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 the sake of fashion and art, the justification that it is done out of necessity has really 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 should be extended to the animal kingdom and that December 10 should also be a day for advocating the rights of animals. 22 years after the UN passed their 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 whole idea that animals are inferior and live for the sole purpose of catering to the needs and wants of humans is an irrational prejudice against them. Just as certain segments of the human race are suffering due to sexism and racism, animals suffer just as much, if not more, because they can’t defend themselves.
Despite the coining of this term, it wasn’t until 1998 when an official statement was passed for animal rights. Uncaged, which is an animal protection organization, created International Animal Rights Day to shed light on all types of violence against animals. The founders behind this day stated that, since animals cannot protest, vote, or advocate for their own 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 releases The Jungle, a book that shone a light on slaughterhouse operations.
One of the biggest animal-rights-activist organizations, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is established in America.
Impossible Foods is established by Patrick Brown to reduce the slaughtering of animals for meat.
Singer Cher, along with several animal rights organizations, rescues 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. In fact, the line should be blurred. Just as all human lives are precious, animal lives are important, too, and, essentially, any act that can be classified as cruelty against humans, is most definitely 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 always 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 to never take the subject of animal abuse lightly.
Switch to a cruelty-free lifestyle
This is probably 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 have a big effect in the long run, for sure!
5 Astonishing Facts About Animal Cruelty
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 to blame for approximately 91 percent of the Amazon rainforest destruction.
Not a friendly farm
Many modern factory farms practice tail docking, dehorning, castration, and debeaking of animals on a daily basis 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 number of animals who are abused for photos in the tourism industry.
Why We Love International Animal Rights Day
Equality for all, and we mean ALL
We absolutely love how there are ongoing awareness campaigns on social media against discrimination based on color, race, and ethnicity. International Animal Rights Day serves to remind us that humanity and kindness should be for all sentient creatures, and 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 the exploitation of animals for progression in science, medicine, fashion, and the food industry.
We just LOVE animals!
International Animal Rights Day is a serious holiday that gives us a lot to reflect on, but it also gives us the chance to love our furry friends more and go the extra mile in taking care of them. So give the strays in your neighborhood a treat, visit a shelter and play with the animals there, and maybe cuddle and hold your pet a little closer today.
International Animal Rights Day dates