Helping animals doesn't have to be complicated, time-consuming, or even expensive. It's about being informed and making simple, every-day choices that can free animals from suffering and abuse. The first step is knowing which choices to make.
At the Supermarket
The humble act of grocery shopping provides the single greatest opportunity to vote against animal cruelty. Every time you shop, there are important decisions to make:
- Factory farms still exist because unwitting shoppers purchase their products. If you disagree with confining intelligent pigs in crates so small they can't turn around; or performing surgical procedures on animals without pain relief, then the choice is simple: join the growing number of Australians who refuse to buy factory-farmed products.
- If you haven't already, find the vegetarian section of the supermarket and try out some of the new products that are reaching the Australian market such as mock mince, pig-free 'bacon' and veggie roasts. Opting for cruelty-free vegetarian alternatives is the single best way to ensure that farm animals — who have been excluded from critical animal cruelty laws — are protected from abuse.
- Think twice about eggs. It's becoming common knowledge that most egg-laying hens are forced to spend their short lives crammed inside battery cages where they cannot even stretch their wings. Avoiding cage eggs is crucial, but there's more to this story: laying hens in all production systems are killed when their egg production wanes — years before their natural life expectancy — resulting in millions of chicks being hatched each year to replace them. Only female chicks are required for egg production, which means millions of unwanted male chicks are gassed or ground up alive each year as 'waste products' of the egg industry. This is why many animal lovers are choosing to purchase egg alternatives that are available at supermarkets.
- Consider your milk. Avid dairy drinkers may find it difficult to imagine that the benign milk carton is harbouring a dark secret. But the truth is, cows don't automatically produce milk. Like all mammals, cows only lactate after giving birth. To sustain high milk flow dairy cows are impregnated each year. The resultant newborn calves are taken from their grieving mothers and the cows’ milk harvested for human consumption. Close to 1 million unwanted dairy calves are slaughtered each year at around 5 days of age. Given the ethics of this practice it’s not surprising that soy milks, oat milks, rice milks and other dairy alternatives are gaining popularity among caring consumers.
- Fill out a feedback form and urge your local supermarket to end their support of factory-farmed meat and eggs in favour of more humane alternatives.
- Spare a thought for lab animals. Millions of animals suffer immensely in needless product testing experiments. Look for household cleaning products and cosmetics that are not tested on animals. For more details visit Choose Cruelty Free.
- Pick a family outing that is kind to animals. Avoid supporting events such as rodeos, exotic animal circuses and horse races—which behind the scenes force animals into a life of suffering and intense confinement. Try visiting an animal-free circus, farm sanctuary, or go to the movies or the museum instead!
On the Road
- Look up the telephone numbers of your local animal rescue centres, and keep these handy in case you encounter injured wildlife. If you find a dead or injured kangaroo or wallaby by the roadside, remember to check whether there is a joey in her pouch.
What to Wear
- Did you know, that the fur industry relies upon people being unaware of how animals are reared and killed, and on people unknowingly buying real fur from cats, dogs, rabbits, foxes and other animals? Animals who are skinned for their pelts are often gassed, electrocuted, beaten, poisoned or have their necks broken. Some are even skinned alive. So always buy faux, or go fur-free for the animals!
- Millions of other animals who are farmed for human clothing (such as cows and sheep) are routinely subjected to painful procedures such as branding, de-horning, castration and mulesing, which are conducted without pain relief in order to keep down costs. Animal-free alternatives (such as fake leather, cotton, linen and synthetics) are not only often cheaper, they will mean less pain for animals.
School / University Students
- When you get the chance, pick a project topic that allows you to write about an animal issue that is important to you. It's an easy way to spread the word of compassion among your teacher and classmates. Check out our campaigns and videos for ideas.
- Ask your school cafeteria to provide a variety of healthy meat-free options, and encourage them to adopt a policy against purchasing factory-farmed egg and meat products.
- Object to animal dissection. No State Education Department in Australia has made dissection compulsory, and there are many effective alternatives. Animals raised for dissection suffer greatly, and it is your right not to support this cruel and outdated practice.
- Over 200,000 healthy but unwanted cats, dogs and other companion animals are killed in Australia each year because there aren't enough homes for them. You can save a life by rescuing a needy animal from your local animal shelter rather than buying one from a pet store.
- Have your companion animal desexed. The pet overpopulation crisis is largely caused by people who have neglected to desex their animals. This important procedure will save many lives (and deaths).