1. Know your labels

There is a really easy change you can make in your life that you know will have a direct result on farm animal welfare. When you are shopping for you and your family, choose meat and eggs that are certified by a third party auditing program that specializes in animal welfare. By voting with your dollars, you are supporting the farmers that are doing things right and treating their animals with respect. Look for labels like Certified Humane, Global Animal Partnership and Animal Welfare Approved for trusted certifications. The more demand and support for a more humane kind of farming, the more farms can be switched over to this system and more animals can lead better lives.

2. Find out where your food is coming from

We have become so far removed from where our food comes from, and so out of the process of sourcing our food, that it is sometimes easy to forget that our food choices make a difference for both animals and the environment. Finding out where the ingredients in your food come from makes you more equipped to make decisions that can have a real impact. Choose to find out where your local butcher sources their meat, does it come from local, Certified Humane farms? Make sure your cage-free eggs are backed up by a legitimate certification, find out where in the world the ingredients in your food come from, and whether they are sourced in a sustainable manner. You can even find the source of your pet’s food too.

3. Adopt, don't shop

Thinking about getting a new furry family member this year? Consider going to your local animal rescue or shelter instead of purchasing a dog from a pet shop. There are too many dogs looking for a forever home, and you can give a deserving one a second chance at a happy life. So in 2019, adopt don’t shop!

4. Speak up, get involved

Stay in the loop about how animals are being treated throughout the world, your country, city or even town and get involved. Work with a local animal rescue, give your time to an animal welfare organization or join online communities that are making a difference and see what you can do to help.

5. Take a stand

Taking a stand goes hand in hand with speaking up and getting involved. Take the time to sign a petition that is circulating that can help animals in need. Write a letter to your local MP and tell them that you’re not happy with regulations in your country. Make sure to spend that extra minute to read new animal welfare regulations, and if there is a comment period, demand more, take a stand, make sure your voice is heard loud and clear.

We have an opportunity to be the voice for the voiceless, and to make decisions that aren’t only better for us, but are also better for animals. Each individual action is small, but together they can make a difference. Make 2019 the year that you help drive real change.