The most important action you can take right now to help animals is to go vegetarian or even better vegan. You don't need to wait another day to start saving animals. The average vegetarian spares the lives of over 50 animals each year. That adds up to thousands during a lifetime. Every time we eat, we are making a powerful choice that has profound consequences on the lives of animals. At each meal, we make a decision between supporting cruelty or living compassionately.
Rodeos cannot survive without the help of the slaughter industry. Calves and steers are worth almost the same to stock contractors dead or alive. They know that if they kill an animal during a rodeo they can still sell the dead animal to the meat industry. By removing yourself as a customer from this process you are taking a little bit of money directly from the pockets of rodeo producers and contestants.
Choosing to go vegetarian is simply a matter of living according to the values so many of us hold dear, such as being fair and kind to others. Most people would never dream of cramming up to 11 egg-laying hens into a file drawer-sized cage, ripping the testicles out of a screaming baby piglet, or cutting the throat of a cow as she stares back at you with her big brown eyes. How then, as compassionate individuals, can we justify paying others to carry out these atrocities on our behalf?
Don't Think You Can Do It?
Don't fall into the trap of thinking you have to be perfect - that if you can't be 100% vegan, then you aren't going to try at all. DO WHAT YOU CAN. If that means only making one meal a week vegetarian, then start with that, but please don't do nothing because you can't do everything.
Obviously in order to eat meat, an animal had to be slaughtered, but the issues of cruelty go far beyond just the death of an animal. The lives of animals raised to be slaughtered are terrible. Living in cruelly cramped conditions, many animals are unable to lie down or turn around. Often animals are forced to stand in their own waste for their entire miserable lives. When it comes time to be slaughtered, many methods are imperfect and cause great suffering to the animals before death.
Even animals that are not raised for food are poorly treated. Chickens that provide eggs for consumption often spend their entire lives in a cage no bigger than a piece of notebook paper, and dairy cows face abuse and mistreatment in addition to being injected with hormones to facilitate milk production. A person who wishes to live a cruelty-free life chooses to remove him or herself from any participation in this process and go vegan.
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