We often hear a similar refrain from our readers, especially around this time of year: “I wish I could do more for animals, but I’m on a tight budget.” There are dozens of ways you can help animals that won’t cost you a penny, and nearly all of them start with your voice. Your words are powerful in the fight for all animals. Here are a few ways you can stand with us and speak out!

White rabbit in the grass

How to fight for rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and more

Call, email or write a letter to your legislators to encourage them to support the Humane Cosmetics Act, which would end animal testing of cosmetics products and ingredients in the United States, and prohibit the import of cosmetics that have been tested on animals in other countries. Find your representatives’ contact information (and keep it handy!). Not sure what to say? Keep it simple: “My name is ____________, and I’m a constituent in ___________. Please support the Humane Cosmetics Act to end the cruel and unnecessary testing of cosmetics products and ingredients on animals. Thank you.” Now, pat yourself on the back.

EXTRA CREDIT: Check the labels of the products you use at home to be sure they’re cruelty-free. Notice one that isn’t? Contact the company and urge them to use nonanimal testing methods, then head to your favorite retailer to look for a cruelty-free replacement. For a list of cruelty-free brands, go to LeapingBunny.org.

Broiler chickens in a factory farm
Erin Van Voorhies

How to fight for chickens

Nearly 100 food companies have committed to meaningfully improving the lives of broiler chickens, who are raised and killed for meat, in their supply chains. McDonald’s still isn’t one of them, but it seems to be feeling the pressure. The company received more than 10,000 calls after the Humane Society of the United States asked consumers to tell McDonald’s that chickens deserve better—the company even hired more representatives to answer phones. Call 1-888-833-8392 to add your voice. Go to UnhappyMeals.com to learn more about the campaign.

EXTRA CREDIT: Go meatless one day a week (or more!) to help reduce the
demand for factory-farmed animal products. You’ll find a meatless recipe in each issue of All Animals.

Dog rescued from a dogmeat farm sitting in a pretty park after being rescued
Keith Sheriff
AP Images for HSI

How to fight for dogs

We’re working hard to stop the cruel dog meat trade in South Korea by helping dog farmers transition to new, humane livelihoods. In fact, we will shut down our 13th meat farm in October, bringing the total number of dogs saved to more than 1,500. You can help simply by spreading the word about this incredible work to your family, friends, coworkers, bridge partner, the cashier at the grocery store, the lady next to you at church… you get the idea. Print our most recent story about the dog meat trade to share, or call 301-258-1467 to request a copy.

Portrait of a brown horse
Jennifer Kunz

How to fight for horses

Still got your representatives’ contact info? Excellent. Ask them to support the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, which would keep horse slaughter plants shuttered in the U.S. and end the export of horses for human consumption. Using your own words can make your plea even more powerful, but modifying the sample language we gave for the Humane Cosmetics Act works, too!

Portrait of a cougar in the wild
Lisa Dearing
Alamy Stock Photo

How to fight for wildlife

We don’t have to tell you why killing bobcats, mountain lions, elephants, giraffes and other animals for bragging rights and a trophy on the wall is a terrible idea. But there are thousands of people out there who aren’t yet aware of this so-called “sport.” Population numbers for these majestic creatures are tumbling, and they need our protection. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper urging readers to educate themselves about what’s at stake and invite them to find more information on our website.

Portrait of a puppy
Dan Callister
Alamy Stock Photo

How to fight for puppies

Those puppies in the pet store are cute, but their parents live in deplorable conditions, forced to produce litter after litter without adequate food, water and veterinary care. We’re fighting to protect dogs raised in puppy mills and eventually put an end to mass dog breeding operations that abuse and exploit animals. You can help by encouraging your friends and family to adopt, and by contacting any pet stores in your area that sell puppies and encouraging them to offer adoptable animals instead. You can refer pet stores to humanesociety.org/puppyfriendly for more information.

EXTRA CREDIT: Find for more ways you can help fight puppy mills in your community (PDF).

Whether you’re inspired by one of the ideas listed here or decide to tackle all of them, the bottom line is you have the power to make the world a better place for animals just by using your voice. And if you’re shorter on time than on dollars right now, you can use the envelope tucked inside this issue to support our work. Thank you for being a member of the Humane Society of the United States! 

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This was written and produced by the team behind All Animals, our award-winning magazine. Each issue is packed with inspiring stories about how we are changing the world for animals together.

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Cover of All Animals Magazine with a photo of a beagle puppy.