favorite vegan dish to share at the next big party to help show everyone how delicious vegan food can be.
Host a vegan dinner party. Many people would like to go vegan but don’t know what to eat. We can’t think of a better way to promote compassion than by showing your officemates, ballclub members, or nonvegan friends just how exciting and tasty vegan dining can be. Not sure what to make? Check out PETA US’ vegan recipes for some great ideas. You can also give away animal rights videos and books to your friends and relatives.
Post animal rights leaflets on community billboards and leave them for others to read in common rooms, lobbies, and other public places (but don’t litter). You can even stand on a street corner and hand them out yourself.
Give eavesdroppers something to think about: Speak loudly and proudly whenever you’re discussing animal rights with a friend. Animals’ voices are often ignored, so let’s speak up for them.
Sponsor a speaker or arrange to give a talk yourself. It’s easier than it sounds, and it’s very effective. Many local schools, universities, and civic clubs will host speeches on animal rights.
Write a quick letter or e-mail to newspapers, TV stations, or shows and other media. Thank them for a job well done whenever they share animal-friendly messages, or point out what’s wrong with stories and shows that degrade, ridicule, or harm animals. Many outlets, especially those that run investigative pieces, will welcome your ideas and suggestions. Check out PETA US’ letter-writing guide to help you get started. You can join our Writers’ Network by e-mailing us, and we’ll let you know about writing opportunities.
E-mail or call customer-service lines to praise companies that don’t test on animals and to complain to companies that do. Click here to check out PETA US’ list of companies that do and don’t test on animals.
Take advantage of shows and segments on TV and radio that encourage people to call or text with feedback. So many issues are linked to animal rights—including health, weight loss, politics, law enforcement, human rights, and the environment, to name just a few—so there’s always a way to incorporate compassion for our fellow beings into the conversation.
Let your favorite restaurants and grocery stores know that you want more vegan options.
Many stores don’t let their customers (or even their salespeople) know that they’re selling vegan leather, vegan fur, and other synthetic materials, because they think that people actually prefer the real (dead) thing. Write a letter urging them to be proudly cruelty-free—you can even send them videos about the cruel skins industry.
Write to local schools and ask them to end practices that harm animals or support animal abuse, such as keeping animals in the classroom, requiring students to dissect animals, and taking students on field trips to zoos, marine parks, or other animal exhibits. Don’t forget to suggest that they serve vegan meals in cafeterias, too.
Write to legislators and urge them to introduce more animal-friendly laws or to support ones that are already in the works or on the books. Always thank them when they do so.
Tell companies that you won’t stand for their sponsorship of events such as circuses and other traveling acts that use animals.
You’re Not Alone
All around the world, hundreds of thousands of people care deeply about animals and are taking action to end cruelty. Our individual actions can be hugely powerful, but when we act together, we can achieve even more! Meeting other people who share our ideals and goals can also help us stay motivated and focused. Look for local groups or meeting to find other compassionate people near where you live, and please sign up for PETA Asia’s Activist Network to hear about urgent alerts, demonstrations, and other events being held in your area.