These are 10 things everyone can do to help animals, beyond boycotting companies that test on animals.
Report suspected animal cruelty
If you see an animal being mistreated or neglected, please report it. Learning how to report animal cruelty is essential, and it varies depending on country or state. If you live in the US, here’s a useful guide. If you’re in Canada, contact your local SPCA or the police according to this guide.
Volunteer at your local shelter
Many animal shelters are suffering a lack of volunteers, and helping them out is a great way to make a real difference in the lives of many animals. From walking dogs to fundraising, there are many fun and much needed ways in which you can help.
Fight for animal rights
Being an animal rights activist doesn’t necessarily mean taking to the streets with picket signs. There are smaller ways in which everyone can help that are equally loud in terms of actions. Every action counts, whether it’s writing a strong-worded letter to the local authorities or companies or even doing your small share by signing a petition.
Buy cruelty-free cosmetics
Needless to say, animal testing is still common today even though there are over 5,000 safe cosmetics ingredients to choose from, as well as alternative testing methods. Switching to exclusively cruelty-free cosmetics is a ridiculously simple way in which you can make a social difference.
Avoid products that contain palm oil
It’s important to raise awareness about palm oil being linked to mass deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia, threatening the survival of a lot of species. The more people become aware of this, the sooner the practice will stop. Read more about it here.
Switch to animal-friendly antifreeze
It’s not a well-known fact, but animals love the sweet taste of antifreeze. Leaving antifreeze out will prompt animals to drink it, which results in severe kidney damage that require immediate veterinary help. If you have a car, make the switch to propylene-based antifreeze, a less toxic alternative to the traditional ethylene glycol antifreeze that’s fatal to pets.
Re-think your eating habits
Is there anything you can do to make your diet more animal-friendly? Although going vegan isn’t an easy choice for some, it could be a goal to aim for. Alternatively, taking small steps like reducing your meat consumption, buying meat and eggs from local farms, or going vegetarian, are great ways to help animals and possibly ease into a vegan lifestyle.
Have your pets spayed or neutered
There’s a huge number of unwanted pets resulting from lack of spaying or neutering. Because millions of cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters every year, spaying and neutering your cats and dogs is crucial. Even if you personally take care of your pets, not everyone does, and giving pets away doesn’t mean that they’re going to be properly cared for.
Care for your cats
Just because cats don’t require daily walks and constant attention like dogs do, it doesn’t mean they don’t have needs that take just as much attention. Make sure your cat has easy climbing access inside the house. Don’t discourage your cat from climbing on furniture, but rather encourage it by providing your cat with a wall cat climber. Feed your cat with quality food, and don’t buy pet food that has been tested on animals (such as Iams, a company that tests on animals).
Avoid pesticides and herbicides
Those who have a garden are advised to avoid chemical pesticides and herbicides, as they’re not only a threat to animals, but to the environment as well. There are many natural and organic ways to repel unwanted garden bugs.
Suzana Rose is the founder and editor-in-chief of Cruelty-Free Kitty. She loves using her creative energy to run her ethical businesses, and when she’s not working, you can find her thrifting cute clothes, listening to podcasts, or rewatching her favorite episodes of The Office.