If you feel really passionately about animals and want to help them, the best thing you can do is pass around information on ways in which people can hurt animals often unintentionally. You see most people buy their shampoo, floor cleaner, mascara, and their weekly dinners without too much thought on whether an animal has been hurt in the process of making those items. So we just need to gently bring it to their attention and get them to be more aware. On the whole people are not intentionally nasty and if they realise their actions may cause pain to an animal they will stop (there are exceptions of course!)

I did a diploma in Nutrition because I felt by being informed and qualified, people would be less likely to think of me as some ranter who just wants them to stop eating meat. I have used it to talk about nutrition in general and interwoven my beliefs with the knowledge I gained. I have tried to do that with all animal welfare by researching and learning about each issue – I have spent a day at an abbatoir, had meetings with people in the meat industry and farmers, and been to the terrible markets in Asia where dogs are sold for meat and so forth. It is gut wrenching but unless we educate ourselves and try to learn as much as possible we cannot best the best advocates for fighting against it and stopping it. Being informed is key so winning the fight.

With this in mind, I was so excited to receive an invitation to do a 5 week animal welfare course run by Coursra and endorsed by the University of Edinburgh amongst others. It is an online course starting in 3 months time and you can engage and discuss the issues with your online classmates.  The course will cover animal welfare and why it matters and how we currently assess welfare plus gain an insight into the world of dogs, cats, farmed animals and captive wildlife. It is not a formal qualification but those who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment.

I think it is a simple but great way to boost your knowledge and to ensure we have the information we need to fight the cause. Have a look at www.coursera.org/course/animal for more information and how you can take part.