Writing this blog has been a transformational, eye-opening, consciousness-expanding process – more than I could have ever imagined when I haphazardly started it a couple years ago. One of my favorite surprises has been the relationships I’ve formed with fellow bloggers, some local, some not-so-local. Today I want to introduce you to one of them; Michelle from No Animals Harmed.
When I started exploring veganism, I wondered if my blog would become fully vegan recipes, and if I should rename it. I thought no animals were harmed in the making of this blog would be a fun tagline, so I googled it to see if it was already taken. That’s how I stumbled on Michelle, who had the brilliant idea first! At that time, we were even using the same layout for our blogs. The coincidence was so great that I had to laugh, and send her an email. I’ve been delighted to get to know her since, and to share this guest post with you today!
-Jen, Queen of the Spork
Five easy ways to help animals
I’ve been doing animal activism for only a few years now, but I’ve learned that the majority of people within the animal rights movement genuinely want to help animals but have no idea where to start. When you learn the reality behind the billions of animals that are raised for meat, eggs and dairy products (not to mention the other areas where animals are exploited), it’s easy to feel powerless and overwhelmed. Here are five easy and effective ways to help animals that work within your busy schedule:
- Sign petitions. I know many people think that signing online petitions is worthless but I promise you, many victories within the animal rights movement have been made possible because people sign petitions. Only takes two seconds and your adding your voice to the greater movement. After you sign the petition, post the petition to your Facebook and Twitter accounts (or any other social networking site), asking your friends and family to sign the petition too.
- Volunteer at a local animal shelter. Spending even just an hour or two at your local animal shelter on a Saturday morning is fun (you get to play with dogs and cats, what could be better?) and is also a very rewarding experience. There have also been studies done that show spending time with dogs and cats put people in a better mood. You’ll get to spend time with a furry friend while boosting your sprits. Win/win. Also, donating supplies to your local shelter is another great way to give back.
- Don’t support circuses that use animals in their acts. Circuses such as Ringling Bros. have a long history of animal abuse and once people learn what really happens behind the scenes, people are shocked. Elephants are smart and sensitive animals and forcing them to perform tricks definitely isn’t entertainment. Make sure to only support animal-free circuses, such as Cirque De Soleil.
- Write letters to TV shows and newspapers. If you’re watching a TV show and the characters are abusing animals or you see a fur ad in your local newspaper/magazine, speak up and write a letter. Tell them why it’s wrong to abuse animals or why fur isn’t fashionable. Unless citizens speak up for animals and let their TV network or newspaper that something is wrong, then they will never think anything of their mistake.
- Cut back your meat intake. I’m a vegan myself but I understand that veganism isn’t something everybody can instantly get on board with. I support any steps taken to reduce animal suffering and the best way to help animals is to simply leave them off your plate. Try one meatless meal each week (such as trying out Meatless Mondays), or try going a whole day without eating meat. When I was still a meat eater, I would joke that I could never be vegan. Now my choice to be vegan is one of the greatest decisions I ever made.
Michelle is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a Bachelors degree in Sociology/Social Psychology. She currently works for PETA, where she helps people, help animals. She is also the founder of No Animals Harmed, a blog dedicated to all things vegan. Michelle lives in Los Angeles, with her companion dog Callie, who is 10 pounds of nothing but love.
You can also reach Michelle via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.