If you’re looking for ways to contribute to animal welfare but don’t have a lot of money to do so, not to worry. There are dozens of ways (if not more) you can contribute to animal welfare without spending a cent at all. Give one or two of these a try this week to help millions of helpless animals who can’t help themselves. Remember, animals may not speak our language but they’re living creatures who are intelligent, emotional, and sensitive, just like you and me.
1. Change Your Diet
One of the easiest ways to contribute to animal welfare is to change what you eat. Most people are aware of the horrific truths of factory farming by now, but many people don’t know that “humane” sources of animal products actually practice many of the same harsh treatments to animals as non-humane sources. Changing to a plant-based diet is the easiest way to lighten the demand for animal products, which will ultimately lead to less killing and less abuse of animals that deserve a better life.
2. Visit a Shelter
Another way to contribute to animal welfare is to visit a local shelter where you can volunteer. You can opt to do secretarial work, take dogs for walks, aid in adoption fairs, participate in fundraising, or help clean up and prepare cages for new arrivals.
3. Educate Yourself
Educating yourself on animal welfare is important since it teaches you how animals are treated in ways you haven’t considered. For instance, animals in zoos are often abused, kept in cages their whole lives, and suffer a great deal of stress from the daily zoo visitors. Sure, they may look cute, but do you really think these animals were meant to live this way? Circuses are another thing to consider. Most all circus animals are beaten so they’ll perform certain tasks and they're exhausted by the end of the day just for profit. Educate yourself on what really goes on so you’ll know how to avoid contributing to the cause of all types of animal abuse.
4. Report Abuse
Know a dog that’s left in the rain for days on end or has no shelter for harsh weather? Know a neighbor that hits their dog or has left them abandoned for days on end while vacationing? These are all forms of animal abuse, which often leave animals in pain, hungry, sick, and abused. Report any form of abuse you see but do your best to make sure the abuse is factual before doing so.
5. Volunteer for an Organization
Some of my favorite organizations for animal welfare are PETA, Mercy for Animals, The Humane Society, and Hope for Paws. Find an organization (or more than one) that you connect with the most and visit each one’s website to see which one you think you might enjoy volunteering for. You can advocate through social media, volunteer in person at events, hold fundraisers in your local town, or even write a blog post to raise money for them too.
6. Consider Your Clothes
When you get dressed each morning, the last thing you’re probably considering is how animals were treated to make your clothes. Try to buy items that contain no animal products whatsoever, which include leather, fur, silk, wool, and down, just to name the top culprits. There is a huge variety of cruelty-free brands on the market, some of which are especially trendy and fashionable. Opt for these instead of animal sources of clothing. Find out more at peta.org.
7. Love Yours the Most
The easiest of all ways to contribute to animal welfare is to give the animals you have at home the love and respect they deserve. Feed your pet regularly, make sure they get their regular shots, and take them on walks daily. Love on them each day and don’t forget that they’re highly sensitive to stress, so avoid putting them under any more than necessary. They’re the ones that love you unconditionally no matter what- why treat them any less than what they deserve?
Check out some of the sources below for more ways you can contribute to animal welfare and learn more about animal welfare in general. Do you have a way to contribute to animal welfare to add to this list?