1. Not Eat Animals
The single most effective thing that a person can do to help animals is not eat them! The simple fact is that the less animals that are consumed the less suffering there will be. Unfortunately the idea of going Vegetarian or Vegan can be overwhelming for some people and that is why RASTA endorses the Meatless Monday Movement as an easy step that everyone can take towards leading a more compassionate and conscious lifestyle thereby helping not only millions of animals but the earth as well as their own health.
Alternatively, for those that are ready for the next step towards a life free of animal sourced products, here are some great links to help guide you on your journey; Free Veggie Starter Kit & Go Vegan!
By making a one time Donation or choosing to Sponsor one of the many animals at the RASTA Sanctuary, you are helping to not only provide immediate care but further helping to support the ongoing efforts of reducing animal suffering and ultimately saving more lives through RASTA’s educational outreach campaigns. Alternatively, you are also most welcome to make non-monetary contributions to the sanctuary and to view items in current need, please view our Wish List.
Donating your time is a great way to help out. As a volunteer-based organization, RASTA has a number of different opportunities available and is always in need of committed individuals that are serious about wanting to help. For a list of volunteer opportunities currently available, please visit our Volunteer page.
4. Don’t Shop, ADOPT!
When looking for a furry or feathered companion, please don’t buy from pet stores or backyard breeders as a good majority of the animals sold in today’s market come from Puppy Mills and similar breeding facilities where animals are exploited by the most horrific means. Due to a standard lack of veterinary care, socialization and common practices such as inbreeding, many animals sold in pet stores suffer from a number of physical as well as mental health problems including gross genetic defects and deadly diseases.
As pounds, shelters and rescue organizations alike are all overflowing with homeless pets that are all in desperate need of placement and with 30% or more of the animals being purebreds (and of all ages) you are bound to find whatever animal it is that you are looking for. Always adopt from reputable Rescue Organizations when searching for a pet and be wary of breeders and dealers posing as rescue groups. Unfortunately the term “rescue” is used rather loosely nowadays with little to no regulation so a good rule of thumb is to look for those that are actual registered charities. If the adoptable animals are not spayed or neutered or worse yet pregnant, that is not a rescue organization! Pet Finder.com is a great resource to use if you have a specific breed, sex and/or age of pet that you are looking for as it serves as a search engine that consolidates all the animals that meet your criteria within a requested area.
Also, make sure that you do your research regarding breeds and species of animals before you bring them into your home as they are living creatures that require a lifetime of commitment. Don’t be swayed by cute photos or gimmicks like “Tea Cup” & Micro Mini Pigs” as there is no such breed!
5. Spay & Neuter Your Own Pets
Please spay and neuter ALL your pets. Millions of animals die every year in shelters because of the simple fact that there are not enough homes. By sterilizing your pets you are not only eliminating the risk of unplanned litters but also helping to protect the health of your animals. Studies prove that altered animals live longer and happier lives with significantly reduced health risks than those that remain intact.
6. Shop Cruelty-Free
In this day and age there is no reason to support companies that still test their products on animals. Become an informed consumer by reading labels before purchasing products. Look for cruelty-free labels and read the ingredients in what you are buying. Many people would be surprised to know that a lot of shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers and related beauty products actually contain dead horses! Glycerin, an ingredient that can be sourced from plants (but it must say so on the label) is commonly made from horses and cows. Gelatin, an ingredient in Jell-O is also sourced from horses and cows while a cruelty free equivalent called “agar agar” exists. This is a current list of Companies That Still Test On Animals.
7. Stand Up For What Is Right
We all have a moral compass within us that knows the difference between right and wrong. Although it may sometimes be easier to turn away and pretend that you do not see injustice or suffering or that you simply do not know any better, ignorance is not bliss. As humans we are blessed with being in a powerful and important position where it is our moral obligation to take care of and protect those who are weaker than us. We need to be a voice for the voiceless and stand up for the rights of those who do not have a vote. Whether you are able to help a single stray dog or cat, volunteer a few hours for a local animal shelter or commit to becoming a full-on activist, do whatever you can within your own capacity to help those that need us the most, the animals.
“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing” – Edward Burke
Without a doubt the most important aspect of rescue work is education. Helping to spread the word is essentially the most important thing that you can do. By educating your friends and family you are helping to have a greater impact on the lives of millions of animals, human health, our natural resources and essentially the sustainability of our earth for future generations. Today we are very fortunate to have the luxuries of social media and unlimited technology at our fingertips. Please use the resources you have available to help spread the word.
Knowledge is the light that shines through the darkness of ignorance.