- What You Choose to Wear
- What You Choose For Entertainment
- What You Choose to Eat
- What Household Products You Choose
- Animal Testing & Experimentation
- Product Testing
- Drug Testing
- Military Testing
- Animals In Entertainment
- The Fur Industry
- Ranch Raised Fur
- Fur Trapping
- Humane Mouse Traps
- Vegetarianism - Eating for Life
- Veganism and Protein
- Vegan Children - Happy and Healthy
Every year billions of animals are raised and killed for human consumption. Unlike the family farms of the past, today's factory farms are high-revenue, high-production entities. On a factory farm, animals are confined to extremely small spaces, which allows farmers to concentrate on maximizing production.
Vivisection, the practice of experimenting on animals, began because of religious prohibitions against the dissection of human corpses. When religious leaders finally lifted these prohibitions, it was too late-vivisection was already entrenched in medical and educational institutions.
Every year, millions of animals suffer and die in painful tests to determine the "safety" of cosmetics and household products. Substances ranging from eye shadow and soap to furniture polish and oven cleaner are tested on rabbits, rats, guinea pigs, dogs, and other animals, despite the fact that test results do not help prevent or treat human illness or injury.
When news reports tally the casualties of war, or when monuments are erected to honor soldiers, the other-than-human victims of war--the animals whose bodies are shot, burned, poisoned, and otherwise tortured in tests to create even more ways to kill people--are never recognized, nor is their suffering well known.
Animal acts and exhibits run a deplorable gamut. They include diving horses at theme parks, dancing chimpanzees, caged bears at an ice cream stand, piano-playing chickens, caged parrots in hotel lobbies, cats forced through flaming hoops in Key West, and giant turtles forced to give children rides.
- If you are planning to visit a country that permits or encourages bullfighting, please tell your travel agent you are opposed to animal cruelty in any form. Many tourist resorts are building bullfight arenas as part of their "recreation" facilities; refuse to stay at such a resort, and write a letter to the owner explaining why you will not stay there. Instead, visit the resort town of Tossa de Mar, which was the first town in Spain to ban bullfights and related advertising.
- Tell others the facts about bullfighting and urge them to protest as well. When tourists stop attending bullfights, profiteers will stop the cruelty.
- Bloody or bloodless, bullfighting is a senseless, degrading spectacle that has no place in a civilized society.
Performing captive wildlife -- elephants, lions, tigers, bears, baboons, monkeys, camels, llamas - all endure years of physical and psychological pain and suffering in traveling acts to "entertain" an uninformed audience.
- Do not patronize any form of entertainment that uses animals.
- Tell your friends and family to boycott all animal circuses and other animal acts. Instead support one of the growing number of circuses that do not use animals.
- Do not allow elephant rides or other animal acts to be used for fundraising purposes in your community. Contact the event sponsors and urge them to promote humane, animal-free circuses instead.
- Support legislation to protect captive exotic animals.
- If you witness animal cruelty at an event, document it in writing and/or with photographs or videotape and report it to your local humane society and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): USDA Animal Care, 4700 River Road, Unit 84, Riverdale, MD 20737-1234, Phone: 301-734-4981 Fax 301-734-4978 .
- If a rodeo comes to your town, protest to local authorities, write letters to sponsors, leaflet at the gate, or hold a demonstration.
- Check state and local laws to find out what types of activities involving animals are and are not legal in your area. For example, a Pittsburgh law prohibiting cruelty to rodeo animals in effect banned rodeos altogether, since most rodeos currently touring the country use the electric prods and flank straps prohibited by the law.
- Another successful means of banning rodeos is to institute a state or local ban on calf roping, the event in which cruelty is most easily documented. Since many rodeo circuits require calf roping, its elimination can result in the overall elimination of rodeo shows.
Despite their professed concern for animals, zoos remain more "collections" of interesting "items" than actual havens or simulated habitats. Zoos teach people that it is acceptable to keep animals in captivity, bored, cramped, lonely, and far from their natural homes.
- Zoos are covered under the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), which sets minimal housing and maintenance standards for captive animals. The AWA requires that all animal displays be licensed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which must inspect zoos once a year. However, some zoos that have passed USDA inspections with flying colors have later been found by humane groups to have numerous violations.
- Educate yourself. Read Beyond the Bars, edited by Virginia McKenna, Will Travers, and Jonathan Wray. It is available from Thorson's Publishing Group in Rochester, Vt.
- It is best not to patronize a zoo unless you are actively working to change its conditions. Avoid smaller, roadside zoos at all costs. If no one visits these substandard operations, they will be forced to close down.
- Start a "Zoocheck" program to build a strong case for implementing changes.
Some people believe that animals raised in captivity on fur "ranches" do not suffer. This is not the case. Trapping and "ranching" have both similar and disparate cruelties involved, and neither is humane. "Ranched" animals, mostly minks and foxes, spend their entire lives in appalling conditions, only to be killed by painful and primitive methods.
There's little doubt anymore that vegetarianism is going mainstream. In the United States alone, more than 12 million people are vegetarians, and 19,000 more make the switch to a meat-free diet every week. Many others have greatly reduced the amount of animal products they eat.
- Lacto-Vegetarians include milk in their diets.
- Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarians eat dairy products and eggs.
- Pesco-Vegetarians eat fish but no other meat (many Asians are pesco-vegetarians).
- Pollo-Vegetarians eat chicken, duck, or turkey but no "red meat."
- Total Vegetarians eat no meat products including dairy and eggs.
- Vegans refrain from eating, wearing or buying products derived from animals such as wool and leather.
- Reduce or eliminate meat and dairy products from your diet.
- Urge the coordinators of any environmental events (such as Earth Day) in your community to include a pro-veg message. Veggie burgers, veggie dogs, veggie chili, falafel, soft pretzels, French fries, corn on the cob, and popcorn are all tasty, easy ways to feed the crowd.
Can the vegan (strict vegetarian) diet provide protein adequate for sound human health? This question continues to be asked despite the fact that a "yes" answer was given some three decades ago in a study reported by Hardinge and Stare. The question stays with us largely because animal products (meat, milk, cheese, and eggs) have been promoted (usually by the industries that produce and sell them) as the best source of protein. This dietary assumption is wrong and can even be harmful, as a quick study of the facts about vegetable protein and nutrition shows.