Five Things You Can Do To Help Animals This Christmas


1. Spare the turkey

Celebrating holidays doesn’t have to include killing turkeys like this. Image credit michaelpickard, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Each year in the United Kingdom alone, 10,000,000 turkeys are killed for Christmas dinners. The majority of these animals will have spent their short lives on factory farms where they were kept in filthy, crowded sheds. Animal Aid UK investigations in turkey farms have found turkeys suffering from untreated wounds, dead animals littering the floors and turkeys attacking one another in the overcrowded and stressful conditions.

Not only this, regardless of where the animals have been raised, they all face a terrifying death at the slaughterhouse. So spare the turkey this year, and opt for a cruelty-free vegan alternative, Here are a couple of options!

2. Avoid live animal events

This reindeer was used in a Christmas parade in the United Kingdom. Image credit Let’s Go Out Bournemouth & Poole, CC BY-SA 3.0.

The festive season is a time for joy and celebration for all – sadly, the same cannot be said for animals who are transported far and wide to be used for entertainment. Reindeer, penguins, camels and other animals suffer severe stress through transportation, noise and bright lights. In addition, Animal Aid’s recently released investigations into reindeer centers in the United Kingdom show that these animals face abuse and inadequate care. Please boycott events that use live animals.

3. Be kind to wildlife

A mouse outdoors, who might end up indoors as the weather turns colder. Image credit Jason Bolonski, CC By-SA 3.0.

As the weather gets colder, many wild animals will be seeking shelter and food. You may find animals such as mice, rats and squirrels appearing in your shed, garage or even your loft. Please remember that these animals mean you no harm and are only seeking safety; please opt only for humane methods of deterrence. Download our humane deterrence sheets here.

4. Don’t support animal gift schemes

Many aid charities run initiatives to send ‘livestock’ to poverty-stricken communities. You’d have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by the images of people in desperate need accompanying these charities’ promotions. However, sending animals to such communities does nothing to help their plight. Animal farming is inherently inefficient and environmentally damaging. Raising animals for food requires more land, water, plant food and energy and it generates more greenhouse gas emissions than when plant-based food is produced directly for human consumption.

There are many charities that help alleviate the suffering caused by poverty, without the use of animals, such as the Food Empowerment Project and A Well Fed World.

5. For everything else, see our Compassionate Christmas Guide

If you are interested in having a more compassionate Christmas, check out our Compassionate Christmas Guide, which is free to download. It contains lots of useful information, including vegan recipes, ethical gift ideas and more!

Featured image: a dog gets into the holiday spirit. Image credit kiewic, CC BY-SA 3.0.

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About Author

Animal Aid was founded in January 1977 to work, by all peaceful means, for an end to animal cruelty. Our vision is a world in which animals are no longer harmed and exploited for human gain, but allowed to live out their lives in peace. We work hard to bring an end to practices that involve animal abuse and exploitation, but we also take a pragmatic approach and call for measures such as CCTV in slaughterhouses, that will help to reduce suffering in the meantime. Click to see author's profile.

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