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Throughout our lives, we interact with animals in many different ways.

· We love companion animals and bring them into our homes.

· We play with stuffed animals and watch wildlife specials.

· We see animals at zoos, in pet shops, at sporting events in which animals are used in competition.

But we often overlook other animals, especially the ones we use for food.

Many people eat animal products or use products that are tested on animals, without considering the harm this causes.

These businesses and practices often facilitate industrial animal cruelty, favouring products over the health and wellbeing of animals.

We need to examine why we love some animals but harm others and change this relationship so we can grow as a society.

Some farming activities operate on the basis of keeping the animals indoors throughout their short lives. These are commonly known as factory farms. Almost all pigs and chickens are raised on factory farms.

Some zoos educate the public and aid in conservation efforts but most zoo animals suffer in poor living conditions and are there purely for human entertainment.

Companion animals are too often at risk of abuse and neglect. Puppy farms that supply pet shops raise animals in often inadequate and unhealthy environments.

Animals bred for sport typically live short lives riddled with injuries.

The lives of animals used in fashion are far shorter than their natural lifespan as usually they have to be killed before they can be used by humans.

Vast numbers of animals are used in testing for medicine and other products. Regulatory agencies mandate animal testing despite clear evidence that it isn’t useful. A U.S. FDA study found that over 90% of drugs tested successfully on animals fail in human clinical trials.

We must change the way society treats animals and show them compassion

· We can stop eating animals or, at the very least, we can decide to never buy animal products that come from factory farming.

· We can choose cruelty-free products that are not made from or tested on animals.

· We can adopt pets from local shelters instead of from breeders.

· We can support animal sanctuaries over businesses using animals for entertainment.

It’s the least we can do, if we want to reduce animal abuse and exploitation.

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