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11 Ways to Make Your School More Animal-Friendly
Are you the kind of kid who’s always trying to help animals no matter where you are? Well, believe it or not, there are ways to stand up for animals even while you’re at school!
Help make your school more animal-friendly with these 11 easy steps:
1. Say NO to classroom dissection.
Would you want to be killed only to have your body cut open by students for a “science project”? No? Well, neither do the millions of cats, pigs, mice, frogs, and other animals who end up on dissection trays in schools across the country every year.
Every animal used for classroom dissection was once a living, breathing being who didn’t want to suffer or die. One of the easiest ways that you can make your school more animal-friendly is by choosing never to dissect and urging your teachers to use humane non-animal methods instead. Find out if you live in a state with a dissection-choice policy.
2. Start an animal rights club.
You’re probably not the only kid at your school who wants to stand up for animals. Start an animal rights group so that you and other students can help animals. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Get together. A group can start with just two people. The important thing is to decide which issue you want to work on first. Maybe you and your friends want to organize a circus protest or help free the orcas at SeaWorld. The options are endless!
- Get a name. Be sure to create a catchy name for your group that people will easily remember and that also reflects your cause. A popular group name that you could use is Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (SETA), but you can pick whatever name you like.
- Get educated. Now that you have a group, a cause, and a name, starting learning as much as you can about helping animals. For example, find out how they suffer when they’re used for food, what’s wrong with using animals for clothing, and more.
- Get organized. Schedule your first meeting and discuss who will be responsible for which tasks, what your group’s goals are, and how often you want to meet. Be open to new ideas, and encourage people to be creative. You may also consider having your parents start and run a group page for you on a popular social-media website like Facebook—this could help increase the number of people you reach with your message.
- Get the word out. One of the best ways to spread your animal rights message is by organizing fundraisers. Scroll down to step number eight for some awesome fundraising event ideas.
3. Get teachers to help you spread the word.
Imagine being able to learn about helping animals … for homework. Well, now you can. TeachKind, the humane-education division of PETA, is a helpful resource that’s full of FREE animal-related lesson plans and tips for educating students about animal rights issues. Ask your teacher to check out TeachKind to get started today.
4. Ask for animal-free school lunches.
If the cafeteria food at your school makes your stomach turn, it’s time to switch it up. Make it your goal to get rid of the gross mystery meat by asking your principal or cafeteria manager to replace it with yummy vegan meals like veggie burgers. You’ll be doing animals and your taste buds a favor. Here’s how to get started.
5. Say NO to cruel field trips.
You may think that you’ll be forced to go on every school trip that your teacher organizes, but you have a voice, too! You have the power to tell your teacher that you don’t want to participate in class trips to places like roadside zoos, marine parks, and circuses that abuse animals or keep them locked up in captivity.
If your school is planning a cruel field trip, ask your parents to help you write a letter to your teacher or principal asking him or her not to support businesses that hurt animals. Instead, suggest taking an educational trip to somewhere positive like a nature park or a museum.
6. Make sure that your school is free of glue traps.
Imagine having your entire body glued to the floor, and no matter how much you struggle, you can’t get free. After hours of suffering, you suffocate to death. That’s what it’s like for animals caught in glue traps. These devices are cruel, unnecessary, and deadly for the rodents and other animals who get stuck in them. Help end this torture in your school by explaining to your principal why glue traps are so cruel.
7. Spread the animal rights message with colorful posters.
Ask your principal for permission to hang artistic posters around your school with messages that show your classmates how to treat animals with kindness and respect. Whether your fellow students are taking a drink from the water fountain or grabbing a book from their lockers, they’ll be reminded that dogs shouldn’t be left in hot cars and that orcas belong in the wild. Plus, this can be a fun project to work on with your animal rights club.
8. Raise money for animals.
There are endless ways for you to raise money for animals. Some of the best ways include holding a vegan bake sale, setting up a lemonade stand on your school’s lawn (with permission), organizing a car wash, and making and selling jewelry. You’ll be a hit with your classmates for organizing such fun events and a hero for animals by raising awareness and money to help them.
9. Decorate your book covers.
Put your awesome artistic abilities to use by covering your schoolbooks with animal rights messages. Your books will look super cool compared to the other boring ones in the classroom, and every time your schoolmates glance down at your desk, they’ll be reminded that cats don’t want to be dissected and that animals don’t want to be eaten.
10. Keep an eye out for classroom “pets.”
Teachers often bring small animals, like bunnies and hamsters, into schools without realizing that a classroom isn’t a good home for an animal. Imprisoning someone in a place that’s unnatural to him or her doesn’t teach students compassion, respect, or responsibility—it teaches them that harming animals is OK. If a teacher at your school has animals in the classroom, explain to him or her why having classroom “pets” is cruel.
11. Ask your friends at PETA Kids for advice.
If you want to tackle an animal rights issue at your school but aren’t sure how to handle it, ask us for tips! E-mail us at [email protected] whenever you have questions about dissection laws in your state, where to go for animal-friendly field trips, or anything else.
Under 13? Ask your parents bee-fore you continue!