Often the pen—or computer—really is mightier than the sword. And you don't have to be Shakespeare! Writing letters to newspapers, businesses, and legislators is an easy, effective way to help animals. Here's how ...
You can get great exposure for animal rights issues by writing letters to the editors of newspapers or magazines. Not only will you be reaching thousands of readers, you will also be bringing your concerns to the attention of policymakers, who often refer to the opinion pages to learn what issues really matter to the public. It's easier than you might think.
Some examples:Ads for rodeos, circuses, and fur stores Articles about medical experiments on animalsFeatures about local humane groups or companion animal care
Example: "It's not true that vegetarians are weaklings." Better: "Vegetarians are healthier and slimmer and live years longer than meat-eaters."
Example: "Only a heartless sadist could continue to eat animals when any fool knows that animals' lives are snuffed out in screaming agony for the satisfaction of people who can't be bothered to take a moral stand." Better: "Most compassionate people would stop eating meat if they saw the miserable lives that animals raised for food endure."
Example: "Don't support the cruel veal industry." Better: "Calves who are factory-farmed for veal are tethered in small stalls and kept in complete darkness. Their mothers also endure sad fates, starting with the loss of their infants a few days after birth."
Example: "Eating meat is bad for your health." Better: "We know that eating meat is bad for our health."
Example: "Don't go to the circus." Better: "Let's take our families to non-animal circuses."
Example: "Steel-jaw traps can trap an animal by the face, leg, or stomach." Better: "Have you ever seen a yearling fox with her face caught in a steel-jaw trap? I have, which is how I know that traps tear into animals' faces, legs, and stomachs."
Example: "There is no excuse for your article promoting the circus." Better: "There is no excuse for the abuse that goes on in the circus."
Use your clout as a consumer to protest companies that exploit animals. Tell cosmetics manufacturers that you will purchase other brands until they stop testing on animals, or tell a store that you won't shop there until it stops carrying live animals—and explain why. If a business offers a fur as a prize, explain why you object to wearing fur and ask the sponsor to offer a prize that does not cause animal suffering, such as a trip or jewelry.
While everyone is good at complaining about politics to their friends, too few citizens express their opinions to those who can do something about it: legislators. Constituent input really does make a difference.
The governor of Virginia vetoed a bill putting a bounty on coyotes because he received so much mail against it.
According to former member of Congress Billy Evans (D-Georgia), "Legislators estimate that 10 letters from constituents represent the concerns of 10,000 citizens. Anybody who will take the time to write is voicing the fears and desires of thousands more."
If that's not enough to convince you, ask yourself this: If you don't communicate with the officials representing you, who will? While you're complaining to your friends about gruesome animal experiments, someone who disagrees with you is communicating with your representatives.
You're probably not going to single-handedly convince your legislators to outlaw the fur trade. But many legislators share your objectives and just need to be convinced that there is sufficient public support before putting their necks on the line. The Advocacy Institute explains: "When votes are secured or changed, it's most likely the aroused constituent-activists—the grassroots—who can claim the credit."
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.