October 2 is World Farm Animals Day, a day that for the past 29 years has been set to speak out against the inhumane treatment of animals on farms around the world, particularly large scale factory farms. Organizers of the event evoke the famous words of Mohandas Gandhi—“the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated”—as the underpinnings behind the event.
If you’re like me, living in a city and able to count the number of times in my life that I’ve been on a farm on both hands, the rights of farm animals aren't top of mind day-to-day. Yet the choices we make when we hit the grocery store or buy a pair of boots have deep implications for the way that animals are treated.
So why not take some time out this October 2 to consider how your choices are affecting farm animals, and decide if there are changes you want to make in your life? Here are just a few suggestions:
- Learn What’s Happening: This isn’t a case of ‘if-I-can’t-see-it-it-can’t-be-real’ kind of problem. Watch a documentary or pick up a book and find out what’s really happening at factory farms around the world. Earthlings is perhaps one of the most eye-opening docs, and Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran explores the fictions many of us use to ignore what’s happening.
- Support Great Organizations: There are a few really great organizations dedicated to changing the appalling conditions in which millions of farm animals live. Give ‘A Really Wild Gift’ from WSPA’s catalog to support their campaigns against the appalling farming practices of factory farming or donate to a organization like Farm Sanctuary that rescues farm animals from abuse and neglect.
- Host an Event: Invite some friends over for a vegetarian dinner party – once you show off your mad culinary skills without meat, you might help show some folks that giving up meat really doesn’t have to be a sacrifice. Here are some great vegan recipes to get you inspired.
- Visit a Farm: Take the day off and head out of the city to visit some local farms. You’re likely a few degrees of separation from a farmer, so ask some friends if they can make an intro. If not, just go for a drive and stop in to see if someone’s willing to chat and show you around.
What do you think? Will you be adding your voice on October 2 in support of Farm Animals?