You don't need loads of money to make a difference to the furry, feathered, and finned friends we share the planet with. You can help them every day of your life simply by living vegan.
Helping Animals On A Practical Level
A non-violent life can be summed up in one word: VEGAN.
Living vegan means eating plant-based diet of legumes, grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. A varied vegan diet is delicious, nutritious and extremely healthful. It's also environmentally friendly.
Living vegan means buying non-animal-based clothing, shoes, accessories and furniture. So, rather than purchasing products made of leather, suede, exotic skin, fur, feathers, silk, wool and sheepskin, a vegan buys items made of synthetic material. This, of course, extends to buying non-animal-based versions of products like leather furniture, feather-filled quilts, etc.
Living vegan means buying bodycare products, cleaning products, and makeup that have no animal content and have not been tested on animals.
Living vegan means never supporting so-called 'entertainment' such as rodeos, horseracing, dogracing, circuses, zoos, aquariums, etc, that use animals.
Living vegan means helping animals in need by adopting and/or fostering homeless animals from shelters.
In summary, living vegan is:
Being vegan is not difficult at all. In fact, it's easy. And I can tell you, having been both a non-vegan and a vegan, that being vegan is the best decision you'll ever make. There's nothing quite like having a clear conscience from knowing that how you live does not harm animals.
For more info about veganism, click here: Animal Thoughts and Animal Q&A, and to be inspired read these Animal Stories of people who've gone vegan and never looked back. You can read about my vegan journey here: My Animal History.
If you believe in respect, justice and non-violence, then you believe in veganism. So it's only logical that, following on from that, you live your life according to your beliefs.
Being vegan is a moral decision one makes to live a life of non-violence. And living veganism is not just good for the animals - it's also healthy for you, and better for the planet.
Spread The Word
Writer Robert Louis Stevenson said, "The cruellest lies are often told in silence."
So don't be silent - always speak out against abuse towards our fellow Earthlings in fur, feathers and fins. They can't speak for themselves, so it's up to us to speak for them.
In order to speak out, you must first gather information to share with others. A friend once said to me: “Knowledge is power, and ignorance is its constipated cousin.”
So get powerful by getting informed by reading Animal Thoughts and Animal Q&A. Then use this new-found knowledge by spreading the information in as many ways as you can. Let's make the world a just and respectful place for animals!
If you're more of a viewer than a reader, the film Earthlings is an excellent way to get an overview of the current situation of animals in this world. If what you see in this film concerns you, you can do something about it by going vegan. You might ask why veganism is the answer, and why changing the laws or changing methods of killing isn't. A fair question, which you'll find answers to here: Animal Q&A.
Click here or on the image below to see the film. (Disclaimer: while I believe Earthlings to be a valuable in giving an overview of animal use, I do not necessarily endorse all views and opinions otherwise stated by the film maker Shaun Monson.)
SAY NO TO PUPPY MILLS! SAY NO TO ANIMALS IN PETSHOPS! SAY NO TO BREEDERS!
Adopt a homeless animal instead - they all deserve a second chance
It's estimated that 130,000 dogs and 60,000 cats are killed every year in Australia because there are not enough homes for them all. And the global numbers amount to millions upon millions every single year.
Puppy mills are a major contributor to the terrible problem of overpopulation. Puppy mills are essentially 'dog factories' where dogs are forced to churn out litter after litter, with no thought for the welfare of the dogs and all thought for profit. The dogs live in appallingly dirty, cramped conditions all their lives, and when they no longer serve their purpose they're killed, dumped or sold to vivisection laboratories.
Petshops fit into the picture because puppy mills are generally where petshops get their animals from. Furthermore, having animals in shop windows encourages impulse purchases, and adding an animal to your family should be a conscious, careful decision - NOT one to be made while shoe shopping.
Breeders contribute enormously to the tragic statistics above too. And it doesn't matter whether they're professional breeders or backyard breeders, and whether they breed for profit or not, because while there are homeless animals sitting on death row in shelters, any and all animal breeding is utterly irresponsible.
Now, here's where you come in. You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. You can either buy animals from puppy mills, petshops or breeders and be part of the problem. Or you can adopt from a shelter or rescue organisation and be part of the solution.
If I haven't convinced you, visit your local shelter to see the homeless animals. Let their innocent faces convince you that adopting is the only responsible choice to make.
All information and photos are copyright © Despina Rosales.