Hi Guys! Today I wanted to share a post on a topic that is very near and dear to my heart–animal rights. Animals are special beings in our lives giving us happiness, sometimes hope, a sense of responsibility, and a whole lot of gratification. While I am not a complete orthodox and observe a vegetarian/vegan diet, I do make a conscious effort to support animal rights, especially those who oppose animal cruelty. Thus, the impetus behind today’s post.
According to Wikipedia, “Animal rights is the idea in which some, or all, non-human animals are entitled to the possession of their own lives and that their most basic interests—such as the need to avoid suffering—should be afforded the same consideration as similar interests of human beings.” The archaic idea that animals are not mentally complex to be given basic rights like shelter, food, and a cruelty-free existence is abhorrent. I know many would ask, “If you are such a proponent of animal rights, why do you continue eating meat?” My answer to those people is that I continue eating “halal” meat because our religion teaches that animals slaughtered in the name of Allah do not feel any pain or fear. Other acts I purposefully commit to are buying leather goods coming from adult animals-no calf products here and supporting those brands that are not highlighted in the media as being cruel to animals.
What are the issues that animals face in the world? Read on…
Issues Facing Animals Today
Some of the issues facing the animal population are:
- Products being tested on animals
- Cruel way of killing animals for meat
- Habitat loss
- Global Warming
- Hunted for body parts
- Homelessness that can lead to euthanization
Cruelty-Free and Vegan Products
I started researching cruelty-free products in 2016. Before I was aware of animal abuse in the beauty industry, but there were not many quality products out there that met my needs. I would get Wet n’ Wild lipsticks and nail polishes in high school but for other makeup, I had to resort to Clinique and Estee Lauder until I learned about brands that were cruelty-free and of superior quality. To read my post on cruelty-free and vegan products in Sephora, click HERE. To get a more comprehensive list of cruelty-free products, click HERE. For a list that includes vegan/cruelty-free household items, click HERE. Buying cruelty-free and vegan products are ONE way you fight for animal rights.
There is little governments around the world do to protect their animals. Yes, there are laws providing guidance and protection for the treatment of animals such as laboratory mice and dogs used in dog-fighting (See HERE), but there is nothing requiring the well-being of ALL animals (something close is HERE). All the work is being done by private and non-profit organizations that do receive federal funding, but currently depend mostly on donations. There are organizations like The Humane Society who are known to euthanize un-adopted, abandoned or sick animals, which I do not support or condone. Shelters like The Nine Lives Foundation (See HERE) and Second Chance German Shepard Rescue (See HERE) have a no-kill policy and foster out their cats and dogs. Please support shelters and rescue organizations like these with your donation, time, and yes, by fostering or adopting a pet.
A private organization I have loved since I was a child and have supported in the past is WWF (See HERE). A few ways I have supported them is by symbolically adopting an animal through purchasing gifts (See HERE) and by becoming a Partner in Conservation (See HERE). This non-profit does a wonderful job helping stop animal cruelty and habitat loss by fighting for legislation, educating the masses, and spreading the passion of nature through applied science research.
Another organization I endorse is ASPCA (See HERE). The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was the first humane society to be established in North America and is today one of the largest in the world. The ASPCA’s mission, as stated by its founder Henry Bergh in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States”. There are numerous other organizations out there that do good work, but I don’t support ALL their work (like PETA with their monkey selfie lawsuit, throwing paint on women wearing fur, etc) so I am going to encourage you to be mindful before committing yourself to supporting a cause. I will advise you to research the organizations you want to support, understand their mission, look at their work, and see if there is any bad press associated with them. Honestly, we need to be responsible and responsive to animal rights as a real issue because as humans, we tackle important global issues like famine, global warming, and health-related problems, so we need to do this right.
Animal Rights And Children
Children and animals go together like bread and butter. I swear I have never met a child who doesn’t seem to connect with an animal. They all seem to be natural animal whisperers. One of the first things parents do to instill responsibility and raise awareness of animal rights is by adopting a pet. Gifting bunnies, for example, is quite popular around Easter. However, the sad reality is many of these young children cannot take care of them and the bunnies make their way back to a shelter. I highly discourage you to do that. Instead, take some time to discuss responsibility with your kids by giving them little tasks like brushing their teeth without being asked to, making their bed, cleaning up their room, etc. When they start doing these chores independently, then bring an animal into the picture.
- Discuss what pet they want and the responsibility associated with it (for example, cat vs. dog, guinea pig vs. bunny or a bird, etc).
- Look at pictures of animals in shelters together.
- Ask them to write down what they would do personally to take care of this animal. For example, depending on their age, they can be responsible for just feeding them or changing the litter or if they are old enough walking the pet, etc.
Once you feel they are ready and they say they are ready, then go adopt a pet from the shelter. This is a commitment so the exercises above may appear meaningless to them, but they will learn the importance of reflecting and brainstorming once they get the pet and understand the responsibility associated with them.
The most divisive issue for me is animal testing for products such as medication. But, I am not losing hope. Why? Because two decades ago, we couldn’t have imagined cruelty-free or vegan beauty, fashion, and household products and today they are EVERYWHERE. Who knows that technology come up with further advancements where we don’t test on animals AT ALL? Till then, keep reading, keep educating yourself, and keep the fight ALIVE. Happy Reading!