Things you can do today to help an animal:
We at EFFA encourage your to act. To do something to alleviate the needless suffering of millions of animals around the world every day. Sometimes it all seems overwhelming. It seems like there's nothing you can do... Well, we've prepared a list of things each one of us can do to improve the situation TODAY.
1. What EFFA offers is completely free. We don't even accept donations. We do this in order to show everyone that the most important thing for us is our philosophy. We do, however, encourage you to donate money, food, or any other necessities to any organization that has a direct positive impact on the lives of animals, such as (preferably no-kill) animal shelters, animal rescue organizations, your local ASPCA etc. These organizations are often run out of love for animals, and have little or no budget. They depend on enlightened people like us to keep doing their good work.
2. Volunteer your time to any organization that has a direct positive impact on the lives of animals, such as a no-kill animal shelter, an animal rescue organization, etc. Find out who in your area is doing some good work for animal-rights, call them (or email them), and ask them what you can do to help out.
3. If you are in a position to adopt a dog or a cat, and can commit (financially and otherwise) to having this pet as your permanent friend, adopt one. Animal shelters are full of lonely, sad, abandoned pets that would love nothing more than for a responsible person like yourself to give them a permanent, loving home.
4. Be mindful of the fact that most police forces have an animal-welfare/animal-abuse department, where you can call and report specific cases of animal abuse. Some municipalities (cities) have private animal-welfare organizations that will respond/intervene in cases of neglect, abuse, etc. Find out which organizations exist in your area, write down their phone numbers, and, if needed, don't be afraid to call them. Animals are not able to call for help - they rely on people like us to help them.
5. If you feel strongly about any type of general trend/injustice to animals in your area, let someone in government know about it. Do some research. Write a letter to your congressman, member of parliament, city authorities, or other government representative (depending on where you live) stating the problem and what you feel should be the solution. Get your friends to sign the letter with you for added effect.
6. Help a stray dog or cat to survive. One way to do this is to place some food or water where stray animals congregate. Another thing you can do is to leave a blanket, towel, etc. where they sleep. Stray animals are mistreated or ignored in many parts of the world. They fight for survival, leading lives that are full of pain and suffering. You can be their light. Show people that it's not acceptable to be cold and uncaring to animals.
7. If you live in a country where many people think that "a pet's breed matters", let your friends and others know that it's important to love all dogs and cats, not just the pure-breed ones.
8. Never give puppies, kittens, or other animals as Christmas or birthday presents. In many countries it is common practice to give animals as presents without thinking of the consequences. Generally, these are the same countries where there is a big problem with stray dogs and cats, since people often simply throw the animals out into the street after they get tired of them. As an informed individual, you should tell your friends never to give animals as presents in an irresponsible way. Animals are not toys. The decision to have a pet should be a responsible, mature, and permanent one.
9. If you eat meat, google any "reasons to be a vegetarian" article and read it. Here's one.
10. If you eat meat, make today a meat-free day.
11. If your local store, supermarket, etc. does not stock vegetarian options, talk to the manager about getting some. If you go to a restaurant, and there are no vegetarian items on the menu, tell the manager it would be a good idea to include some.
12. If you're a vegetarian, do your part to debunk a myth online. The internet is full of misinformation about "the dangers" of vegetarianism. It is full of articles, posts, etc. about why it's wrong or harmful to not eat meat. Find one of these, and write a (polite) response as to why you are a vegetarian, and why you feel better being one.
13. Whether or not you're a vegetarian, do not support business and/or organizations that are known to mistreat/hurt animals, whether it be through animal testing, etc.
14. If you have a family member that still wears fur, tell them that they shouldn't, and explain to them why.
15. Spread the word online about an issue you feel passionate about - whether it be the plight of stray animals, farm animals, or any other type of negative human-animal interaction. Post videos, links, share important information, etc.
16. Spread the word about EFFA. Yes, this one's a little self-serving, that's why we put it next-to-last :), but we really do believe that the more people know about us, and about our beliefs, the better the world will be for everyone.
17. Encourage others to get active! There's a lot of good to be done, and it's up to us to do it. Let's all do our bit to ensure a better coexistence between humans and animals.
Remember that these are only some suggestions. We know that there are many other things that can be done, and that you, as an informed person, will be able to think of some.