We can all take steps to stop animals suffering
ALL animals, not just humans, are individuals in their own right.
There is a growing body of scientific evidence that we are all conscious, aware and sensitive to emotional and physical pain.
Even mice and rats can suffer psychological trauma when imprisoned in laboratory cages. The reasons why humans deserve basic rights to protection from torture and murder apply equally to all creatures.
Yet we are surrounded by the most horrific cruelty and extermination: we bring animals into the world purely for cosmetic research, where a new shade of lipstick is valued over life; we kill animals for food in barbaric and inhumane ways; we propose industrial-scale dairy factories where cows face intensive feeding and gruelling milking regimes, never seeing daylight and denied the right to graze; and we constantly hear tales of abandonment and cruelty on our streets.
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We may think we are more powerful than other animals, but does this make us any better? Perhaps, the one quality that marks out humans is our potential to act morally – but this is a reason for acting responsibly, not an excuse for arrogance.
December 10 was International Animal Rights Day when there were candlelit vigils across the world to commemorate the innocent animal victims of premeditated cruelty.
Animals are powerless but we can all make a difference immediately by taking responsibility for what we eat, buy, how we vote and what charities we support.
You can find out more about animal rights at www.uncaged.co.uk/ animalrights.htm.