The fight for animal rights started centuries ago. In certain areas, progress has been made and basic protection of animals and anti-cruelty legislation can be found in most countries. However, organizations like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) feel that animals should have better protection and rights that are similar to those of humans.
The basis of fighting for animal rights is that animals can feel happiness and sadness and that they can feel pain and they can suffer. So, activists base their arguments on the fact that animals, like humans, can suffer and that is why they need rights to protect them from suffering, abuse, and cruelty.
Today, we want to shed some light on issues that affect animals and their rights and that also further demonstrate the need for stronger legislation regarding the rights of animals.
1. Property Status of Animals
Currently, the world believes that animals are our property to make with what we want. If the property status of animals, both wild and domestic, can be changed, it would benefit all parties. We will refer to animals living in our homes as companion animals instead of pets. Those who have companion animals will be called their guardians and not their owners. This simple change in what we call animals can make a huge difference.
2. Animals as Food
Some activists are completely against eating animals of any kind. Whether it is factory farming practices, hunting, or fishing, they believe that this should be stopped. Killing an animal to eat it is an infringement of its right not to suffer. When it comes to fishing and hunting, it also brings up the issue of upsetting the balance of nature, natural ecosystems, and extinction.
3. Human Overpopulation
Overpopulation is not just a problem because it makes our resources run out too fast. It is also a problem for animals because the more people there are, the more buildings are needed for living. This means more forests will be torn down and immeasurable numbers of animals will continue to be displaced from their natural habitat.
4. Animal Experimentation
Animal experimentation or vivisection has been a very big issue for centuries. While some see the value in testing certain things on animals, others argue that the small benefit that comes from these experiments are not worth the loss of and suffering of so many animals.
Animal rights is a tough and daunting topic, but it has value. All living creatures have the right to live a life free from pain, suffering, and unfair treatment. We are all part of the animal kingdom and just because animals can’t necessarily speak our language, does not mean that their lives mean less. What further complicates the issues, is the fact that the rights of one animal may infringe on the rights of another animal and we have not yet found a way to consider everyone. Many debates, fights, and protests will occur before animals are truly considered worthy of protection by law, but the movement for animal rights will never stop.