Change Behaviors by Changing Minds

Many of us feel that animal cruelty is one of the lowest, foulest crimes a human can commit. And yet, we’re a nation that continues archaic practices that harm animals. For example, many Americans still attend exotic animal circuses where tigers are crammed into cages for our delight and where noble elephants are prodded with sharp hooks to perform tricks so our children can laugh. Greyhound racing and dog-fighting share two major traits: both are closely linked to gambling and both are directly responsible for the death and suffering of dogs en masse. Greyhound racing, however, is legal and operational in seven states. In terms of companion animals, approximately 7 million homeless dogs and cats wander American streets because so many of us still purchase animals from pet stores and fail to spay and neuter those we acquire. So what gives? For a nation of people who swear we love animals, why aren’t we doing better? One explanation is, in part, psychological. Whether we are conscious of these feelings or not, there are at least three thought patterns that can trap good people into continuing behaviors that harm animals.

“I don’t want to give up this tradition.”
It can be difficult to recognize the consequences of an activity when that activity is a tradition. We reason, how can a circus be brutal when it has invited children to attend for over 100 years? How can animal racing be cruel when it’s an activity presidents have ...

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APRIL—This is Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month. Of course, we all work to stop cruelty and abuse year-round, but this month is about awareness. Share with your friends and family what they can do if they suspect animal abuse. Reporting is easy and can be anonymous—read our article for more tips. On April 22nd, celebrate Earth

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