Inspiring yourself to advocate for animals is the first step but what happens after that? Once you have that foundation of encouragement you need, the hardest part tends to be deciding what it is exactly that you can do and how you can go about doing it. But, helping animals can be relatively simple once you get the hang of it & later on becomes a routine, like exercising for example. Once you see the benefits & the outcome, it becomes more of a necessity compared to wishing you looked that way you felt that way. You actually made the initiative to do something about it. That’s what animal rights is all about.
In fact, there is an abundant of ways to get active for animals in our everyday lives which we don’t even exactly have to go out of our way for. You can always decide to go the extra mile, but realizing that there are simple and effective ways to do this is key. Of course, the more dedicated you are, the more impact you make. But with that being said, there are many ways to categorize these advocate actions, but I’ll keep it straightforward: at school/college, jobs/careers, home, & outside home. School/College:In school or college it may seem difficult to include animal rights in daily conversation or projects, but when you get the chance, it can be pretty effective. Whether it’s talking to a friend or teacher and informing them about animal cruelty and even unnecessary practices at your own school, or making a petition petitioning the Board of Education like I did. But as we all know, when it comes to people, there is always someone who has to question you to try to make you look uneducated or try to prove you wrong. And that’s why doing your own research on these topics or simply by reading Empathy For Animals’ blogs, you can become more informed and educated on things that most people either are not fully aware of or know little about. Another way to get active at school is to talk to an authority figure such as a principal and ask about funding vegetarian options at school for lunch. Getting a petition going is always helpful but not necessary. Talking to your principal individually and requesting this change may not seem effective, but it certainly can be. When you provide accurate data and facts such as the cost and food companies that supply it along with their phone number or maybe even obesity rates of meat eaters compared to vegetarians. The options aren’t limited and getting creative can really help spark their attention. If you see or hear something at your school that should be changed, don’t be afraid to speak up about it. You’d be surprised how many people, whether it’s from your school or across the globe, feel the same way. Personally, I have encountered this first hand when I made a petition on the unnecessary practice of cat dissection at my high school. It is definitely true that I got the Board of Education’s attention with the help of so many people & I hope this change will take place soon. This wouldn’t have been nearly as effective if I didn’t provide accurate information and well thought out reasons for doing so. That’s why researching is an important factor to educate yourself on the correct information regarding your position. Don’t be discouraged by research. It can only benefit your knowledge when you do it correctly and it will definitely increase your chances of change.
Don’t forget that just because a majority believes in something, doesn’t mean it’s right. So if someone says something to you that you don’t agree with, why not stand up? Not rudely of course, but why not inform them of your ideas and get them thinking of other possibilities? After all, we were taught how to think, and we shouldn’t be taught what to think.
If you’re into decorating, why not decorate your lock with animal rights posters, stickers, or whatever else you can think of. That why, when someone else sees it, they will not only ponder the message, but hopefully get them to really consider the feelings of animals through out the day. Okay, that may not be realistic but who else spaces out in class thinking about something that truly bothered them or just thinking about something that you saw during the day? See, simple yet effective.
Lastly, why not join an animal rights club or create your own if there isn’t one already? This would be great because you are not only collaborating with other people about animal rights and getting new information and ideas, but working as a team to do this. Because it’s a club for animal rights, there shouldn’t be any severe disagreeing but more of exchanging ideas, feelings, and facts. Another great idea is freelancing for your school’s newspaper or joining newspaper club and interviewing people on animal rights subjects or current events in the animal rights movement. This is not enables your voice to be heard, but to educate on important issues.
“Never depend upon institutions or government to solve any problem. All social movements are founded by, guided by, motivated and seen through by the passion of individuals. ”
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Through the wise words of Margaret Mead, it is easy to just how change can be made at school where the environment is surrounded with other people, who are essentially your connection: supporters, opposers, and those in between.
When it comes to a job or career, animal rights may not always fit in, but like anything else, if you truly care about something or someone, you will find a way. I knew at a young age that I wanted to do something with animals when I got older, but what? Become a vet? No, I would faint at the sight of blood. So what else really is there? I had considered majoring in business or accounting to eventually start up my own non-profit for an animal shelter but then I realized my love for art and in a nutshell, that’s how Empathy For Animals blossomed. I found my heart more in creating than in paper work or business. Sure graphic design is business, but there’s more to it than that. It makes me feel like I’m not only doing something for money, but for a purpose; to inspire others through my vision of communicating a strong message in creative ways. I had a strong passion and I chose to fully utilize it through my work in a career that I love. This is also how Empathy For Animals was born. I have always been strong in my writing skills although I don’t plan to focus on that in the future, it’s what brought me to create this very site. Taking my passion and knowledge and expanding it further into something where I can do something I love, educate others through art and persuasive writing, while helping animals at the same time. I also plan to major in Digital Media Design so I can work efficiently in web design, web programming, and graphic design with the future of Empathy For Animals in mind, as well.
If making your passion into a career is something you plan on doing, it’s important to evaluate what you’re good at and what you would love to do, first. You can make almost any career into something that can benefit animals or any other passion you have in mind. Take animal rights with chemistry for example. A chemical engineer can help produce cruelty-free products that are eco-friendly. Although that’s just one example, there are so many possibilities out there to follow your passion. After all, if you love doing something and would do it for no money at all, why not consider it as your career to not only do what you love but to obtain a happy and successful life? For other ideas on animal tights jobs you can check out these sites: peta2, humane society, petfinder, & ASPCA. Besides, who wants to have a career in something they dread doing everyday? Wouldn’t you rather do something you know impacted something or someone that you also loved? It really is possible.
From sharing meat-free foods to wearing animal right clothing, at home is a perfect place to either talk to your parents or family about animal rights or create a way to advocate for animals. At home is the perfect place to start your action whether it’s doing it or preparing for it. An easy way to educate others is through items with a message they can relate to such as hoodies, t-shirts, tote bags, or anything else you can personalize. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend checking out Empathy For Animals ‘Apparel For a Purpose’ store where you can purchase all sorts of animal right items that were all well designed & made specifically to provoke thinking from others about animal rights. In the process, you’ll be helping promote Empathy For Animals, which is a great starting place to learn all sorts of information.
Not only are decisions about what you wear started off at home, but what you eat, as well. Something as effortless as substituting meat with beans or a vegetarian product for work or school is a great start. Another plus side to this is sharing food with others and telling them about it. If you’re unsure about where to buy vegetarian substitutes or options, check out this past blog post on brands like Gardein.
Lastly is outside your home. This is basically everything else besides what is listed about. Whether it’s participating in boycott, going to the Veggie Fest, or eating at a vegetarian/vegan restaurant, these are all wonderful ways to get active for animals. Along with boycotting, you can hand out flyers, put up posters, and boycott products by refusing to buy from their company. Volunteering at an animal shelter or sanctuary, such as Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, Farm Sanctuary, or Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, is also an effective yet wonderful experience.
Even things like making YouTube videos discussing animal rights issues or writing in a forum can easily persuade other to join you in advocating for animals.
But no matter how you choose to get active for animals, even if it’s adopting a cat or dog, all of these things impact an animal’s life. Any action towards change is beneficial, big or small. It’s okay to smart out small and work your way up, too. Some people think that it’s too much work to do the bigger things, but in the end, you will do it out of compassion of your own heart because it needs to be done, not because you do or don’t want to.
Below is a great video on animal activism & how to get involved.