Day: December 22, 2021

Why should animals have rights?

People who support animal rights recognise that all animals have an inherent worth – a value completely separate from their usefulness to humans. We believe that every being with a will to live has the right to live free from exploitation and suffering.

It’s a Philosophy

Animal rights is based on ethical and moral philosophy.
It has been discussed by some of the world’s most influential thinkers, from historical figures such as Pythagoras and Leonardo da Vinci – who embraced vegetarianism – to Jeremy Bentham, the founder of the utilitarian school of philosophy, who famously identified animals’ capacity for suffering as the characteristic that gives them a right to equal consideration.

“The question is not ‘Can they reason?’ nor ‘Can they talk?’ but ‘Can they suffer?’”
– Jeremy Bentham

All animals have the ability to suffer in the same way and to the same degree that humans do.
They feel pain, pleasure, fear, frustration, loneliness and familial love. Whenever we consider doing something that would interfere with their needs, we are morally obligated to take them into account.

In his book Animal Liberation, the philosopher Peter Singer states that the basic principle of equality does not require equal treatment – it requires equal consideration.
This is an important distinction when talking about animal rights.

People often ask if animal rights means that animals should have the right to vote or drive a car.
Of course, that would be silly because those aren’t rights that would benefit animals. But animals have the right not to suffer at the hands of humans and to live their lives free from suffering and exploitation because they have an interest in doing so.
That is the difference between equal consideration and equal treatment.

It’s Intuitive

You don’t have to be a philosopher to know that hurting animals is wrong. At its core, animal rights is simple. It’s about being kind to others – whether they’re members of our own species or not.

Almost everyone cares about animals in some context, whether it’s a beloved family companion, an irresistibly cute kitten or a majestic wild animal seen in a documentary. After all, we each have some built-in capacity for empathy and compassion, as can be seen from the lengths that children often go to in order to help animals.

Logically and morally, there’s no reason to differentiate in the way we treat the animals we share our homes with and those who are farmed for food.

They’re all individuals, with the same capacity to feel pain and fear. Animal rights helps us to look past the arbitrary distinctions between different species, to rediscover our innate compassion and to respect all animals equally.

“When it comes to pain, love, joy, loneliness and fear, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. Each one values his or her life and fights the knife.”
– PETA founder Ingrid E. Newkirk

It’s a Way of Life

There’s nothing abstract about animal rights, and there are no barriers to getting involved. Anyone who cares about animals can start putting these principles into practice every single day with the food they eat, the clothes they wear and the products they buy.

These choices are a form of nonviolent protest that makes a real difference both by reducing the profits of corporations that harm or kill animals and by creating a growing market for cruelty-free food, fashion, services and entertainment.

To learn more about making kind choices, visit the Living section of our website and order a free vegan starter kit.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.”
– Margaret Mead

It’s a Social Movement

Like other major social movements, animal rights brings people together from across political, religious and cultural boundaries to fight against injustice.

And like those movements, it’s also about fairness. Only prejudice allows us to deny others the rights that we expect to have for ourselves.
Whether it’s based on race, gender, sexual orientation or species, prejudice is morally unacceptable.
Alongside the struggles against racism, sexism and homophobia, there’s the struggle against speciesism – discrimination against other beings on the basis of their species.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
– Dr Martin Luther King Jr

It’s the Way Forward

Society is evolving and becoming fairer all the time. Despite all the people who say change will never happen, most countries in the world have outlawed human slavery and child labour.
Recognising the rights of animals is the next stage in our progress towards a fairer world.

As biologists and animal behaviourists learn more about animals’ intelligence and the complexity of their lives, there’s even less excuse for treating them as commodities rather than the sensitive individuals they are.

Most of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather and visiting zoos.
Yet, just as we’ve made the mental shift towards a way of life that respects animals, so society as a whole must outgrow the unethical mindset that animals are here for us to use and kill as we please.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

And I mean…We have a moral duty to educate.

We’d like our governments, lawmakers, and politicians to help end factory farming, but they just don’t seem interested in animal slavery, suffering, and murder.

Therefore: we have the moral duty to actively and massively oppose all forms of animal exploitation and to encourage and educate others to become vegan with the core goal of eradicating speciesism. We have to go together, and together we can make some important changes.
For the animals.
Because we owe it to them

My best regards to all, Venus

England: Primary School Teacher Sacked After Being Caught on Film (By Hunt Sabs) Kicking Horse.

Footage of Sarah Moulds shared online by Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs viewed by millions in November

A primary school teacher has been sacked after footage of a horse being kicked and slapped sparked outrage on social media.

Sarah Moulds, 37, was initially suspended from her position after the video showed a horse being kicked in the torso, slapped repeatedly in the face and dragged back to a trailer.

The footage was shared online in November by the anti-hunt group Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs, who said it filmed the incident while observing the Cottesmore Hunt, based in Rutland, east Midlands.

The clip, which has been viewed millions of times, sparked anger and Moulds was suspended by the Mowbray education trust, which represents seven schools in the Melton Mowbray area.

The trust has now said she has been dismissed. In a statement, Paul Maddox, the chief operating officer, said: “I can confirm that Sarah Moulds’ employment with the trust has been terminated.

“As a trust, we are committed to ensuring the best standard of education for all of our young people and we look forward to continuing this throughout the 2021/22 academic year and beyond,” the statement continued.

Moulds was also removed from her volunteer leadership position at the Pony Club, which organises horse rides for children.

Her uncle, David Kirkham, said Moulds was a “fantastic person who absolutely loves her horses”.

He added: “I’ve seen the video but we don’t know what the horse had been doing and if it was out of control. But we know it ran out on to the road and she told it off. There was no malice intended.”

In a statement at the time, the Pony Club said: “The welfare of horses and ponies is of the utmost importance to the Pony Club, therefore the lady in question has been removed from her voluntary position as a team organiser for a branch.”

The Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs called the footage “shocking”, while the RSPCA described it as “upsetting”. Moulds is being investigated by the RSPCA and the Hunting Office, the governing body which oversees hunting, and Leicestershire police confirmed it would assist the RSPCA with its inquiries.

In response to the video, the Hunting Office said it “expects the highest level of animal welfare at all times – both on and off the hunting field – and condemns the actions taken by this individual, who is not a member of the hunting associations”.

The Cottesmore Hunt said it did not condone the actions shown “under any circumstances”.

Regards Mark

Enjoy !

Vietnam: New Jingle Bears – AA Vietnam Rescue Sanctuary Welcomes 6 New (Ex Bile Bears) To Their New Forever Home.

Will you help us care for these six rescued bears?

WAV Comment – we were happy to provide Animals Asia with a donation yesterday re on going work and updates at their Vietnam bear (rescue) sanctuary.  As you can read below from Tuan, the sanctuary has just welcomed 6 new (ex bile abused) bears to their new forever home.  Please continue reading below for more details.  This will be their first Christmas free from the daily abuses and suffering for the bear bile industry, and we really welcome that.  Free all the bears from suffering !

Regards Mark

Dear Mark,

Yesterday, thanks to the generous support of animal champions like you, we stood ready to welcome six more bears through the gates of our Vietnam sanctuary – just in time for Christmas.

The bears were being looked after at Hanoi Wildlife Rescue Centre before they made the short journey to their new forever home. The details of each individual are limited at the moment but I promise to keep you updated as we learn more.

What I can share with you, Mark, is that the group includes five moon bears – one of whom is a gorgeous little cub around the same age as our other recent arrivals Wonder, Yên and Marvel – and one sun bear, who we hope will thrive when bonded with our resident rescued sun bears.

In the spirit of the festive season, we’ve named the sun bear Angel and the five moon bears Thông (Pine tree), Noel, Pudding, Giáng Sinh and Tuyết (Christmas and Snow in Vietnamese).

It really is thanks to the continued kindness and generosity of supporters like you, that our Bear Rescue Team can be ready in a moment’s notice to help a bear, or two or six, and provide the tender loving care they’ll need long into the future.

And not only that, but your support is helping to foster invaluable relationships with local authorities and rescue centres like this one, which in turn will help more vulnerable animals throughout Vietnam. Thank you, Mark.

The arrival of these six precious bears means our Vietnam sanctuary is now only four places away from being full.

I understand that Christmas is a busy and expensive time for many. But if you’re able, will you make a loving donation today?

Your festive goodwill could help provide ongoing care for our rescued residents, as well as help to build a life-changing second sanctuary to take in more broken bears.

If you’ve already sent across your special Christmas donation to the animals, please accept my heartfelt thanks for helping to give animals the lives they truly deserve.

I hope you’re as overjoyed as we are to welcome six more beautiful bears to sanctuary, where, with your support, they’ll be able to snooze, splash, munch, climb and wrestle to their heart’s content.

With festive hugs of gratitude to you and yours this festive season,

Tuan Bendixsen,
Vietnam Director

PS Please note that our offices will be closed for Christmas from 23 December and will reopen on 4 January.

Regards Mark

EU: (Hopefully ?) – EU proposal for Indonesia trade agreement strengthens position on animal welfare.

22 December 2021

The EU’s latest proposal for the sustainable food systems chapter in its trade agreement with Indonesia marks an improved position on animal welfare. However, the language could be further strengthened to better protect the interests of animals.

The EU has released a proposed legal text for the chapter on sustainable food systems (SFS) in the EU-Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). CEPA negotiations were launched in July 2016, but progress is slow as the EU and Indonesia have quite different positions on key issues, such as on the content of the sustainable development chapter. The 11th round of negotiations was held in November 2021.

Under the proposed SFS chapter, animal welfare would be recognised as a component of sustainable food systems. The article on animal welfare would recognise animals as sentient beings and commit the parties to “strengthen their research collaboration” to further develop science-based animal welfare standards. It would also enable the parties to establish a technical working group to support the implementation of the article. The article on antimicrobial resistance would promote the “prudent” use of antimicrobials in animal production and commit the parties to phase out their use as growth promoters.

The proposal marks an improvement on the text initially published by the EU on animal welfare cooperation – which was in the chapter on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures. This 2016 proposal contained only a weak provision stating that the parties “shall promote collaboration on animal welfare”, which seriously lacked ambition.

While the progress made in the proposal is welcome, the EU could further strengthen the language and include, as they did in the agreement with Mexico, a reference to the need to implement OIE recommendations in the field. The text could also provide for capacity-building and technical assistance from the EU, as in the trade agreement with Vietnam.

The EU should also suggest making the liberalisation of trade in animal products dependent on the respect of EU-equivalent animal welfare standards by Indonesian exporters. At the moment, Indonesia does not export many animal products to the EU, but agreements are made to last and the country has demonstrated its willingness to develop its livestock sector. The EU should thus ensure CEPA does not contribute to fuelling the spread of unsustainable farming practices. To the contrary, the agreement should play a role in promoting higher animal welfare in Indonesia. 

Working with Indonesia on animal welfare, especially in the context of Sustainable Food Systems, is important not only because the country is a global player in the livestock sector (it’s one of the largest producers of chicken meat in the world), but also because the EU exports live chickens there, which consequently end up on Indonesian farms. Indonesia is also the first source of EU imports of frogs’ legs, and this trade involves serious welfare issues at the handling, transport and slaughter stages. Production methods are highly cruel; frogs are captured using hooks, nets, and spears and kept in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. Their rear legs are cut off while they are still alive by scissors, blade or by hand and their torsos are added to a pile of other bleeding frogs, where they endure a painful death which can take a full hour. As the animals are usually caught in the wild, the trade also has a harmful impact on the conservation of certain frog species, which can compromise the welfare of the local ecosystem. The cooperation under the SFS chapter could allow us to address these issues.

Regards Mark