December 10th is International Animal Rights Day. On this day, animal rights advocates from around the world take a stand for the fair treatment and respect that animals deserve.
Surprisingly, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights observance also falls on December 10th, which is not a coincidence at all. In 1998, animal activists demanded that the UN General Assembly expand the Declaration to include animals on the premise that all sentient creatures have the right to not suffer pain and die at the hands of humans.
So if you’re an advocate for animals, here is a little history about this day along with some ways you can help protect our furry and not-so furry friends.
Uncaged, The Founders of International Human Rights Day
The animal rights association known as Uncaged first created Animal Rights Day in 1998. Highlighting any and all forms of violence against animals was the overall goal of this organization. Members stated that since animals can’t protest, vote, or lobby for their own well-being, these responsibilities fall on humans to carry out.
Headquartered in Sheffield, England, Uncaged deliberately chose December 10th as International Animal Rights Day to coincide with Human Rights Day. Today, advocates, likewise, view animals as living creatures that deserve the same inalienable rights as humans.
On December 10th, animal rights advocates around the world celebrate this day by holding candlelight vigils. We do this to draw attention to the cause and also to encourage friends, family, and our communities to be the voice for animals. The organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA, also encourages individuals to abstain from eating animals on this day and to consider adopting a vegan lifestyle.
What You Can Do to Help
Most everyone understands that animals can feel pain, and many also believe that animals feel emotions and perceive feelings. These abilities, in and of themselves, make animals deserving of basic rights. You can help carry the torch by doing whatever you can to guard animal rights.
Here are a few ways you can do this:
Stop supporting industries that use animals for entertainment and sport, such as circuses and horse racing
Refuse to buy products that are developed using experimenting on animals
Teach your children to be kind to animals
Encourage other pet owners to think of animals as companions rather than as property
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