Animal rights. A topic so controversial it’s more misunderstood. Do animals have rights? Should animals have rights? The obvious answer is ‘yes, they are living beings like us and deserve to have the chance to live life freely’. However, even though it is known widely that animals are to have rights and not be subjected to torturous methods (e.g. experimentation), there are still incidents of simple animal rights violations right here in the country of India. And not in any way that required a massive amount of research. In fact, all it took was a simple observation around my neighbourhood, which made me curious, which then led me to an internet search where I found a list of actions that could be considered a violation of animal rights according to “The Better India” website . This led me to being more aware of what was happening around me, and I noticed quite a lot of incidents.
There are many small actions people do which, they don’t realize, are violations of basic animal rights. For instance (as found on multiple animal friendly websites, including PETA and The Better India), starving, beating up, and confining animals to small, uninhabitable places can actually land you a significant amount of jail time. Such instances as these and many more are illegal in India; however, people still continue to blindly do it, unaware of the gravity of their actions. According to Section 22 (ii) of the PCA Act (Prevention of Cruelty of Animals Act), 1960, animals like bears, monkeys, lions, tigers and bulls are prohibited from being used for entertainment purposes, such as circuses.
All it takes to inflict harm on a stray animal is ignorance of what is right and wrong, and several animals will end up suffering because of that. And it’s a simple solution, too. Simply educate them on what they are doing and ensure the poor treatment of animals doesn’t continue and ends completely. They need to be aware of what they are doing and exactly what it entails.
Another thing that is illegal in this country is the act of animal sacrifice. Some religions deem it necessary to sacrifice animals to their ‘god’. However, according to rule 3 of the PCA (Slaughterhouse) Rules, 2001 and chapter 4 of the Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011, the slaughtering of any animals in any other place other than a slaughterhouse is strictly prohibited. Nevertheless, people still continue to kill animals for religious purposes without the correct methods of doing so.
When animals are kept in enclosures, too, the conditions are often poor for their living. As said by articles from Scroll.in and The Times of India , when it comes to the state of animals living in zoos in India, their health and safety is something at a major risk as both visitors and zoo workers don’t take in to concern the safety of the animals. Visitors who go to the zoo often disrespect the creatures by mocking them, provoking them, attacking them, throwing items such as stones towards them and feeding them foods which they aren’t allowed to eat or are dangerous for them. There have been multiple incidents where visitors, when publicly intoxicated, have climbed into the zoo enclosures, consequently getting themselves killed by whichever animal was living in said enclosure.
India receives the 13th place on the World Atlas’ “Best Countries for Animal Welfare ”, getting a C grade behind Brazil and France as of November 2018. The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 has also banned the killing and poaching of all wild animals in India, an offense punishable by a fine of 20 000 Rs or more, and even up to two years jail time. Vivisection in India has also been criminalized. The act of performing vivisection in the country of India is punishable by 5 years in prison, a fine or both. However, as per PETA India , people come to India to perform vivisection on animals as they find it easier to ger away with in India.
Animals all across the world face different issues wherever they live regarding their safety and rights. the top three countries for animal welfare (once again, according to World Atlas) being Austria, New Zealand, and Switzerland, all receiving grade A’s for their superb animal safety laws in their respective countries. Countries that received a B, such as Denmark and the Netherlands as well have strict laws on animal cruelty; the mistreatment of animals resulting in a massive offense as per the countries’ penal code.
However, although most countries practice strict laws regarding animal safety and treatment, the abuse and harm of animals, both domestic and wild, still remains an issue in the world. People beat up strays on the streets, leaving them with severe injuries, which either lead to painful deaths or permanent injuries upon the animal. As reported by The Sun UK , hunting in places such as Europe, North America, and Australia is legal. People kill mostly wild animals such as lions, buffaloes, and even giraffes. however, now that most of these species are wavering towards the ‘Endangered Species’ list, the animals being hunted have reduced severely. In Africa, the population of lions living there have decreased by over 50% since the 1980’s, their numbers less than 30 000. The main reason for this is due to habitat loss, poaching and the general conflicts with humans, according to an article in DownToEarth .
In 2015, an American dentist named Walter Palmer paid $55,000 to kill famous Cecil the Lion, who lived in Hwange National Park, in Africa. This sparked a global outcry and protests all around the world. This resulted in conservationists urging the United States government to ban the importing of hunting trophies. As reported by National Geographic , there are several animals that are protected under the Endangered Species Act, including the
Santa Catalina Island fox, the Florida Scrub-Jay and the Flattened Musk turtle, the latter which has been classified as “critically endangered”. All these, and more, animals are in danger of being wiped out of this planet completely. If we aren’t careful how we take care of the earth and the creatures living in it, we very well may just wipe out a significant number of species permanently.
The rate of animals becoming endangered is faster now. Though it has always been occurring in the past, the numbers have skyrocketed since the past few decades. Animals such as rabbits, rats (mainly those being experimented on) are in huge danger as they have been used in masses to test unsafe products on. People are still continuing to use them to inflict harm on them and subject them to fatalistic methods of torture and don’t stop, they continue the same methods on countless other animals.
As mentioned previously in the essay, the main reason people cause so much harm to animals is either because they don’t know or they simply do not care. In order to put an end to this situation, people need to be aware of what they are doing. Ensure that you are spreading awareness before doing anything else. Especially in this day and age, awareness is of utmost importance, not only when dealing with animal rights and treatment. Contacting any authoritative figure nearby is an effective method of getting your voice across. Get the attention of your mayor, leader, etc. and inform them of what you have noticed going on and convince them to help put an end to it. With the help of someone in power and the attention of the public, stopping these incidents will definitely happen.
As a person studying in Bangalore, India, I come across incidents where an animal is denied its basic rights on a daily basis. This is something I’ve seen all my life. I have been somebody who has felt strongly about animals and protecting them for a very long time. This essay gave me an excuse to dive into deep research about animals and the ways they are being treated around the world. However, I did focus primarily on India. I learned a massive amount I realized I should have known earlier.
I was aware that experimentation on creatures such as rabbits and mice were occurring in the world, and I was aware that this process was inherently harmful to these living beings. however, I wasn’t aware of the extent of pain they were forcefully subjugated to. After exploring a while on the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) website, I became more aware of what animals really go through and the tortures they face because of human beings. And when the day came where I had to choose a topic for my Individual Report for Global Perspectives studies, I immediately chose the topic of animal rights.
This is a pressing issue in today’s day and age. Animals are in danger of being put in the list of endangered species, and the animals already on there are in severe danger of being removed from the earth for good.
After conducting extensive research on this issue, I have come to the conclusion that, if we ever want to stop animal cruelty and end all forms of animal rights violations, we have to do it now. Start creating awareness and taking down groups, companies, etc. that cause pain towards animals. Stop the harming of animals no just with big name companies, but also with the people around you. If you see someone harming an animal, stop them, report them to animal abuse and help the animal which was harmed. It’s a simple act of stepping forward that would ultimately lead to literally saving a life. If we don’t do this, we will cause the extinction of countless species in the world.