Speaking up about animal abuse plays an essential role in the fight against the mistreatment of animals.
Animal abuse thrives when people are ignorant and uninformed.
Many people who mistreat animals often do so because they believe that the public is unaware of their behavior or do not care about how animals are treated.
Time and time again, animal advocates’ exposure of animal cruelty makes a difference for animals. (( Tweet This ))
• The documentary Blackfish, which caused the profits of SeaWorld to plummet after the public became aware of the entertainment parks’ mistreatment of orcas.
• A petition on Change.org recently convinced the online store Piperlime to stop selling fur.
Ready To Help Spread the Word Against Animal Abuse?
You don’t need to be a celebrity or run a famous blog to speak out on behalf of animals.
Writing a letter to the editor of your newspaper or a guest post on a popular animal-related blog is an easy way for anyone to make a positive impact for the cause.
Your letter won’t just get the word out to the newspaper’s subscribers; writing a letter will also show newspaper editors that the public cares about animal abuse and even may encourage the media to devote more attention to animal-related causes.
Politicians read “letters to the editor” section to see what issues matter to the voters. Your letter could help change laws for animals.
A guest post on a blog can also have a large impact; many popular animal-related blogs reach a large audience every day, and because your post will be online, it will be easy for readers to link to and tweet about.
Want to Write But Not Sure How to Begin?
Take a look at these tips for how to write a clear, persuasive letter to the editor or blog post on behalf of animals.
Step One: Pick Your Topic
Newspapers like to cover topics that are of local interest.
Because of this, you will likely have a better chance getting your letter published in the newspaper if you write about an animal-related topic that is connected to your local community.
To do this, don’t just write about how you dislike animal cruelty in general, or how you think all animals should be better treated. Instead, ground your letter in specifics by writing about animal-related events or causes in your community, whether it’s a case of animal cruelty that occurred in your town, a visiting circus that mistreats its animals, or new local laws favoring stronger penalties against animal abuse that you want to support.
If you want to write a guest post for a blog, spend some time reading the blog first to get an idea of what type of topics that they cover. You want to make sure that your blog post matches the site’s focus; if the blog focuses on treatment of farm animals, for example, you probably shouldn’t send them a post about a cruelty case involving a cat or dog.
Step Two: Pick Your Newspaper or Blog
Chosen a local animal-related topic that you’re passionate about? Great!
Now, you just have to select the newspaper or blog to which you want to send your letter. Check out the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s “Letter to the Editor Action Center”, which shows you how to submit a letter to newspapers near you.
To choose a blog, consider summiting a guest post to a blog that you read regularly, or search online for blogs relating to animal rights. Popular animal-related sites like The Dodo, HuffPost Green, and One Green Planet are all great options to consider.
Once you’ve chosen a newspaper or blog, don’t forget to check to see if they have guidelines about submissions; some newspapers or blogs have required word counts for your letter or ask you to submit contact information, such as your phone number and address.
Step Three: Keep it Short
Many newspapers only print letters that are less than two hundred words, so your letter should be clear, concise and to the point—you don’t want the newspaper editors to decide not to publish your letter because it’s too wordy!
It’s a good idea to keep your blog post short and sweet as well since people often have short attention spans when reading online content.
Step Four: Keep it Specific
To get straight to the point, begin the letter or blog post by stating the exact topic you are writing about.
If you are responding to an article previously published in the newspaper, state the date and/or title of the article (“As noted in Wednesday’s paper, police arrested a man for abusing a dog…”).
If you are writing about activities that you noticed in your local community, briefly identify those activities by explaining when and what occurred (“A pet shop opened in Santa Cruz this week that keeps dogs in its window even though the temperature reached ninety degrees last Wednesday…”).
Step Five: Use Logic, Not Emotion, to Win People Over To Your Cause
It’s natural to want to appeal to emotion when writing about animal mistreatment and abuse.
After all, your passion about the issue is why you’re writing! But readers may dismiss your arguments if you come across as too hot-headed or combative.
Accordingly, increase your credibility by backing up your arguments with facts and logic and avoid using overblown claims or exaggerated language.
For example, instead of stating that “Only a psychopath would treat a dog like that!,” inform the newspaper’s or blog’s readers that “Stopping abuse of dogs and other animals is important because people who abuse animals often abuse humans as well.”
Step Six: Use Examples to Help You Get Started
Stuck on how to begin?
For samples of effective letters to the editor, check out this letter from the Humane Society about circuses, and this letter about anti-cruelty laws that was written by a citizen and published on cleveland.com.
Step Seven: Spread the Word about Your Letter or Blog Post’s Publication
Your job isn’t over once you see your letter published in the newspaper or blog post published online.
Post a link to your letter or blog post on Facebook, tweeting about it, and emailing it to your friends.
Keep the momentum rolling and Sign the Petition to District Attorneys.
Start a revolution against animal abuse and share this article!