WHAT YOU CAN DO
PART 2: USING MEDIA
WHY YOUR ACTIONS MATTER
Don’t share those “cute” exotic pet videos that you see online
The videos may seem cute and funny, but these creatures are wild animals and sharing videos of exotic pets creates greater demand that might result in more poaching from the wild.
Furthermore, to capture one baby animal for the pet trade, the mother and sometimes an entire family is killed as they try to protect the baby—a trauma from which the baby never fully recovers.
Encourage your friends and family members to stop sharing videos of exotic pets (primates, sloths, etc).
2. WRITING A LETTER TO A NEWS EDITOR
Your voice is important
Write a Letter to the Editor of your newspaper. Local newspapers love to hear from their readers and are usually happy to print their letters. Use your letter to educate your community about the importance of protecting wildlife and their habitats. You can find facts in our website to use as talking points.
Be sure to follow your newspaper’s guidelines for letter submission. Typically, letters are between 200 and 500 words.
3. CONTACTING YOUR LEGISLATORS
Legislators represent you and your interests
Call your legislators, briefly introduce yourself, and ask for their support. You can say:
“Hello, I am a constituent. Protecting and preserving wildlife and the environment is important to me. I ask that you please support favorable legislation and oppose legislation that would harm and or destroy wildlife/environment.”
If you know of a specific legislative bill number that you would like your legislator to support or oppose, be sure to state the bill number.
It is always great to follow up a phone call with a brief email thanking your legislator for taking the time to listen to your concerns. Note: you might speak with an aide, and not your legislator him/herself. This is fine. The aide is obligated to pass on your message to your legislator.
Of course, legislators want to hear from voters, but they also love hearing from kids who are passionate about issues. You are their constituents, too! If you are a youth, feel free to mention your age in your message.
How to find your legislators:
Find your state senator and state representative: www.openstates.org/find_your_legislator
Find your U.S. (federal) senators: www.usa.gov/elected-officials
Find your U.S. congressman or congresswoman: www.house.gov/representatives/find