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Since you read this blog (thank you!), you’re in the vegan know. You understand that being vegan or eating more vegan foods allows you to:

You also know from various blog posts that the most important reason I’ve chosen to be vegan is so I can cause the least amount of suffering to animals as possible.

If that’s one of your goals too, being vegan is one of the best ways you can do that. By not adding to the demand for meat, dairy, or eggs, you lower their production, and therefore save animals from suffering on factory farms. Way to go!

But being vegan isn’t the ONLY way to help animals; you can help in all sorts of ways! 

And animals need all the help they can get, unfortunately. From being exploited for their parts in the wildlife trade to being euthanized in shelters just for lack of space, animals all over the world need us!

And I have some great ideas to share with you about how to help – whether you have 30 seconds or a whole day!

Don’t have much time?

Here are some quick ideas that are easy and fun.

1. Click on TheAnimalRescueSite.com daily.animalrescue

In my post An Easy, Peasy Way to Save the World, I blogged about TheAnimalRescueSite.com. You click a button on their site, and voila, money is donated to animal causes!

How does this work? The site has advertisers, and when you click, those advertisers pay and that money goes straight to help animals.

It’s FREE to you and only takes seconds.

They also have an online shop where you can purchase gifts, jewelry, fair trade items, and more, and that money helps animals too!

2. Take short surveys for animals!

SurveyMonkey Contribute allows you to take surveys, and then they donate to the organization of your choice! I’ve chosen The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), my very favorite charity.

Just sign up, and each time a survey is available, they’ll send you an email. The surveys I’ve completed took me between 30 seconds (for a simple one-question survey) and 5 minutes to do.

surveymonkey contribute

3. Take action for animals online!

HSUS-smallMany animal organizations send out Action Alerts when there’s an opportunity to lend your voice to help.

HSUS has a great action alert system that remembers your info so you don’t even have to fill it in every time; just a few seconds, and you’ve spoken up for animals!

Sign up for HSUS’s action alerts here.

You can also follow me on Twitter @what_i_vegan. I post action alerts and petitions there all the time!

4. Donate to the cause!

There is a plethora of non-profits out there that help animals in innumerable ways. Some of my favorite charities are HSUS, Farm Sanctuary, Best Friends Animal Society, and a local shelter here in Charleston, Pet Helpers.

Check out the huge list of animal charities and their ratings on Charity Navigator and choose one that resonates with you.

And don’t forget that donating in someone’s name or “adopting” an animal is a wonderful and meaningful gift.

For my birthday one year, my husband Hanes "adopted" Yvette the goose for me from Farm Sanctuary! That was my favorite present.

For my birthday one year, my husband Hanes “adopted” Yvette the goose (my favorite bird!) for me from Farm Sanctuary! That was my favorite present.

Have a little time to spare?

1. Volunteer for your local animal shelter or their programs

When I lived in Birmingham, I spent every Saturday at the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. It was fulfilling and fun volunteer work.

Unchain Charleston LogoNow, I volunteer for the Pet Helpers’ program Unchain Charleston, which spreads awareness about the plight of chained dogs and builds fences for them too! And you know who else founded the group with Pet Helpers? My fave, HSUS!

I can’t tell you the joy we all feel when a dog is let off his or her chain and can run free inside their fence. Oh, happiness!

Shelters and rescue groups everywhere always need volunteers.

Find a shelter or project that makes your heart sing and do it!

Here I am at a fence build, having a great time!

Here I am at a fence build, having a great time (and resting my back from shoveling!)

Is that a happy dog or what?

Is that a happy unchained dog or what?

I've also gotten to meet great people through Unchain Charleston.

I’ve also gotten to meet great new friends through Unchain Charleston.

All the photos above were taken by Missy Johnson, a talented graphic designer and Unchain Charleston volunteer.

2. Adopt a homeless animal

My Rosie and me

My Rosie and me

Adopting a dog, cat, pig, or any animal (ok, so maybe not a crocodile) is rewarding.

You get a new best friend, and they get a second chance at life.

All four of my furry rescues (yes, you read that right; four. One dog and three cats) are joys every day!

You can also encourage friends and family to adopt instead of buy their pets.

You can find rescue animals of all breeds, shapes, and sizes if you just look!

3. Meet with your legislators about animal issues

Each year, there are bills introduced that can help animals. And the more citizens who raise their voices in support of these bills, the better!

But nothing motivates an elected official quite like a face-to-face meeting with voters. Educate yourself on the issues, call up their offices, and make an appointment. It can make a HUGE difference and is much easier than you’d think.

You don’t have to be an expert – just a citizen who cares.307472_10151343273817842_151291520_n

The HSUS even organizes “Humane Lobby Days” in different states. South Carolina’s is coming up in April, and I can’t wait to support bills that would end the private ownership of dangerous exotic animals and strengthen our state’s animal cruelty and fighting laws.

Check out news on federal and state legislation here.

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Those are just a few ideas on how you can help animals, and I hope you find them useful!

Of course, you can always help animals three times a day by choosing vegetarian or vegan meals! Imagine that, improving the world with every fork full!

To “Being the Change You Wish To See In The World!”

Sarah

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