8 Ways To Be Compassionate With Animals

The American Humane Society celebrated Be Kind to Animals Week May 7 – 13. In my world, being kind to animals takes place every day. American Humane suggests the following ways to take the animal kindness pledge.

1. Buy Humanely Raised Products

If becoming vegan is not in the cards for you, then look for American Humane Certified products when you shop for eggs, meat and dairy products. Not only will you be ensuring that you are eating food from animals that have been treated humanely, but your body will thank you for it too for not feeding it food filled with synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. And mother earth will thank you for eating foods from organic farms that use less energy.

2. Protect Earth’s Animals

Next time you want to take your family to the zoo, aquarium or conversation center, check to see if it’s Humane Certified. American Humane blog tells us:

“American Humane launched the American Humane Conservation program in June of 2016 as the world’s first-ever certification devoted solely to verifying the humane treatment of animals living in zoos, aquariums, and conservation centers across the globe. The program enforces rigorous, evidence-based standards of comprehensive animal welfare, developed by an independent Scientific Advisory Committee of world-renowned leaders in the fields of animal science, animal behavior, animal ethics, and conservation. As of November 2016, there were only eight institutions worldwide to receive the certified seal of approval.”

3. Protect Animal Actors

Wanting to go see the latest movie with animals as the star actors? Great, just make sure you only support films with American Humane’s “No Animals Were Harmed®” end credit. America’s Vet, Dr. Marty Becker, believes that no animals should ever be harmed for the sake of entertainment and everything should always be in support of the human-animal bond. I couldn’t agree more.

4. Adopt from an Animal Shelter

You’ll save the life of one of 6-8 million animals abandoned every year when you adopt from a shelter, rescue organization or a reputable breeder. In addition to bringing home your new best friend, you’ll contribute to stopping the deceptive practices of puppy mills that supply pets to consumers online and to pet stores.

5. Practice researched-based, positive reinforcement training.

This is not only for dogs. Non-aversive training methods work on all animals. Science-based, positive reinforcement training creates partnership with our animals and can be used effectively with any species. Certain behaviors result in pleasant consequences and all other behaviors result in no consequence, inspiring the animal to think creatively on their own. Behavior is a function of its consequences. Observation is given to what animals do naturally, the behavior is marked at the exact time it happens (i.e. with a click, “good boy” or “yes”) and is reinforced with a reward (i.e. treat, toy, praise). Cues are added when you have a reliably built behavior. And the food consequence is phased out or given intermittently while praise and verbal commands and/or hand signals remain. Watch this hyena who has been trained with positive reinforcement clicker training. He’s very happy to have blood drawn from him for medical reasons.

6. Pay attention to your pet’s auditory environment.

This one is often overlooked, even from the most loving pet parents. Sound can cause a great deal of stress to our pets. Dogs, in particular, will often do anything to please their people and stay close to them. There may be loud TV coming from one room and rock music from another. It’s not uncommon to find the family dog caught in the middle, wanting to be near the people he loves. But, the loud cacophony of sound may be affecting his behavior as well as his health. Choose music instead that is specially designed to sooth your dog or cat.

7. Treat all animals as individuals.

When cities create breed discrimination laws, they are characterizing all dogs of that breed with the same prejudice. It’s no different than saying, “All people of color are…[fill in the blank].” Pit Bulls are one of the breeds commonly misunderstood. In a study published in the  journal Applied Animal Behavior Science, Pit Bulls actually scored average to below average in levels of aggression, yet they are still outlawed from many cities.

8. Give your pets the gift of compassion at the end of life.

I recently put my senior Labrador, Sanchez, to rest. As sad as I was, I wouldn’t have traded those final days and moments for anything. When I adopted him, I signed up for a lifetime of care, and that included making the final decision to let him rest in dignity when he told me that his work here was done.

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106 comments

Peggy B
Peggy B5 days ago

TYFS

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Julie P
Julie Pham5 days ago

Thanks

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Ruth S
Ruth S7 days ago

Thanks.

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Debbie F
Debbie F8 days ago

Thank you!

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Linda W
Linda W9 days ago

Interesting video and good information. Thank you.

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Jaime J
Jaime J9 days ago

Thank you

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Carl R
Carl R10 days ago

Thanks!!!

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Leo C
Leo Custer11 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Leanne K
Leanne K11 days ago

Its strange that compassion for animals doesnt occur naturally in many people

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Leanne K
Leanne K11 days ago

I wholeheartedly agree!

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