The rights of our furry friends are celebrated annually on International Animal Rights Day on December 10. The holiday is shared with Human Rights Day, as it should be, because animals have the right to be treated with respect, and acts of cruelty against them need to end just as much as for humans.
History of International Animal Rights Day
For hundreds of years, man has been killing and mistreating animals for personal gain. Whether it is in the exploitation of meat or animal fur for fashion and art, the justification that it is done out of necessity has been pushed.
In 1948, the UN passed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, following the torture subjected to humans during World War II in concentration camps by Nazi Germany. After this, organizations, associations, and individuals from around the world started demanding that this declaration be extended to the animal kingdom and that December 10 should also be a day for advocating the rights of animals. Twenty-two years after the UN passed its historic declaration, the word “speciesism” was coined in 1970 to discuss and encourage dialogue on the discrimination against sentient beings based on their species. The idea that animals are inferior and live solely to cater to humans’ needs and wants is an irrational prejudice against them. Just as specific segments of the human race suffer from sexism and racism, animals suffer just as much, if not more, because they can’t defend themselves.
Despite the coining of this term, it was in 1998 that an official statement was passed for animal rights. Uncaged, an animal protection organization, created International Animal Rights Day to shed light on all violence against animals. The founders of this day stated that since animals cannot protest, vote, or advocate for their protection, it is the responsibility of humans to do it for them. December 10 was intentionally chosen so that International Animal Rights Day falls on the same day as Human Rights Day. Since then, events, demonstrations, and fundraisers, often covered by traditional media, have been organized worldwide to expose the reality of animal abuse and exploitation.
International Animal Rights Day Timeline
Upton Sinclair released The Jungle, a book that shed light on slaughterhouse operations.
March 22, 1980
PETA Is Founded
One of the most prominent animal-rights-activist organizations, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), is established in America.
Nothing’s Impossible for Impossible.
Patrick Brown establishes impossible Foods to reduce the slaughtering of animals for meat.
Cher Saves “The World’s Loneliest Elephant.”
Singer Cher and several animal rights organizations rescue Kaavan, the lonely elephant, after a grim 35 years of captivity in Pakistan.
International Animal Rights Day Faqs
Why is World Animal Day celebrated?
The celebration of World Animal Day on October 4 (a separate holiday from International Animal Rights Day) catalyzes the global movement to make the world a better place for animals.
What is the difference between human- and animal rights?
Human rights and animal rights aren’t that different. The line should be blurred. Just as all human lives are precious, animal lives are essential, too. Essentially, any act classified as cruelty against humans is also an act of cruelty against animals.
What does PETA stand for?
PETA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
How To Celebrate International Animal Rights Day
- Write an editorial
- If you want to go beyond local campaigning and digital awareness, write an article on animal rights for your local newspaper.
- Teach them young
- If you have young children in your family, teach them to be kind to animals. With the depiction of violence and viral videos on the rise in mainstream media, it is a good idea to teach youngsters never to take the subject of animal abuse lightly.
- Switch to a cruelty-free lifestyle
- This is something that cannot be done overnight, but you can start small by boycotting companies that continue to conduct testing on animals. It’s a small step, but it will significantly affect the long run!
5 Astonishing Facts About Animal Cruelty
- The carbon footprint of the meat industry
- The meat industry collectively produces more greenhouse gases than all the transportation of the world together.
- No less than a concentration camp
- As male chicks cannot lay eggs or grow fast, they are usually killed hours after hatching. They are either gassed or ground up alive.
- Depletion of the Amazon rainforests.
- According to the World Bank, animal agriculture is responsible for approximately 91 percent of the Amazon rainforest’s destruction.
- Not a friendly farm
- Many modern factory farms practice tail docking, dehorning, castration, and debeaking of animals daily and, to top it off, without anesthesia.
- Selfie for the Gram
- The growing trend of ‘wildlife selfies’ has resulted in a dramatic increase in the tourism industry’s number of animals abused for photos.
Why We Love International Animal Rights Day
- Equality for all, and we mean ALL
- We love how there are ongoing awareness campaigns on social media against discrimination based on color, race, and ethnicity. International Animal Rights Day reminds us that humanity and kindness should be for all sentient creatures, not just humans.
- Triggering a massive movement
- Advocating for animal rights is nothing short of a revolution. Ending animal cruelty means completely revamping our lifestyles so that we’re not so reliant on exploiting animals for progression in science, medicine, fashion, and the food industry.
- We LOVE animals!
- International Animal Rights Day is a solemn holiday that gives us a lot to reflect on, but it also gives us a chance to love our furry friends more and go the extra mile in caring for them. Give the strays in your neighborhood a treat, visit a shelter, play with the animals there, and maybe cuddle and hold your pet a little closer today.