‘The basis of all animal rights should be the Golden Rule: We should treat them as we would wish them to treat us, were any other species in our dominant position’. Christine Stevens
This quote is from Christine Stevens, the founder of Animal Welfare Institute; also known as ‘The Mother of the Animal Protection Movement’. Christine paved the way in increasing welfare standards and protection for animals such as endangered species, marine mammals, wildlife and many more.
Innocent animals endure great agony and sufferance in many different situations and for a variety of purposes. We as Pet People want to ensure this pain is lessened as soon as possible and harmony can be restored for humans and animals to live side by side. By considering enough to change just one thing in life, such as no dairy, cruelty free products or proper waste disposal, every individual can help to reduce the cruelty inflicted on these animals.
Animal Rights Awareness Week is essential to pay respects to the animals that have been killed or hurt and protect the living ones in danger and prevent future cruelty. Pet People Project is keen to raise awareness about the rights and legislation associated with animals and will be posting all week about ongoing projects and charities.
Animal rights could be explained also as the humane treatment of animals as living beings. Giving them the right to lead a painless life and seeing them as beings that should not be exploited or harmed for the benefit of mankind. Grant rights to animals just like humans have rights; all living things deserve respect and consideration.
- Freedom from Hunger and Thirst
- Freedom from Discomfort
- Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease
- Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour.
- Freedom from Fear and Distress
Animal Rights are consistently exploited due to their high demand, lack of monitoring and enforcement. CCTV in slaughterhouses is one ongoing project to try and bring regulation to the treatment of some of these animals. Despite the protection put in place for these animals, they are still subject to painful deaths and enduring treatments, incurred by humans.
The use of animals for testing and experimenting is far more widespread than in knowledge. These animals are used for research and testing purposes by medical, cosmetic, fashion and various other industries. It is estimated that more than 115 million animals worldwide are used in laboratory experiments every year, excluding many unreported statistics on animal testing.
Animal Welfare Legislation
Even though many animals are severely exploited, there are lots of countries moving forward and striving to fulfill their responsibilities to protect animals. Therefore, various legislation has been introduced to ensure animal protection.
The UK has put into affect the following legislation, regarding a multitude of different concerns:
- Animal Welfare Act 2006
- The Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925
- The Pet Animals Act 1951 (as amended in 1983)
- Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
- Riding Establishments Act 1964 and 1970
- Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999, Breeding of Dogs Act 1991 and Breeding of Dogs Act 1973
These legislations act as legal guidelines and requirements to certify correct treatment and that adequate consideration is given, especially in profitable productions, where animal care can come secondary to profitable margins. They must be given access to proper food, living environments, treatment and medical care. These codes of practice and guidance apply to all caring methods for animals, including pet owners ensuring that whatever situation the animals are in, they will have sufficient welfare and husbandry.
Movements & Protests Against Animal Cruelty
While some people are unaware of the extent of animal cruelty and the need for animal rights, there are many who are fighting and raising their voices for these animals, including Pet People Project. Protests and movements such as The Future is Vegan UK and City’s Kill Shelter policy Manhattan proves that people want a change for animals.
In addition, renowned cosmetic companies in several countries were forced to ban animal testing. While People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) led many pickets against animals used for medical research. Though, protests against animal testing have actually kept companies from conducting research, such practices cannot be entirely eliminated without proper consideration of legislation and strict penalties for breaching these guidelines.
However, the success rate of various movements is overwhelming for animal rights activists and advocators such as;
- 1979 Animal Legal Defense Fund is established.
- 1981 Farm Animal Reform Movement is officially founded.
- 1986 Fur Free Friday & Farm Sanctuary is founded.
- 1992 Animal Enterprise Protection Act is passed.
- 2006 Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act is passed.
- 2009 The European Union bans cosmetics testing and bans the sale or import of seal products.
There are many charities that are working and focusing on rescuing, monitoring and safe guarding animals, regardless of type, size or specie. Many are currently operating all over the world and ensure safe environments are being created for all animals, everywhere. These charities deserve all the support to keep their essential efforts and work going. Pet People Project endeavors to reach all animal charities doing great things for animals all over the world, such as RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Foundation, WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), The Humane Society International and World Animal Protection.
Every year, animal rights week is held in an effort to spread awareness and remember the importance of protecting animal rights throughout the world.
This year’s National Animal Rights Day (NARD) will include events in Asia, Europe, North America, and Australia – the total of 32 cities, aiming to be a voice of all animals and ultimately, retain more rights and regulations by law for animals.
On this day, make sure to devote some time and consideration to helping animals and assisting in the eradication of animal cruelty and harm in every way possible. You can raise awareness or even raise funds for a charity. Even a small effort can save a life.