If you are reading this, I assume you are a person who already cares about animals and their wellbeing, who loves them and wants their abuse to stop. Although you on your own might not be able to stop industries that exploit animals, you can still make changes in your daily life that will help.
Animals Who Live With Us
When I adopted my first pets, I thought that there was a huge difference between my relationship with them and my relationship with my friends. Now I understand I was mistaken. The two puppies my parents and I saw by chance in an abandoned house, and the cat who came the next day to eat their food, were the first creatures to make me understand that animals can be very sweet and warm – sometimes sweeter and warmer than human friends. I came to understand that your pet is neither your property nor your slave, but your roommate. I learned that animals love, like, dislike, and are sometimes unhappy just like you. They need partnership just like you. Animals are not objects without feelings – their feelings are similar to ours.
People who abuse animals don’t think about their feelings or their relationships, that someone needs them and they need someone, just like people. You mustn’t support animal abusers, and you mustn’t support industries that abuse them en masse.
Go vegan to avoid supporting animal abuse. Some people, instead of going vegan, start buying “free range” and “humane” animal products. But free range is a fraud. The only differences, if any, are how tightly the animals are confined and/or the method used to kill them, nothing else. Not the inherent cruelty of raising animals in factories for our food. Most “free range” animals still live in cages and are really unhappy.
Becoming a vegetarian or vegan changes the way you think. You come to see animals from a different point of view, and to hate cruelty toward either animals or humans. A person who sees dead animal bodies hanging in a butcher shop and is disgusted is very, very sure to be shocked if he sees a human body in the same position. But a person who has no problem watching dead animals hanging may be a little less sure. We know from studies that people who work in slaughterhouses are more likely to commit domestic abuse and other violent crimes against people.
Natural carnivores have features like sharp teeth, big mouths, night vision, speed, and short intestines suited for digesting meat. For carnivores dead bodies smell fragrant, but for humans dead bodies stink. Some people claim that we are meant to eat meat because we have canine teeth. Yet the truth is that there are animals who have bigger canine teeth than us, but are vegetarian – like gorillas. And in any case, the fact that we have one characteristic of carnivorous animals doesn’t make us carnivorous, because we don’t have all the others.
Dairy products are another problem. We aren’t meant to consume milk. It harasses our heart and our intestines, as well as harming the animals. I have also learned that cheese is an addictive food.
Another problem is the experiments scientists conduct to produce medicines and cosmetic products. These experiments often cause great suffering or death for animals, and have to stop, because sometimes they hurt or even kill people too. This happens because some substances have different effects on humans than on other animals. So something that is not poisonous to an animal in a laboratory may turn out to be poisonous when used by humans.
For the good of animals and people alike, we have to stop supporting animal research. We have to stop buying medicines, let alone makeup or personal products, from companies that do animal experiments.
Donating Love for Strays
Feral and stray animals are a very big problem in many countries. Helping them is essential, and can benefit you as well as the animals. Few things are as satisfying as watching an abused stray animal be made happy. Few things can make you feel more useful.
If you don’t want or unable to start feeding stray animals yourself, either alone or as part of an organization, then you can support a society that takes care of them by adopting an animal, donating money, or helping out in the shelter.
Animal abuse is one of the biggest problems animal lovers face, especially while volunteering in an organization. It is so sad to see, or even to think about. And it happens in so many ways: poisoning, circus exploitation, abandonment, neglect to provide food or water, sexual abuse, zoo parks, horse racing, puppy mills, etc. If we want it to stop, we have to work hard, but we can succeed.
First of all, we mustn’t hesitate to report cases of illegal animal abuse. Complaining about cruelty is necessary not only to protect the animals, but also to protect humans, as research has shown that people who abuse animals are more likely to use violence against other people as well.
Secondly, we should be responsible pet owners ourselves, so that we don’t set a bad example or make people dislike our animals by letting them misbehave.
It may not always be easy changing your lifestyle for the good of animals. I’m sure that you have heard many excuses against veganism especially, and that it may be difficult trying to cut out all animal products. But if you try, I am sure you can do it, improving step by step. Once you manage to become vegan, then try to go even further – after research, you may decide to become a raw vegan, for instance.
When it comes to your health, and not supporting experiments on animals, I know that your doctor is the one who is going to tell you what medicine to take. But when you can, try to resort to alternative medicines not tested on animals, so you may reduce the problem. When it comes to non-essentials, there are fortunately many brands of makeup, cleaners, and personal products available that don’t use animal testing.
Animals understand when you love them and will love you too, but if you hate them they won’t hate you back. Animals never hate, and never harm people out of cruelty. So what is our excuse to keep abusing animals? There is none. So do your part, and make the changes that will help to end cruelty against animals and humans alike!
Image courtesy Kim Bartlett / Animal People, Inc.