ANIMALS ARE SENTIENT BEINGS
ANIMALS ARE SENTIENT BEINGS
Ways you Can Help
Ways You Can Help
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“The least I can do is speak out for those who
cannot speak for themselves.”

- Jane Goodall


We really encourage you to use our TAKE ACTION pages to take political and social action and it is easy to do so. However, there is a lot more that you can do as well. Below is a list of some ideas on how you can make a difference.


These ideas range dramatically and what you are ready to do will depend on your personality, internal and external resources, level of awareness, and willingness. Start with the smallest step that feels right to you. Some things suggested may seem out of the question at this moment in your life. Just take the step(s)
that are acceptable to you at this time. Change happens one step at a time. Sometimes only thinking about a step can help. I would never have thought that I would be doing some things that now feel totally normal and right to me. Anything that you do to help animals and the environment makes a difference. Anything. So just do it!
We are very open to more ideas so please write in and tell us more and, if suitable, we will add them to the list. Remember, every behavior makes a difference. Big changes in the world have happened by people taking small, firm steps and helping others to do the same. A lot can happen just by power of example, conversation, how and where you spend your time and money, any socially active action, and for whom and what you vote. Some basic and varied suggestions are as below:


1.Look into another creatures’ eyes, take them IN as
beings with wants, needs, feelings, and intentions. If you can’t make eye contact, watch and consider them. What appears to be their interests, activities, feelings, concerns in their world and as conscious beings? BE CURIOUS. Feel into other creatures and their intentions. Open your
mind and heart. If you can’t, ask yourself what is preventing you. Again, be curious. You will feel more connected and will start to take more caring actions, because to not do so will feel wrong.
2.Teach your children, anyone and everyone’s children to do the same. Don’t lecture. Share your interest in animals with the young. Help them “get” that animals are “people” too. Get creative in how to share your animal love. Have fun and help kids have fun getting to know an animal. Share especially with any young people who rarely (if ever) get to see wild
creatures. For example, organize an urban class trip to a local CSR farm or local sanctuary!

3.Set an intention of kindness and curiosity about other creatures. Practice humility - that means, in part, having an openness to another animals’ perspective. Another perspective can be really different from yours and yet still valid. Practice a willingness to help other creatures.

4.Do not engage in purchasing or admiring purchases of products that support animals as commercial goods for our
use. Examples include fur, snakeskin, ivory, leather, tortoise shell, and exotic pets (wild animals captured and removed from their homes or bred in captivity in usually appalling conditions).   

5.Spay and neuter your pets; pay for a neighbor’s dog or a feral cat to also be spayed.

6.If you are having trouble with wildlife on/with your property do not just contact a wildlife removal company, even if they claim to be “humane” and claim that they will relocate the animal(s). Talk with Humane Wildlife Services (a service connected with The Humane Society of the United States) or GeesePeace. Both of these groups will have thoughtful ideas for wildlife conflict resolution that will respect all parties involved.

7.Contact your local medical school and
politely ask them to replace, refine, and terminate their use of live animals in their programs.
8.VOTE! Find out how political candidates in all levels of government stand on animal welfare and environmental issues and vote for the best ones. Encourage all your friends to do the same.

9.Purchase only products that you know have not been tested on live animals. If in doubt-ask! There are many organizations you can check with. For example, PETA or Caring Consumer. Tell your local grocery store to stock animal friendly products and why it matters to you.

10.Adopt an older pet (from a shelter or rescue organization). They are usually well-trained and desperately need loving homes.

  11. Purchasing and eating organic products is great for small creatures such as voles, worms,
snails, and insects, as well as larger creatures such as birds, rabbits, and humans who harvest and handle the crops. Organic is wonderful all the way up the food chain, for the planet, and for you. Organic is good for our world community. There is an important caveat to "organic" labels, however, when it comes to diary, eggs, meat, and clothing. "Organic" does not necessarily reflect that the lives of the animals involved are at all humane and civilized. For example,
"organic" eggs can be produced by hens living in the most appalling conditions and having horrific lives (and are naturally omnivorous and would not choose to be eating a diet of only organic grains). Organic meat can come from some terribly treated animals. Using organic products is a terrific thing to do AND it is also important to look into the lives of the mammals and birds involved. Do not assume "organic" is humane. Please use organizations such as American Humane Association :

(http://www.americanhumane.org) to learn about how to find humanely raised animals and resulting products. There are other organizations on our "Take Action" page that can also help with this issue.


12.Report animal abuse of any kind to your local police, local SPCA, PETA, or any number of local or national organizations. This includes issues with local domestic pets and the treatment of animals at the zoo, circus, farms, and wildlife. Do not be afraid to make your concerns public.

13.Write letters, e-mails, make telephone
calls, or (best) speak in person to your elected officials, company owners, and editors of your local paper about an animal or environmental issue. Write to places such as McDonalds about not serving cloned meat, Alaska or St Kitts heads of tourism about wolf or whale treatment, or opening a Greyhound track.. every person to write a letter to can make a difference. Try to do one a month. Or one a week! 
14.Take organized action. There are a lot of options for this on websites listed on our “Take Action” page. Or you can start your own cause to help a creature. Causes can range from outlawing shark fin
or fois gras in your town/county, improving anti-cruelty laws for pets or food animals, helping protect local species, stopping the local pet shop from a number of bad practices...so many options...look around and see what needs doing take some time to do it.
15.Go to organizations like African Wildlife Association or www.savingspecies.org and investigate many options for donation, volunteering, travel, land
purchases, and other ways these sort of organization are working around the world with local people to help save wildlife habitats and prevent extinction of endangered species.

16.Make a specific species your cause. Learn about and then advocate for it in any number of ways. Lemurs, cheetahs, abuse and slaughter of U.S. wild horses, the list is endless. Choose a species and advocate for it in your way as much as you can find ways to do so.

17.Share your love of an animal, animals, wildlife, or just the outdoors, with young people. They may be your relatives, friends, or local community children or inner city children. It will all make a difference.

18.Give gifts of magazine subscriptions (e.g. National Geographic, Ranger Rick, Smithsonian, Audubon...), DVDs, and books about animals. This will raise people’s awareness of and care for animals and
supports these animal productions which in turn supports animals... this is great for kids, from individuals to local schools and other communities, especially where children may not get access to wild animals.
19.Read and watch media on animals. This will educate you and support the media that is supporting animals. Let institutions like National Geographic, Smithsonian, BBC, and PBS know that you appreciate their efforts to
raise people’s awareness about endangered species and the impact of global warming. Media gets a lot of pressure not to tell people the true and whole story and we need to support them when they make an effort to be honest and responsible. Let any media group spending money and time bringing us information on animals know that you appreciate their shows.

20.If you pray, pray for all creatures on the planet and pray for hurt and suffering creatures as you move through your day and become aware of them (road kill, the abused animal you see on Animal Planet, the hen that laid your breakfast egg). Pray also for those who are cruel or indifferent to animals, that they may get help towards compassion.

21.Birds as pets are only to be chosen after very
careful education about the species and whether you can responsibly provide a happy home and a long term plan for your pet’s care. If you really believe that you understand the social needs, noise, and longevity of these species, then please adopt one of the many discarded of these precious animals. Do not support their illegal poaching or poor breeding facilities. There are birds in need of adoption. Go to “Project Perry” or Google the issue and learn more about all this before taking action.

22.Take responsibility and learn about the lives of the animals you are eating or who provide your clothes or “testing” for your make up, or cleaning supplies. The Humane Society of the United States, FACT (Food Animal Concerns Trust), PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), Farm Sanctuary, FARM (Farm
Animal Rights Movement), Mercy for Animals, and NAVS (The National Anti-Vivisection Society) are some of the places where you could start learning. This self-education is a courageous step, as it will cause you to face a lot and have some difficult feelings and conflicts. It will also help you to change your behavior and move toward bigger changes. Putting our behavior and money behind our beliefs is an important step to really changing the world: both ours, other animals, and the whole planet. Go to a slaughterhouse, a factory cow, sheep, pig, turkey, chicken “farm” and see what you are participating in with even “free range” and/or “organic” meat.
23.Get to know a chicken, pig, cow, duck, goose, cow or other farm animal so you can really feel connected to their well-being. Do the same with common “research” and “tested” upon
animals like a mouse, cat, dog, guinea pig, and many other creatures.

24.Do the same with a fish. Fish are very relational. Try and get to know one and you will see how much they communicate, remember, socialize, and have individual personalities (get to know two goldfish and see how different they can be). Fish are the only animals we eat in the U.S. who have no rights what-so-ever! Work to change this!

25.Try not eating meat unless you have seen where it has lived, how it has lived, and how it has died. In this way you can support true humane farming. Try this one animal at a time. If you feel like eating the meat of the animal from a factory farm, think of the animal. Think of its eyes. Think of the reality of its life... a “concentration camp” from birth to death. And this is a feeling, thinking, sentient being, just like you. Get conscious about your actions and food
choices step by step. Remember to educate yourself about protein. Vegans or vegetarians are great grassroots animal care educators as they can teach people a lot, gently and politely, just by explaining their actions when people ask. It is a healthy choice for you as well (for example, read The Food Revolution by Tom Robbins).
26.There is a new UN report, just published, that clearly promotes a change to veganism. Here is just one quote: "Impacts from agriculture are expected to increase substantially due to population
growth, increasing consumption of animal products. Unlike fossil fuels, it is difficult to look for alternatives: people have to eat. A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products" (UNEP 2009).

27.Consider very carefully before deciding to give birth to another human child. There are too many people on the planet and we are using everything up. We have to manage our reproduction. Be a conscious part of this management in any way that is appropriate for you.

28.Take political and social action by using the
web addresses on the “Take Action” page to communicate with your elected officials, people in government offices (e.g. the department of agriculture or the interior), and specific companies about matters of concern for animals. Such as national park rules, protection of endangered species, or anti-cruelty laws. There are many organizations listed on our “Take Action” page involved in many areas of animal and environmental concerns. Their websites have great petitions, letters, people to call,
and other suggestions, many of them involving very little effort.

29.Recycle and be conscious about the use of plastic bags, plastic anything, baby diapers, styrofoam, balloons, and other environmentally ruinous products which are also a serious hazard for wildlife.

30.Shop in animal care responsible ways and encourage your local shops to provide such care items.

31.Try to avoid extra use of anything. ESPECIALLY PLASTIC! Get re-usable bags and re-use beverage cups and/or carry your own with you. Don’t use balloons, don’t use plastic wrap (use re-usable containers). We need to stop just consuming-using and throwing out.

32.Don’t overuse water!

33.Buy your meat (and vegetables) from
Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) farms. These are small farms or groups of farms which care for their animals and vegetables much better than agro-businesses. The animals are treated humanely and you can actually see them and how they are cared for, while supporting small businesses. There are many reasons for supporting the return to such farming-environmental and human health reasons as well as for humanity towards animals.
34.Encourage your family, friends, and neighbors, as well as local restaurants to
also support CSA farms.

35.Spend time getting to really know a friend’s cat or dog.

36.Donate time, money, and useful items to a favorite animal cause. This could be a local shelter, a National Park such as Yellowstone or National Wildlife Foundation, an international cause such as The International Fund for Animals or Animals Asia
Foundation. Pick an animal and raise money for a group that is working to protect it. Have a bake sale, book sale, yard sale, auction for Siberian tigers, ocelots, sharks, gorillas, whales, sea turtles, grizzly bears, frogs. Be imaginative. Have fun. Raise the awareness in your community and meet people! 
37.When people argue or ridicule you, remain polite. It is rarely a good idea to be rude. Being a jerk does not help people to learn or think about anything you might be hoping to help them understand. Don’t lecture. Just remain clear about your beliefs and see if there is any way to invite them to be curious about why they feel so threatened by these opinions. Why it is that they need to be so disrespectful towards you and/or your ideas? Agree with them that it is hard to be open if it will involve having to change their ways. Do not stay in a useless
conversation. It is not worth your energy.

38.If someone is being cruel to an animal only intervene directly if it feels safe to do so. Research is clear that people who abuse animals are often not good to other people either. Only intervene directly if it seems like a case of ignorance, not intentional malevolence. There is no point in you getting hurt as well. (Always follow up later by contacting your local authorities about cruelty to animals.)

39.Always investigate your vitamins, herbal products, and supplements for
animal ingredients. Chinese herbs can often have ingredients such as shark fin, pangolin scales, bear gall bladder bile. Be really clear with your practitioner that you are deeply opposed to use of animal products in herbal supplements. The illegal hunting and poaching of rare and endangered animals is one major concern and another is that all
animals raised for use in such products are having a very awful life. For some examples of this please go to www.animalsasia.org (Animals Asia). Unfortunately, in many cultures there are few or no laws protecting animals and their treatment in commercial enterprises. It cannot be “good karma” to use health products made from such suffering. Tell this to your acupuncturist!






 
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