7 Fun Ways Your Family Can Help Animal Families

Like humans, many other animals form strong, complex bonds with their families and communities. For example, when an orphaned chimpanzee named Thomas died, his companion, Pan, grieved for him and many other chimpanzees touched Thomas’ body. One dominant female even brushed his teeth with grass.

A group of mother sperm whales in the Sargasso Sea formed a babysitting circle, taking turns watching each other’s calves and even letting them nurse while the others hunted for food.

What better way to celebrate these rich, meaningful bonds than by getting your own family involved in protecting them? Here are just a few of the many ways you and your loved ones can help animal families as a family.

Help Fish Families

Grab your nets, rakes, and gloves and go “trash fishing”! Unlike the horror of piercing through a thinking, feeling being with a metal hook and suffocating them, trash fishing is fish-friendly and good for the environment. Cleaning up streams and ponds helps prevent fish and other aquatic animals from eating trash or becoming tangled up in discarded fishing lines.

Help Cow Families

Hand out vegan ice cream at school events, and encourage the students in your family to meet with their principal to get vegan milk added to the lunch menu if it hasn’t been already. In the dairy industry, workers tear newborn calves away from their mothers just so humans can drink their milk. A cow on a dairy farm once gave birth to twins, and she knew that they’d be taken away from her—as her other calves always had been. So she hid one of the twins, knowing that if she hid both, workers would come looking for them. Almond, oat, and soy milks are delicious, nutritious ways to prevent cows and their babies from being separated and slaughtered.

Help Sheep Families

Keep your family cozy with wool-free sweaters and scarves when shopping for holiday gifts—and prevent a sheep family from being subjected to separation and violent shearing in the wool industry. Fourteen PETA exposés of wool operations on four continents have shown that these gentle animals are routinely punched, kicked, stomped on, and killed in shearing sheds all over the world. Cotton, polyester, and other animal-free fibers can be used to make soft, cozy clothing (that’s not itchy, like wool), without the cruelty.

Help Rabbit Families

Invite all the makeup lovers in your family to a little makeover party using products with PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies logo. Some cosmetics companies subject rabbits and other animals to crude, painful testing. Your family can take a stand against violence to animals by using only certified cruelty-free products.

Help Dolphin Families

Shun SeaWorld. The abusement park imprisons and forcibly impregnates dolphins and beluga whales and kidnaps their babies to ship them to other parks. Instead, make your family outings animal-friendly by going to places like animal-free museums and animal sanctuaries accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.

Help Pony Families

Go on a tractor-pulled hayride instead of riding ponies at festivals, pumpkin patches, or cider mills. Ponies are often forced to walk in endless circles for hours at a time in all weather conditions, usually without any water. Many sustain injuries like saddle sores and mouth problems from ill-fitting equipment. Your family can play in the hay, navigate a maze, pick apples, and visit the face-painting booth for some animal-free fun!

Help Reindeer Families

Avoid holiday events that use reindeer and other animals for petting, Nativity scenes, and photo ops. These sensitive animals spend their holidays enduring noisy crowds and unwanted touching. You can start a petition in your neighborhood to prevent petting zoos from participating in these otherwise family-friendly events. Celebrate the holidays without harming animals by making animal-friendly ornaments, getting creative using PETA’s Ellie on a Shelf, or donating toys and blankets to a local animal shelter.


There are endless ways to make a difference for animals. Join PETA’s Action Team for ideas and tips on speaking out for animals at home, work, school, and everywhere else—and to get the inside scoop on protests, movie screenings, and other animal rights events in your area. Maybe your family can commit to a monthly event, or perhaps you’ll find ways to incorporate these ideas into your daily lives. No matter what works best, it’s always more fun when you take action together!