Animal Rights

Animals, like humans, deserve to be treated in a way that best suits their needs. In other words they should have a life free of pain and suffering and not used to another’s advantage.

There is no doubt that animals feel pain and are fully capable of suffering – this is the reason why they deserve rights and should live out their lives free from exploitation.

Across the world, animals are currently suffering in many different ways. Only taking action and raising awareness will there be animal liberation:

Food:
Every minute 1,780 animals (not including fish) are killed in UK slaughter houses so they can be cut into small chunks and sold for food. Every person who eats meat contributes to this. The majority of these animals would have been born in windowless sheds in cramped, dark and filthy conditions for nearly all their short lives before being roughly loaded into the back of lorries and sent either to the abattoir or market. Birds are sent directly to the slaughter house, as are many other animals. Those sent to market are then kicked, hit, beaten then bartered before being loaded into the backs of transporters and taken for slaughter or a further life of hell on a farm.

In slaughter cattle, sheep, pigs and other large animals are stunned (either by a captive bolt or electric shock through the brain) before being dragged along the floor and strung up by a hind leg and their throats slit. Many animals are not stunned properly and are fully conscious through this barbaric practice.

“The slaughtermen are in such a hurry that they often don’t put the electric tongs in the correct position on the pigs’ heads. The pigs get only half or insufficiently stunned, wake up while they bleed and are obviously still alive and conscious when they plunge into the boiling water. Sheep are stunned just as badly” – abattoir vet Gabriele Meurer

Birds go through a similar practice, except are strung upside down whilst full conscious. They then go through an electric ‘bath’ which many lift their necks and miss, so have their throats slit whilst full conscious.

In the home:
Last year, the RSPCA reported thousands of incindents of animal cruelty in the home and each year this is on the rise. This does not include the cases which go unreported, nor the animals left to walk the streets as strays.

In the lab:
Every 6 seconds, an animal dies in a UK laboratory and every experiment in a lab on an animal involves suffering of some sort. The Home Office grant licenses for each animal experiment based on the “pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm” the animal goes through. Products tested include medicines, cosmetics, and chemicals; basically if a firm wants something tested on animals a contract research organisation (CRO) will do so on their behalf.

Over 400 alternatives exist to animal testing ranging from in vitro test tube research to computer modeling and many doctors and scientists continue to be against the barbaric practice of vivisection for scientific reasons.

In fashion:
The farming of animals for fur is banned in the UK, but the import is fully legal. Most members of the public are against the trade, but the minority keeps this evil trade continuing. Harrods is the only department store in the UK who continues to stock products containing real fur – this just goes to show that the public will not buy fur!

When people think of animals suffering in fashion, they think of the fur trade. Leather, suede and wool also come from animals which have lived miserable lives and in the case of wool, will inevitably die in the slaughter house. The sale of suede and leather “by-products” fuels the meat industry and brings in a lot of their income.

Entertainment
Zoos, circuses, hunting and shooting are perhaps deemed as the most pointless of animal abuses – they carry on only to keep people happy. We believe that all animal abuse is pointless.

Despite a ban on hunting, many hunts carry on breaching the law and continue this sick ‘sport’. As long as this continues, hunt saboteurs carry on going out and saving lives; and gather evidence which has led to prosecutions of hunt staff. Shooting is still legal and every week, people go out with the sole aim of blasting birds out of the sky and also kill much more of the nation’s wildlife.

Only 7 animal circuses exist in the UK, and very soon legislation is hopefully coming into place to ban wild animals being used in performing acts. Sadly, zoos carry on but there have been victories.

Along with the above, horse and greyhound racing continue. Over the past year, many stadiums have closed their doors because of actions by campaigners.

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