10 easy steps to a compassionate Christmas

Each year millions of turkeys are slaughtered, along with huge numbers of ducks, geese, pigs, lambs and chickens. Puppies and kittens are given away as presents, but then often discard by new 'owners' when the novelty has worn off.

Prettily-packaged cosmetics and toiletries make nice presents – but were probably cruelly tested on animals. And animals have their fur and skins ripped from them to be turned into clothing and accessories. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

  1. Save a life by giving turkey a miss and having a veggie feast instead! Try our delicious recipes and send for a free Compassionate Christmas pack, which is full of tips and advice.
  2. Make sure the only animals you give away are toy ones! Never buy real animals as presents.
  3. Support your favourite charity or campaigning organisation by buying cards, calendars, wrapping paper and gifts from their catalogues. Check out the Animal Aid online shop, which includes books, clothes, wine and chocolates.
  4. Put out food and water for wild birds and continue daily during the winter months. Nuts in feeders, seeds and chopped fruit are especially popular.

    5. If you make a Christmas donation to a health or medical research charity, make sure you only give to those that don’t conduct animal experiments. Click here for a list of ‘goodies’ and ‘baddies’.

    6. Remember to recycle! Cardboard boxes, Christmas cards and wrapping paper should be recycled where possible. Take unwanted gifts to an animal-friendly charity shop (see point 5).

    7. Arrange a festive fundraising event such as a sponsored new-year slim or a party ‘swear box’ for your favourite good cause.

    8. Only purchase cruelty-free cosmetics, toiletries and perfumes that contain no nasty animal ingredients and haven’t been tested on animals. Try Animal Aid’s exclusive range of body and haircare products.

    9. Watch out for fur trim on gloves, coats and boots – don’t assume it’s fake because it could be real rabbit, fox or even cat or dog. Always check the label to make sure it’s 100% synthetic.

    10. Don’t go to the zoo or to circuses that still use animals. Putting animals on display is degrading and neither entertaining nor educational.