Be an Educated Consumer
Here are a few ways to help animals by being an educated consumer:
- Join civil, lawful demonstrations against the influence of free trade agreements over domestic animal protection laws. Remember, the tuna-dolphin dispute and images of sea turtles marching through the streets of Seattle in protest of the WTO enlightened millions.
- Do your research and vote with your wallet. Try to buy products that are locally grown or manufactured. At the very least, try to avoid buying goods from multinational corporations that exploit animals and the environment.
Each of us can make choices that result in less resource consumption and a smaller “ecological footprint”—without diminishing our quality of life. Many such personal actions are encapsulated in the phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle.” Some of the things you can do include:
- Drive less, cut energy consumption at home, and switch to renewable energy sources where available.
- Choose consumer goods from producers who try to mitigate their impact on the environment. Look for products whose environmental claims have been evaluated by independent third parties to avoid “greenwashing” (attempts to fool consumers with lofty-sounding, but insubstantial environmental claims like “all natural”).
- Eat less meat and dairy products and choose to buy such products only from farms where animals are raised outdoors on pasture under high welfare conditions. Avoid products from factory farms, which pollute the environment and sacrifice animal welfare to boost output.
Call, Write & Email
Here are a few actions you can take to influence policymakers:
- Please call or write members of Congress, urging them to reject any and all trade agreements that compromise our sovereign ability to enact and enforce legislation or regulations that protect animals from cruelty or wild species from extinction. Also insist that the United States not challenge other nations’ animal protection laws in undemocratic trade tribunals. Lawmakers should instead vigorously defend our own vital laws (and our sovereign right to enact such laws) to protect all animals and their habitats. To find contact information for your US Senators and Representative, please contact the Animal Welfare Institute or visit www.compassionindex.org.
- Please call or write members of Congress, urging them to support policies that:
- turn away from unchecked development of fossil fuels and toward development of renewable energy;
- support agricultural practices that are better for the environment and animals, including high-welfare family farms; and
- provide incentives for smart land-use planning and environmentally friendly production of consumer goods.