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International Animal Rights Day is observed annually on the 10th of December. Advocates around the world raise awareness for animals, seeking to persuade people to treat them with respect and bring attention to areas where these rights are being violated. Although most people understand that animals can feel pain and perceive feelings, it’s important to acknowledge that with this they deserve rights just like humans.
How did animal rights come about?
International Animal Rights day was created in 1998 by the animal rights association Uncaged. Their goal was to highlight all forms of violence against animals. Its founders stated that since animals cannot protest, vote, or advocate for their own protection, it is paramount that humans do it for them. The date of 10th of December was chosen as it coincides with Human Rights Day, and Uncaged desired to see these rights extended to all living creatures.
Activists believe that humans should:
- Stop seeing animals as properties and instead view them as companions.
- Stop animal experimentation.
- Humans should stop wearing fur, hunting, and fishing.
- Events that use animals for entertainment should be banned. This includes horse racing, cockfighting, greyhound racing and only using zoos/aquariums as rehabilitation centres or for animals who cannot be released back into the wild.
- Many activists also abstain from all animal use and adopt a vegan lifestyle.
Although all of these are ideal scenarios, they’re not always attainable to the average person. Therefore, attention should be focused on trying to adopt these values wherever you can.
- Instead of turning vegan, why not support free-range eggs, sustainable fishing, and humane meat production? By supporting these, companies will be forced to adapt to such change by following consumer preferences.
- By bringing attention to brands that infringe on animal rights, people will be more likely to abstain from buying from them – for example, from the cosmetic companies that test on animals. You can do this by sharing via social media, signing petitions to stop animal testing, and not buying from them yourself. These are all easily adaptable to your daily life and can add up to some big changes.
How can you support Animal Rights Day?
Although some of the examples set by Uncaged may seem extreme and difficult to adapt to the average person, there are many ways to still get involved. Here is a list of things you can do to show your support and celebrate Animal Rights Day.
- Start a conversation about animal rights. This can be done as part of a society, or with your housemates. A simple conversation can go a long way to educating yourself and others on the importance of animal rights.
- Why not try going vegan for the day? By trying something new and going vegan even for a day, you could slowly start implementing this into your lifestyle a few times a week, or it may even convince you to go vegan entirely.
- Try something vegan on the menu! When eating out, many people can be put off by the vegan options. But give them a try because they may just become your new favourites! This works for something as simple as a meal deal too.
- Consider buying cruelty-free and vegan products for Christmas this year.
- Educate yourself through a documentary or podcast and share this knowledge with your friends and family to raise even more awareness.