Winter break was magical and wonderful and perfect, and how is it over already, right? Going back to school sucks, but with a new year and a brand-new semester, you have a purrfect opportunity to make this second half of the school year the best ever! Here are 11 surefire ways to make your school more animal-friendly in 2015:
1. Start an animal rights club.
Starting an animal rights club is an AWESOME way to A) get even MORE of your friends into animal rights, B) get peeps to work on campaigns with you (see options below!), and C) maybe even make some new compassionate friends. It’s also a good way to beef up your college applications and show those universities what an injustice-fightin’ superstar you are. 😉
2. Ditch dissection.
Seriously, cutting up dead animals in biology class to learn about … life? THAT MAKES NO SENSE. Dissection is a cruel industry, and MILLIONS of animals are killed for it every single year. Many states give you the right to refuse classroom dissection—and it’s ALWAYS worth speaking your mind and asking for an alternative project.
3. Get your teachers on board.
A project on animal rights for homework? Um, yes! The humane-education division of PETA, TeachKind, is an awesome resource to share with your teachers—it’s full of animal-related lesson plans and tips for the classroom that will inspire them to start teaching animal rights. They can even request to have a peta2 staffer visit your school to give a classroom presentation. Send them a link to TeachKind.org and ask them to check it out ASAP.
4. Get your school lunches on point.
If thinking about your cafeteria’s food makes you hurl, it’s time to take charge. Make it a goal this semester to persuade your school to trade out the bland French fries or green beans for an actually tasty and filling vegan option, like a veggie burger! Yummmmm.
5. Say BUH-BYE to cruel field trips.
End-of-year field trips to zoos, circuses, marine parks, or other miserable places that keep animals in captivity? Heck, no! Be bold in 2015—if your school is planning a cruel field trip, either write a letter to or meet with your principal and ask him or her not to support businesses that exploit animals and to choose a different destination.
6. Make sure your school doesn’t use glue traps.
Glue traps are BEYOND cruel death sentences for rodents and any other animals who find themselves trapped on their sticky, adhesive surfaces. Sadly, some schools actually use these awful things to ensnare animals—even though they cause animals slow, agonizing deaths. Find out if your school uses glue traps, and if so, take charge and explain to your principal why they shouldn’t be used.
7. Deck the halls … with posters!
Get permission from your school to hang some posters up in the hallways, on bulletin boards, or in the cafeteria. Then grab a few friends (or your fellow animal rights club members 🙂 ) and get creative making some eye-catching posters that’ll get people thinking.
8. Hold a fundraiser to help animals.
Fundraisers are so easy and so helpful. Find a teacher to help you, and then round up your friends and classmates and ask them to bring in old blankets, towels, leashes, and dog and cat toys so that you can donate them to a local open-admission animal shelter. Or you could ask permission to host an all-vegan bake sale during lunchtime and donate the money you raise to help animals in need. Feel good, get brownie points, and help animals. Win, win, win!
9. DON’T do a fundraiser that hurts animals.
Stupidest things ever? Donkey basketball, pig-kissing contests, goldfish-eating events, and other idiotic fundraisers that involve exploiting animals for “entertainment.” If your school hosts anything like this, make a stink! Go talk to your principal, have fellow students sign a petition, and offer to help your teachers come up with other ways to raise money and have fun.
10. Get crafty with your book covers.
It’s a new year, so it’s probably time to refurbish your tore-up book covers. Turn the mundane into an awesome chance to show off your artistic skillz AND get your activism on by making adorable book covers with animal rights messages. It’ll give ya something to live for during geometry class. #snooze
11. Let peta2 help you!
Have a question about tackling an animal issue at school? Want us to send ya some free leaflets and stickers so you can table during lunch and spread the word about going vegan, shopping cruelty-free, and helping animals? We’ve got your back—e-mail us at [email protected] any day, any time, and we’ll get back at you as soon as we can. 🙂