A few facts:
- In many circuses, wild & exotic animals are trained through the use of intimidation and physical abuse. Former circus employees have reported seeing animals beaten, whipped, poked with sharp objects and even burned.
- Elephants who perform in circuses are often kept in chains for as long as 23 hours a day from the time they are babies.
- More than 25 million vertebrate animals are used in testing in the United States each year. When invertebrate animals are thrown into the mix, the estimated number rises to as high as 100 million.
- It is estimated that on average it takes 1,000 dogs to maintain a mid-sized racetrack operation. New greyhounds are continually entering the system to replace greyhounds that grade-off due to injury, age or poor performance. There are currently over 30 tracks operating in the United States.
- Many studies have found a link between cruelty to animals and other forms of interpersonal violence. (It's been proven that serial killers often start out by abusing and killing animals.)
- A fur coat is pretty cool—for an animal to wear. Eighteen red foxes are killed to make one fox-fur coat, 55 minks to make a mink coat.
- If you live in certain states, you have the legal right to refuse to participate in dissection in class!
- 22% of species currently living on the Earth will be extinct by 2022 if we continue to use them for coats, shoes, animal testing, & entertainment. That's a decade...
So what can you do to help stop animal cruelty?
- Boycott organizations and associations that you know participate in animal abuse, regardless of whether it's acknowledged.
- Avoid or limit buying products made by companies that still participate in animal-testing. You can view a large list of cruelty-free companies here.
- Teach your children to respect rather than abuse animals. Give alternatives to many of the mass-marketed products available on the market today.
- Write your appointed politicians to change policies, starting on the local level.
- If you're financially able, make donations to charities such as these.
- Commit to going meat-free once a week. Further, integrate organic, sustainably raised meats into your grocery purchases.
- Have your pets spayed and neutered.
- PLEASE report animal abuse to the authorities. This IS illegal in all 50 states.
- Schedule a speaker from your local humane agency to talk at your church or any clubs you belong to. Do the same for any children's groups, like scout groups, day-care centers, and schools.
- Don't buy pets from a pet store. Most pet stores get their animals from mills, not local breeders. If you’re unsure, ask the shop owners and find out their source. Ask for written proof. Instead, adopt a rescue animal from the shelter, or buy from a reputable breeder. How do I know if a breeder is reputable?
There are so many little things you can do on a personal or local level to help stop animal cruelty. What can you commit to doing to help the problem?