By Megan Vick
It doesn’t take a lot to fall in love with animals. Most children have a favorite animal at an early age or love cuddling with all their stuffed animals. Let’s face it- does that ever really change? As the global population is exploding and there is more demand for living space and food production, the natural habitats of animals around the world is decreasing at a rapid rate. It’s estimated that humanity’s ever-expanding presence is causing species loss at a rate between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than a natural extinction rate. You can even help local animals in your area!
1) Tweet, Blog, Facebook It
If you like an organization, group, or charity who does great work for animals, “Like” their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, and blog about them, with a link back to their website, on your blog. This is a great way for the organization to get free press and for you to help spread the word of their good work with minimal effort.
After all your tweeting, liking, and blogging efforts, you’ll eventually see some events where volunteers are needed. Some great local events include helping out with adoption day a local animal shelters. Larger areas may have volunteer opportunities at zoos, farm sanctuaries, or wildlife rescues. A simple internet search of “animal volunteer work” or “animal volunteer opportunities” will give you a wealth of information. Volunteering may seem scary, annoying, tedious, or unimportant if you’ve never done it, but to those you help, both human and non-human, your time and effort is invaluable. Organizations, worldwide and domestically, constantly need volunteers. The satisfaction you get from volunteering will having you going back week after week.
3) Shop Smart
As the holiday season rapidly approaches, you can do your part to save the animals by shopping with a conscience. Try buying fair trade and cruelty free products wherever you can. The Fair Trade guidelines ensure no animal habitat is being lost to farming or manufacturing while cruelty free products ensure there is no animal testing performed. Look for these words on the labels, and when in doubt, do more research on the company!
In this economy, people are struggling financially. It’s no secret most people have cut back on non-essentials, including charitable contributions. If you have some spare change while you’re out running errands, drop it in the local animal shelter collection box. There are also many other organizations where you will get something in exchange for a donation. The World Wildlife Fund has a Species Adoption gift. This allows you to make your donation and receive a few items in return as a “thank you.” There are over 100 species of animals to choose. These donations make great gifts for other animal lovers, especially kids.
While working, spending time with family, and all the other things we do on a daily basis, it might be hard to imagine that you can do your part for animals. These beautiful and beloved animals won’t be here for long if we don’t do our part to help protect them.