10 ways you can build a humane Canada

What do we mean when we say the word humane? And what does it mean to be a humane community or nation?

In Canada and around the world, the humane movement is about compassion, collaboration, education and action. It was built on the idea that we need to protect the most vulnerable in our society, and it’s focused on minimizing or eliminating the suffering and exploitation of animals.

But how do we create a humane Canada when we are so far behind in our laws, policies and practices? One person at a time.

We’ll need strength, passion, commitment, intelligence and grit to create a humane Canada, but I believe that this amazing country of more than 36 million compassionate, kind and justice-driven people is up to the challenge.

On Canada Day – and Canada’s 150th birthday – I want to challenge you to be part of the change you want to see for animals. Every action and decision can impact the health and welfare of animals, and below are ten things you can do to help animals starting today by supporting their inherent worth and dignity.

  1. GO HUMANE: Do you buy eggs, dairy or meat? Are the products you’re buying SPCA Certified or using another humane food labeling system? If not, research alternatives that do. Learn more here.

  2. DECREASE MEAT INTAKE: If you eat meat, consider cutting down or going meat-free at least once per week. It is, in part, the high demand for meat that creates inhumane conditions for animals on farm or during transport or slaughter.

  3. ADOPT DON’T SHOP: Don’t purchase animals from pet stores. Reputable, registered breeders are not allowed to work with pet stores to place their animals, so your new pet more than likely came from a puppy or kitten mill or backyard breeder. Adopt. Don’t shop. Learn more about disreputable breeders and puppy mills here.

  4. SPAY/NEUTER YOUR CAT: Help cut off cat overpopulation at the source by spaying or neutering your cat. If your cat isn’t spayed or neutered, ask yourself: can you guarantee that each and every kitten your cat might produce will end up in a secure, permanent home? Find a low-cost spay/neuter clinic near you here.

  5. INCREASE SPAY/NEUTER ACCESS: Does your city, town or county offer spay/neuter surgeries for free or at a reduced rate? If not, start an accessible spay/neuter initiative in your community! Go here to find everything you need to help you advocate for this kind of program.

  6. HELP IMPROVE OUR LAWS: Tell the Prime Minister and all Liberal MPs that you expect them to follow up on the commitment they made to strengthen the Criminal Code provisions on animal fighting and bestiality when they struck down Bill C-246 last Fall. Go here to contact our elected representatives today.

  7. REPORT ANIMAL ABUSE: Animals are counting on you to be their champions. When you see animals being abused or mistreated, do not just stand by and allow it to continue. Report animal abuse when you see it. Learn how here.

  8. SUPPORT BILL S-203: Tell Canada’s Senators to support Bill S-203, the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act. Just before the Senate rose for the summer, CFHS fought hard to ensure it wasn’t killed behind closed doors. Help us keep up the momentum by contacting the Senate today. Go here for contact info.

  9. ADVOCATE FOR CHANGE: Tell your MP that animal welfare matters to you, and you will be asking for their support for each and every animal welfare Bill that goes before the House of Commons. For tips on getting the best outcome from your meeting, go here.

  10. HELP END SUFFERING: Don’t financially support facilities or tourist attractions that exploit or mistreat animals for the sake of human entertainment, including zoos, roadside attractions, aquariums or exotic animal shows or rides.


By committing to these 10 simple things in your everyday life, you can make a significant contribution toward a humane Canada. Together, we will achieve our vision of humane treatment for all animals!

About Barbara Cartwright
As the CEO of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, Barbara convenes and represents the largest animal welfare community in Canada, working to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and promote the humane treatment of all animals.
On #Canada150, be the change you want to see for animals by taking these 10 simple steps. #HumaneCanada
10 ways you can build a humane Canada
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