elephant walking along a body of water in the wild

This Earth Day, Here’s How Helping Animals Helps the Planet



Animals and the planet are inextricably linked. Here’s how you can get involved helping both.

Happy Earth Day! If you’re reading this, it means you’re interested in helping end animal cruelty which can also help the planet. Here’s how.

1. #EatLessMeat

Factory farms require the destruction of native habitats to make way for corn and soy crops used to feed farmed animals. Millions of pounds of hazardous pesticides are applied to these crops in the US, which impede the ability of insects, birds, fish, and other species to survive and thrive. Factory farming is not only perpetuating enormous cruelty and suffering for the billions of animals farmed annually, but also exacerbating climate change while pushing billions of wild animals and their habitats to the brink.

It’s not too late to reverse course, and you can help.

On this Earth Day, you can spread the word about the harmful impacts of factory farms and commit to eating less meat through our Meating Halfway journey, and encourage those around you to do so.

2. No Future for Factory Farming

As we have mentioned, factory farms are vastly contributing to climate change and other destruction of the planet. In addition to eating less meat and animal products, you can urge your legislators to support the Farm System Reform Act. This proposed bill would decrease the number of farmed animals kept in extreme confinement and subjected to brutal mutilations, which would also reduce the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture.

3. The Wild Animal Pet Trade

Every year, wild animals including turtles, lizards, snakes, parrots, monkeys, and otters are taken from their homes in the wild or intensively bred in captivity and sold as pets. Millions of animals are suffering as a result of these sales which are also fueling our global biodiversity crisis.

To take action to protect wild species from becoming pets, thus better preserving our planet’s fragile biodiversity, download World Animal Protection’s publication, “Banning Retail Sales of Wild Animals: A Toolkit for Animal Advocates. ” You will learn how to advocate for a local law that prohibits the sale of wild animals like birds, reptiles, and amphibians in pet stores.

4. Preventing Future Pandemics

COVID-19 has underscored the urgent need for action to help prevent future pandemics. COVID-19, along with SARS, MERS, Ebola, HIV/AIDS, avian flu, and many other pandemics before, jumped from wild animals to humans through close proximity or human consumption. Zoonotic disease outbreaks are increasingly commonplace in the intensive confinement model of farmed animal production. 

Currently, an outbreak of avian flu in North America has led to the deaths of roughly 28 million chickens and turkeys on farms around the country killed either by the virus or culled in large numbers to prevent its spread, a strategy called mass depopulation. World Animal Protection and other groups have repeatedly called on the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to denounce and prohibit two inhumane techniques of depopulation commonly used on factory farms in the US: ventilation shutdown and water-based foam. Water-based foam is likely being used in the current outbreak, and both techniques lead to prolonged suffering for the animals before they die and can even leave some animals alive and in pain.

The Preventing Future Pandemics Act aims to address the global health risks posed by the wildlife trade by shutting down wildlife markets and ending the international trade in wildlife for human consumption. Its passage would help keep wild animals in the wild, helping to protect our planet’s critical biodiversity. Learn more about this act, and how you can support it, here.

More about