Written by Tiffany Rose
I recently told a friend that I could relate to the mama cat I was fostering whose kittens were resisting her weaning efforts.* She’d try to enjoy a meal, and a kitten would crawl under her and latch on. She’d come to me for scratches, and so would a kitten, mewing for milk. She’d lay down to nurse her litter, and when she was finished, they still wouldn’t unlatch. She only wanted to bask in the sun and meditate—yet those kittens were determined to stay latched on, even if it meant getting dragged across the floor!
We all have our own versions of kittens that pull us in different directions, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and distracted. A friend is going through a breakup and needs lots of attention, the new season of whatever is out on Netflix, a child is in need of anything and everything, and life happens. Next thing you know, weeks turn into months, and then it hits you: Your activism for animals is in hibernation. Dun dun dunnnnn.
Contributing something positive to the world is deeply fulfilling, so when it feels like you’re being pulled in every direction, consider what Joan Baez said: “Action is the antidote to despair.” Come on, take my hand—I’ll show you some easy ways to help animals and reignite your passion:
- Become a PETA First Responder
This has to be one of my favorite ways to take action. When you sign up to become a PETA First Responder, you’ll receive a weekly text message asking you to “reply Y” on a current PETA campaign. When you do, your reply sends an e-mail to a target asking him or her to do things like not host a circus, end the sale of fur, offer a vegan option at a restaurant chain, etc. It literally takes two seconds for you to take action for animals. (And sometimes you’ll get big news, like victories we’ve won for animals.)
- Action Alerts
We’ve written the text, checked the spelling and grammar, and arranged for the target’s e-mail account to receive the message. Now all you have to do is type in your name, click send, and BAM—action taken. Jump over to the Action Center and do a couple of them now. I’ll wait. …
- Donate Money
Times are tight—believe me, I understand. But giving even $5 to an organization that you believe in can make a difference, and it takes barely 60 seconds to do. To a dog who’s starving, it could mean a meal and some relief from hunger.
- Surprise a Friend With a VSK
The best day of the month is when my O Magazine arrives in my mailbox. You know why? Because it’s not a bill. Who doesn’t love a glossy piece of mail that’s a joy to read and never mentions past due amounts or threatens disconnecting service? Grab your friend’s address and we’ll mail PETA’s free vegan starter kit there. Maybe he or she will even make you dinner using one of the recipes. That’s what I call a win-win.
- Wear Your Activism
It’s amazing how effective simple things like wearing a PETA T-shirt or button can be. Quick and easy actions like this can help you get your message to dozens of people every day. If we must get dressed anyway, why not choose a cute shirt with an animal rights message and sashay our way to animal liberation in style.
- Let Ingrid Inspire You
Put a microphone in front of PETA president Ingrid Newkirk and let the inspiration ensue. She knows a thing or two about animal rights, and hearing her speak on the topic can motivate even a rock to start leafletting. Take 20 minutes and listen to her speech from the 2017 Animal Rights National Conference and you, too, will be moved. Then e-mail us at [email protected] to get some leaflets.
Animals need us to be their warriors, so don’t forget to sit in the sun and meditate once in a while—then get back to it! I bet even Wonder Woman has to catch her breath sometimes.
*Always get your companion animals spayed or neutered, and remember to adopt, not shop.
Looking for more ways to help animals?