What is International Animal Rights Day?
December 10 is International Animal Rights Day as established in 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations. The UN declared that all humans have the right to respect and dignity, which are the “foundations of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” Several years ago, individuals in like-minded associations, foundations and organizations declared this is true for animals, who share our planet. On this day, December 10th, we are to remind one another that these rights, dignity and respect, are not exclusive to humans, but to all living species on Earth. This means, that we may not deem another sentient, feeling species inferior because they have different functions on our planet—we as humans are not within our rights to do so.
The annual International Animal Rights Day aims to remember victims of human tyranny, in hopes of calling for the recognition of a Universal Declaration of Animal Rights, an extension of human rights. This document states that animals have the right to live their lives free from deliberately inflicted pain, exploitation and death. This also calls for harsher punishments for animal abusers, eradication of kill shelters, and stricter laws to protect the lives of sentient animals.
Why Do We Need It:
Here are some facts to consider (from DoSomething.org):
- Puppy mills are large-scale commercial dog breeding operations that put greater priority on profits than the health of the puppies. Many dogs are plagued with illnesses like kidney or heart disease as a result of the conditions they’re kept in.
- Each year, thousands of young and healthy Greyhounds are killed because they lack racing potential or have been injured while racing and are no longer competitive.
- Due to genetic manipulation, 90% of broiler chickens (chicken bred specifically for meat production) have trouble walking.
- Today dog-fighting has been reported in urban, suburban, and rural settings in all regions of the country.
- More than 50% the fur in the United States comes from China, where there are no penalties for abusing animals, which are raised in unbearably cramped and run-down cages on fur farms.
- It’s been estimated that there are 900 to 2,000 new cases every year of animal hoarding in the US, with 250,000 animals falling victim.
- Over 100 million animals – mice, rats, dogs, cats, rabbits, monkeys, birds, among others – are killed in US laboratories for chemical, drug, food, and cosmetics testing every year.
- Every major circus that uses animals has been cited for violating the minimal standards of care set by the United States Animal Welfare (AWA).
What To Do and How to Help
- Sign the Declaration of Human Rights
- Organize a candlelit vigil at sites of animal abuse, city or town halls.
- Start a campaign by directly engaging with the public to explain the philosophy of IARD. Posters, leaflets and petitions are readily available for distribution.
- Write a letter to your local government officials, or newspapers. Get the word out!