What You Can do to Help Animals

There are many ways you can help out animals by preventing their suffering. These are all things you can do yourself, on your own time. Do as many as you can for maximum impact. The animals will be better off for your efforts, and you’ll feel good for working for positive change as well!

Adopt a vegan lifestyle

  • Lead by example. Live compassionately.
  • Be the change you wish to see. Reduce the amount of animal products you consume. Become vegan. By not consuming animal products, one can personally save an average of nearly 100 animals each year.  Contact us for a vegan starter pack to be sent to you, or order one at VegStarterPack.com. There is plenty of support and materials out there to help you along the way. If you wish to have personal one-on-one support, join our Vegan Mentor Program.
  • Buy products that haven’t been tested on animals. Look for the “cruelty free” label. Search here for cruelty-free companies. Make sure what you’re buying doesn’t contain animal ingredients.
  • Don’t attend circuses, fairs, marine parks, zoos, and rodeos that use animals for entertainment.
  • Host a vegan dinner party. Bring vegan treats to work. Let people know how delicious vegan food can be.
  • Make veganized versions of recipes at food-centric – and non-veg – sites like AllRecipes.com and provide positive feedback about the tasty results, detailing what you substituted. Give positive reviews to vegan options at non-veg restaurants on review sites like Yelp.

Educate others

  • Ask restaurants and cafeterias if they can provide more vegan options. If they have comment cards available, fill them out with your request.
  • When dining out, thank restaurants and let them know how great it is that they are providing vegan options.  You can order thank you dining cards online or make your own.
  • Be a witness to the suffering of animals. While it may be hard to watch, it’s important to see videos like Farm to Fridge and Earthlings so we can attest to the amount of cruelty that animals undergo in service of human demand, and can describe it to those who are likely not going to see these films. Share these films with others.
  • Invite Humane Educators to your school, library or community center. You yourself can give a talk, or you can sponsor a speaker to come and talk about animal-related issues, or about living compassionately.
  • Leave literature and leaflets about compassion towards animals at your local laundromat, dentist and doctor’s office. You can order a variety of outreach materials from Vegan Outreach.
  • Write a letter to the editor to rebut newspaper or news blog articles that support any form of animal cruelty.
  • Host an animal documentary night at your house, school, library or community center.

Be a good animal steward

  • Keep the phone numbers of local veterinarians, shelters, Animal Control, and local offices of the Department of Wildlife programmed in your cell phone or on hand in case you come across an injured animal.
  • Spay and neuter your companion animals! This will help reduce the number of unwanted and homeless animals. Countless animals languish in shelters or roam wild in the streets around the world; there is no excuse to not contribute to this large-scale problem.
  • Never buy animals from pet stores. This only supports the horrific conditions of the pet trade, breeders, and puppy mills. Many pet stores also traffic in “exotic” pets, which only contributes to their endangerment. Instead, adopt from shelters or rescues. And take full responsibility for the animals you bring into your life. All too often, animals are brought in on a whim or as a gift, later to be returned, taken to a shelter, or simply abandoned.
  • Foster an animal.
  • Sponsor an animal. Many sanctuaries have a sponsorship program you can participate in, like Farm Sanctuary and Best Friends. Other sanctuaries also offer a monthly donation program.
  • Object to animal dissection in your science class, college or university. There are alternatives.
  • Lights off! Ask your office to turn their lights off at night, which will help reduce the high number of birds killed each year when they fly into lit windows. At home, paste black-silhouetted shapes to your windows so that birds will swerve instead of hit the hard surface.
  • Drive less; motorists are jeopardizing animal habitats all over the globe by contributing to greenhouse gasses. Help stop climate change by choosing to walk, bicycle or use public transit as your mode of transportation.
  • While abroad, don’t buy the body parts of endangered animals such as ivory and skins. Don’t eat the meat of endangered animals, which are sold to tourists as exotic and exciting. Let the vendors know that you disagree with selling endangered animal meat/parts.
  • Be an animal-friendly tourist by learning about the cruelty of animal tourism.  Don’t support shows and places that encourage animals to perform in a non-natural way.  Activities such as swimming with dolphins, elephant riding, and places like the Tiger Temple Thailand all contribute to the suffering of these majestic beings we adore.

Get involved

  • Join your local animal rights group. If you’re in the Western Washington area, get involved with us.
  • Protest! (Politely!) Gather a few friends, make a few signs, and picket circuses, fur retailers, fast food restaurants, etc.
  • Speak up against animal cruelty. If you see a situation of cruelty, neglect or abuse, talk to the perpetrator or call the authorities, such as your local Animal Control. We so often assume someone else will deal with the problem. If we don’t speak up, who will? Keep a log of what you witnessed, date/time/place of what occurred, who perpetrated it, and take pictures if you can; this will greatly help your case when you call the authorities. Take note of any re-occurring patterns of abuse, and keep calling if there is no action and provide the authorities updates.
  • Contact your local animal shelter or sanctuary and ask them about volunteer opportunities. You might be able to help with any number of programs, from fundraising to dog walking to cleanup and feeding.
  • Write to your legislators and representatives. If you are asking for them to support or oppose a bill, give the number and title of the bill as well as asking them to support or oppose it. Personalize it by explaining why the issue is important to you; it has more impact than a generic statement. If you live in Washington State, find your legislators here.
  • Sign petitions. There are many petitions on animal issues at Change.org and Care2.com.
  • Spend five minutes to save five lives! Take5save5.com provides an easy way for you to post an ad on Craigslist at a randomized location across the US offering free Veg Starter Kits. Set it as your home page of your browser, and do it daily.

Put dollars to work: donate & fundraise

  • Vote with your dollar. When you buy from companies that confine, abuse, and kill animals, you’re perpetuating that cruelty.
  • Boycott! Let companies know that you refuse to purchase their wares because of their use and abuse of animals.
  • Host a vegan bake sale as a fundraiser for an animal friendly organization. You’ll raise money to help animals AND spread the word about how delicious vegan food can be.
  • Donate humanely; search here for companies who advance cures and conduct research without the use of animals. Don’t let your dollars contribute to the moral dissonance of abusing and ending a life in order to save another.
  • Relief organizations that provide livestock to third-world families do not realize that a charitable gift of an animal is not charitable to the animal. Animals require more money and time for their welfare than what many families can afford. Instead donate to Food For Life Global, and Vegfam, both world-wide relief organizations that provide plant-based meals without the exploitation of animals.