1. Rejoice that we are part of the .
2. Respect all life.
3. Open our minds to animals and learn from them.
4. Teach our children to respect and love nature.
5. Be wise stewards of life on earth.
6. Value and help preserve the sounds of nature.
7. Refrain from harming life in order to learn from it.
8. Have the courage of our convictions.
9. Praise and help those who work for animals and the natural world.
10. Act knowing we are not alone and live with hope.
My hope for the coming year:
That we honor our commitment to the planet’s animals, domesticated and wild;
That we stop overpopulation by spaying and neutering our pets;
That if and when we find ourselves unable to care for our pets that we make every effort to find homes for them and, barring that, relinquish them to shelters, preferrably no-kill, instead of dumping and abandoning them;
That we keep our dogs and cats indoors and not let them roam streets full of hazards;
That science will continue to discover and publicize animal intelligence;
That laws regarding abuse continue to be conceived and implemented and that the courts uphold said laws;
That the voices for animals continue to increase;
That we realize that our pets are not little, furry four-legged people (and probably would not care to be);
That we realize the richness of their social lives.
What can we do to help? The Humane Society of the United States offers these suggestions:
HSUS Engagement Activities
In Your Community:
- Write letters to the editor on our issues and encourage radio and television talk shows to present animal issues (humanesociety.org is a great resource for information).
- Ask your local radio and television stations to air HSUS public service announcements and our new Shelter Pet Project PSAs.
- Distribute HSUS literature at events and stores.
- Work to engage your church or place of worship with animal protection issues. Our Faith Outreach program website offers many resources.
- Follow the 3 Rs of eating: reducing your consumption of meat and other animal-based foods, refining your diet by avoiding animal products derived from factory farming, and replacing meat and other animal-based foods with vegetarian foods.
- Purchase cruelty-free cosmetics and household products.
- Adopt a friend for life from a local animal shelter or foster an animal waiting for a home.
- Learn about non-lethal methods of managing urban wildlife around your home.
- I.D. your animals and encourage others to do the same. And keep your cats safe indoors.
- Establish a pet care trust to ensure your animals’ future.
- Prepare a disaster kit for your animals.
- Sponsor a “Stop Puppy Mills” billboard in your community.
- Ask your local restaurants and grocery stores to switch to cage-free eggs, and to protect seals by boycotting Canadian seafood.
- Visit our pages on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube and other online networks.
- Add an HSUS banner or video to your website, blog or social networking page.
- Sign up to receive text message alerts from The HSUS on your cell phone.
Get Training—Get Activated:
- Participate in Disaster Animal Response Team training and sign up to be an NDART responder.
- Attend or help organize a Lobby 101 training program in your community.
- Train to become a humane educator, develop outreach programs in your community.
- Attend The HSUS’s Animal Care Expo (location varies), Taking Action for Animals conference (Washington, D.C.), or the Genesis Awards (Los Angeles), or volunteer at an HSUS event.
- Take a workshop or online course through Humane Society University.
- Organize a Spay Day USA event in your community.
Volunteer to Help Animals:
- Volunteer to monitor property with The HSUS’s Wildlife Land Trust.
- Volunteer for egg addling or other humane wildlife control programs for Canada geese or other species targeted by wildlife officials.
- Volunteer time and skills with your local animal shelter or rescue group.
- Explore volunteer opportunities with our Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association Field Services program.
- Determine which elected officials represent you at local, state and federal levels.
- Contact your federal and state legislators about animal protection issues.
- Sign up for our email alerts to get involved in helping to pass state and federal legislation.
- Study our legislative priorities and attend lawmakers’ town meetings to urge them to support these issues.
- Register to vote.
- Gather signatures for and help pass animal protection ballot initiatives. We may be launching ballot initiatives in Missouri and Ohio in the coming weeks, so please let us know if you live in one of those states and if you’d like to help.
Work with Local Schools:
- Work to get The HSUS’s Kind News adopted in local classrooms.
- Sponsor humane education programs through Humane Society Youth (our humane education division for K-6 students).
- Recruit young people (under 21) to participate in Mission Humane.
- Work to get your local universities or your child’s schools to join our “Cage-Free Campus” campaign or to add vegetarian options to their menu.
- Book and sponsor HSUS staff for lectures at schools and universities.
Shop with Our Corporate Supporters:
- Obtain an HSUS credit card through Bank of America (a portion of the proceeds go to The HSUS).
- Order personal checks through our website and custom gifts from Zazzle, including stamps and cards.
- Purchase magazines from The HSUS Magazine Store.
- Purchase products for pets and the people who love them through Humane Domain.
- Purchase a pet health insurance plan.
- Join our Dog Lovers Wine Club, or send a gift membership to friends or family members.
Fundraising and Networking:
- Make a personal annual gift or sign up for an automatic monthly pledge on your credit card.
- Make a memorial gift in honor of a friend or animal companion or give gift memberships to friends or family members.
- Host a house party through our Philanthropy department, and have an HSUS executive or subject expert speak at the event.
- Arrange coffee or lunch dates to introduce The HSUS and our programs to people who care about animals.
- Ensure The HSUS is eligible for giving programs at your workplace.
- Sell books from Humane Society Press to raise funds and spread the message.
- Donate your used vehicle to benefit The HSUS.
To all who’ve stopped by this blog, thank you so much. And come back again next year! HAPPY 2013!
Dr. Jane Goodall is the world’s foremost authority on chimpanzees, having closely observed their behavior for the past quarter century in the jungles of the Gombe Game Reserve in Africa, living in the chimps’ environment and gaining their confidence. Her observations and discoveries are intemationally heralded.
Marc Bekoff is Professor of Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, a fellow of the Animal Behavior Society, and recipient of their Exemplar Award for outstanding contributions to the field of animal behavior. He is co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals: Citizens for Responsible Animal Behavior Studies.