Do you care about animals and want to avoid needlessly harming them in your everyday life? Well, then these life hacks are for you! Surely, you don’t abuse animals with your bare hands—but there may be a few things you’re doing that hurt animals despite your good intentions.

1. You consume milk from cows.

A mother cow’s milk is the perfect formula containing all the right nutrients for her beautiful bundle of baby cow. Hey, there’s someone I’d like you to meet … everyone: this is nature.

When humans drink milk from a cow, it can trigger acne outbreaks and put them at increased risk of developing some types of cancer. Buying cow’s milk pays for workers to tear calves away from their mothers shortly after birth and supports the slaughter of these cows once their milk production declines and they’re “spent”. It also supports the abuse of babies in the veal industry, where they’re killed before their first birthday … and it destroys the planet. Oops.

Instead, try plant-based milks and eat the vegan versions of dairy “products” such as cheese and yogurt.

2. You wear animals’ fur.

Animals’ fur grows out of their skin, so it’s attached to the biggest organ on their bodies. Turns out, animals need the majority of their bodies to live!

Animals used for fur are trapped in the wild with painful devices or languish in tiny, filthy wire cages for their entire lives and are killed in horrifying ways. Fur farmers use poison, gas, or electrocution—sometimes animals are even skinned alive when these methods don’t kill them. Some humans think that wearing fur makes them look cool, but it actually makes them look like cruel idiots. 🙂

Instead, wear faux fur or any other vegan material.

3. You eat eggs.

Chickens are sensitive, intelligent, and curious animals with individual personalities. They can communicate with their young, solve problems using geometry, distinguish between more than 100 faces of their own species, and have the same capacity to suffer that humans do.

Eggs are actually comparable to menstruation—or periods—if you will. Eating fried periods for breakfast is gross. Studies show that eggs aren’t healthy for humans, and in most cases, buying them pays for hens to be locked up in battery cages or dark sheds until the day they’re slaughtered—and for male chicks to be ground up alive shortly after birth.

Who would want that to happen to a sweet little chicky? Even eggs labeled “free-range” or “cage-free” likely came from birds who endured painful mutilations and intense crowding in filthy conditions.

Instead, try tofu scrambles and vegan egg replacers.

4. You buy makeup from companies that pay for cruel animal tests.

Rabbits are sensitive, curious animals who like to see what’s going on—or they get FOMO. They can run between 25 and 45 miles per hour (zoom!), can easily be taught to use a litter box (wow!), and run around in circles when they’re happy or excited (aw!). Rabbits are not only cute but also intelligent and social, and they need mental stimulation and love.

Some companies pay laboratories to use animals such as rabbits to test the ingredients in their products. Rabbits exploited in laboratories typically endure chemicals being dripped into their eyes. Because they have no tear ducts that would help flush out the chemicals, they’re especially sensitive to them.

Or substances are applied directly to their shaved skin and they’re left to languish in tiny, barren cages. Buying from brands that pay for testing on animals or sell their products in mainland China, where testing is required, supports this abuse.

Instead, buy cruelty-free makeup, which makes you beautiful on the inside, too—double beauty!

5. You eat bacon.

Science: Pigs are extremely intelligent. They can be taught to play video games and have been observed putting their toys away when playtime is over. They can even recognize themselves in a mirror—something dogs and cats can’t do.

Eating bacon pays for female pigs to be forcibly impregnated, locked in tiny crates for almost their whole lives, and violently slaughtered. Imagine being violently slaughtered. Their male babies are typically castrated, and their teeth and ears are clipped shortly after birth—all without any painkillers. And the consumption of some pork products can increase your risk of death. Death.

Don’t dine on swine. Instead, leave pork off your fork—try vegan bacon!

6. You buy dogs from breeders.

The saying isn’t “French bulldogs are man’s best friend”—it’s “dogs are man’s best friend.” It doesn’t matter what breed they are—they all deserve to have a loving home.

Dogs used for breeding are impregnated, sometimes while being forcibly restrained by a “breeding stand.” Where I come from, we call that rape. Buying a puppy from breeders also takes a home away from one waiting in a shelter and, ultimately, sentences animals to death. All dogs are worthy of love, not just the ones you get from a breeder.

Instead, adopt an animal from an open-admission shelter.

7. You visit roadside zoos.

Where do wild animals belong? Hmm … in captivity? No, that’ can’t be right. Maybe … in the wild? In their natural habitats, they can run, swim, dive, fly, roam, explore, raise their young, play, dig, forage, and sniff interesting things—a great life by any animal’s standards.

Roadside zoos are places where innocent beings are sentenced to a lifetime in prison with no way to appeal. Confining animals to these facilities and putting them on display often causes so much stress and misery that it can drive them insane. Locking them in enclosures doesn’t promote conservation, rehabilitation, or education. Visiting roadside zoos, aquariums, and marine parks only pays for animals to suffer in captivity.

Instead, watch stunning footage of wild animals in their natural habitats on TV or do any of these animal-friendly alternatives.

8. You wear leather.

Cuddling with cows, watching them play, staring into their eyes, and being so kind to them that they lick your face with their giant tongues—that’s luxury.

Skinning cows, sometimes while they’re still alive, and then treating their dead skin with a ton of toxic, polluting chemicals to keep it from rotting so that you can wear it as a jacket or handbag is not luxury—it’s cruel and just plain nasty. Often, cows used for leather are branded, castrated, electroshocked, dehorned, and beaten before they’re forced to watch others being slaughtered and skinned as they await their turn.

Instead, wear vegan leather.

9. You see movies that use “animal actors.”

One thing that makes animals so cool is that they’re not trying to be famous—they don’t care about money or fashion, and they’re not trying to impress anyone with their looks or manners. Animals are chillers—that’s why we love them!

Many animals used in TV and film are taken away from their mothers shortly after birth, confined to barren cages, and trained to do stunts and tricks through punishment and food deprivation. When wild animals such as chimpanzees grow old and can no longer perform or when they reach adolescence and become too strong and dangerous to bully, their handlers often discard them to roadside zoos. There, they’re left to languish for the rest of their lives. Watching TV shows and movies that use real animals perpetuates this abuse.

Instead, support only shows and movies that use computer-generated imagery, such as Planet of the Apes.

10. You buy down bedding and jackets.

Ducks and geese have feathers to protect their skin, keep them warm and dry, help them fly, and … that’s it—that’s what their feathers are for.

Often, ducks and geese used for down are plucked alive as they struggle and squawk. Workers rip out handfuls of the restrained birds’ feathers, often tearing holes in their skin. The plucked birds are tossed aside, bare and bleeding, and endure the process all over again six to seven weeks later, on and on until the day they’re slaughtered.

Instead, buy down-alternative products, which are just as warm, hypo-allergenic, machine washable, and cruelty-free.

When it comes to animals, the problem isn’t how we use them—it’s that we use them. Animals are here with us, not for us. Always remember that you don’t have to support cruelty to animals—you have a choice. And just like any other habit or lifestyle change, it gets easier the longer you do it.

By putting animals and animal products on your “DO NOT EAT, WEAR, or USE” lists, making humane choices will quickly become second nature. Just remember that animals deserve our compassion and respect, and exploiting them is never the right thing to do.

SPREAD THE KINDNESS!