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The movement for animal rights is an old cause. However, only nowadays Science has made discoveries regarding animal awareness. So they do deserve better treatment from humans. Read more and join this noble cause!
Even with a huge worldwide cause's engagement, the “Animal Rights Movement” still needs to be better known!
International Day for Animal Rights is celebrated on December 10th according to the Universal Declaration of Animal Rights.
The Universal Declaration of Animal Rights was published in 1978, and proclaimed by UNESCO, in France. The manifesto based on André Géraud's work was published back in 1924 (Déclaration des Droits de l'Animal).
Wild animals had their share through the promulgation of Environmental Crimes Law which determines: “It is considered a crime to kill, chase, hunt, catch, or use wild fauna specimens, native or in migratory routes, without the proper permission, license or authorization from the competent authorities, or in disagreement with the one obtained.”.
What are the animal rights laws in some countries of the world?
Animal Rights Day, in Brazil, is celebrated on September 11th. In 2021, the Environment Commission of the Federal Senate, recently, approved a bill that determines a penalty of up to four years in prison for those who abuse, mutilate or injure domestic and wild animals. The text also foresees that zoophilia, death of the animal, or recidivism will aggravate the penalty by up to one-third.
Recently, the Chinese Parliament has begun the revision of the law on the protection of wild animals thanks also to the struggle of courageous activists. The new law aims to ban other laws that allow the breeding and reproduction of wild animals in captivity. Another important law that takes down an old Chinese tradition is the consumption of all wild animals. Chinese NGOs, academics, medical experts, and legislators publicly called for the bans to be extended to the use of wild animals in China's traditional medicine industry.
The laws of the European Union are heavy-handed against those who trespass against animals, such as the slaughter of calves, pigs, and laying hens. In October 2018, MEPs passed a new regulation on veterinary medicines. Actually, laws against animal cruelty began to be instituted in Europe in 1822, through the Martin's Act in Britain, which emphasized improper local cattle treatment. The very first legislation against animal cruelty was promulgated in 1635 prohibiting pulling the wool from live sheep. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was the world's first animal welfare charity. In 1850, the Grammont Law was passed in France, prohibiting animal abuse on public roads.
The US Federal Senate passed PACT - Prevention Animal Cruelty and Torture - in 2019. It is consistent with other federal laws that address acts of malicious animal cruelty that have an interstate nexus. In other words, animal mistreatment is a federal crime: burning, crushing, suffocating, and impaling live animals as well as sexual exploitation. The bill called. "Proposition 12" turns out to be the widest animal protection law in history. When it becomes a law, chickens, veal calves, and sows will no longer be confined in crates and cages.
The concepts of animal rights vary from culture to culture.
In Eastern religions, like Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism, the concept of ahiṃsā means nonviolence. Jainism, for example, forbids its members to work in a zoo, cut down trees, or wear any fabrics, including silk, or anything else that is produced due to the cost of sacrificing other living beings.
The first explicit reference to the concept of animal rights came from Henry Stephens Salt's Animals' Rights, where he railed against prejudice against animals, claiming that the "common bond of humanity unites all living beings in universal brotherhood.”.
This manifesto echoed in other ancient traditions
The misconceptions about animals are not from nowadays. Even famous intellectuals made their mistakes!
In IV B.C., Aristotle said that animals are irrational and are only good for serving men. In the 17th century, Descartes claimed that animals were not endowed with reason and therefore had no soul. To get worsen, Descartes was responsible for consolidating the use of animals for scientific experiments.
Only around the 18th century, Jeremy Bentham begins to change most of the philosophers' ideas about animals.
He coined a famous quote: "The question is not what animals think or speak. It’s what they suffer!". So after taking into account the suffering among animals, Bentham disregarded the previously established idea that lack of reasoning, logic, or "intelligence" should be a criterion to measure the treatment of animals in general.
These discriminatory ideas about the differences between people and animals empowered an odd belief known as "speciesism".
Speciesism is a terminology that comes from “species” and attempts to justify unfair and discriminatory differences against those who do not belong to the same class, whether in the context of race, gender, or even mental/intellectual. The truth is speciesism lacks a scientific basis.
Animals are sentient beings just like all human beings. Science proves it.
Science can already demonstrate, empirically, that the animal universe is entirely sentient. It sure sounds like a disappointment for those who have other purposes for animals like pigs, chickens, cows (daily food), rats, mice, guinea pigs (laboratory experiments), sheep, oxen, goats, cats, rabbits (leather and wool for clothing), among many others poor guys who have no guilt to be an animal.
Castration turns out to be a clean alternative to avoid the overpopulation of animals and the risk of infectious and contagious diseases
Most veterinarians are sympathetic to castration, an effective and inexpensive contraceptive that can prevent the indiscriminate proliferation of animals and diseases. The number of castrations is only not higher because the lack of information is still present in the lower layers of the population.
For NGOs and other institutions that work in defense of animal rights, castration is one of the most important measures for animal population control. It allows animals the following 6 benefits:
Prevents psychological pregnancy
Decreases the risk of escapes
Prevents the spread of serious diseases
Increases life expectancy
Movements such as veganism, totally reject the consumption of animals for any purpose. They even endorse the cruelty-free movement a very active movement around the world. Veganism preaches that there are other alternatives to replace animal food, clothing, and laboratory experiments. No forgiveness for those who still do not respect animal rights!
The bottom line
Apparently, the high risk of premature extinction of certain breeds or species of animals is still underestimated, which will have disastrous consequences for the planet and its population.
The book "Why do we love dogs, eat pigs and dress cows?", written by psychologist Melanie Joy, clearly shows human hypocrisy. While treating their animals well, people eat them. In other words, human perception varies according to convenience, culture, and other obscure interests. One individual may see the animal as a plague, while another sees them as a pet, and at the other end, as food. The author also emphasizes another inconsistency: the animal is used as a curse, insult, or discrimination. Some examples: donkey, dogs, bitch, chicken, whale, pig, rat, beast, and so on.