Animals are sentient beings that are capable of feeling pain, suffering, happiness, excitement, and fear. They cannot speak or express their feelings as humans do, yet some people continue to exploit them in ways that disregard their emotions entirely. This includes animals of all shapes and sizes, from the tiny mouse to the large dairy cow.
While some people may choose to ignore or devalue the experiences animals go through, many people are realizing the absolute horrors that some animals experience. While animals might not have voices of their own to speak up, the people who acknowledge their suffering do.
Animal Rights Awareness Week has been created to highlight the suffering of animals around the world, who suffer needlessly with no way to express their rights to something as basic as life, and is honored during the third week of June every year.
What Is Animals Rights Awareness Week?
Animal Rights Awareness Week was established by the In Defense of Animals organization in 1991. The organization acknowledges the suffering animals go through as they are treated as objects meant to benefit humans. Animals around the world have been mistreated for decades in the name of science, money, food, and entertainment.
The organization created the day to spread awareness of the mistreatment of animals and to remember the deaths of countless animals that have died at the hand of humans.
When Is Animal Rights Awareness Week?
Animal Rights Awareness Week is honored during the third week of June every year. Advocating for animals doesn’t only need to happen during a specific time of the year, though. You can still help animals get their rights and recognize their suffering at any time.
You do not need to be an animal lover to recognize that animals are being unfairly exploited. Anyone can celebrate and honor Animal Rights Awareness Week, even if you do not have any pets of your own.
How Are Animals Exploited?
To understand exactly what animal rights awareness week is trying to honor, we need to first learn how animals are being exploited.
Around 9 billion land animals are estimated to be raised and killed for food every year. That is in the United States alone and doesn’t include the million more animals killed globally for food.
Animals have been the basis of human entertainment for many years. Whether this is to perform tricks for money, being confined in zoos, aquariums, and parks, or for sports, many animals are kept in unfavorable conditions and experience unfair treatment simply to be used for entertainment.
Cosmetics, Medicine, and Science
One of the most common ways animals are exploited is by being experimented on. Approximately 110 million animals are exploited in laboratories each year in the United States. Nearly every popular cosmetic product, medication, household cleaning product, and toxin has been tested on animals at some point, although many brands are now making the effort to go cruelty-free.
The animals tested include guinea pigs, mice, rats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, frogs, cats, hamsters, non-human primates, fish, and birds.
Animals have been kept as pets for centuries. Although many owners try their best to care for their pets properly, not every pet is treated with the same level of compassion. Pets like dogs and cats can be neglected, abused, or used for unethical breeding practices. Many shelters and rescue organizations are overwhelmed by the number of animals surrendered or rescued from abusive situations.
Small animals like hamsters are still being kept in improper living conditions, while reptiles are seen as disposable pets that can be released into the wild when they are no longer wanted. We don’t seem to realize that our pets are more than just a companion we can keep around until we are bored of them. They are living creatures with emotions just like us and need proper living conditions and treatment, which should be their basic right.
Fishing, bull baiting, hunting, racing, and fighting are some of the many ways animals of all shapes and sizes are used for sports. Not all of those practices are done ethically or with an animal’s best interest in mind. Some animals are simply killed for their horns or tusks which are more valuable to them than any amount of money in the world.
How Can You Show Your Support During Animal Rights Awareness Week?
Below are some of the many ways you can show your support during animal rights awareness week.
Animal Rights Awareness Week honors and aims to protect the lives of animals. The week can be celebrated during the third week of June every year, although any time is good enough to start acknowledging the rights of animals.
If you are starting to recognize the mistreatment animals face at the hands of humans, you are already becoming the voice animals desperately need for change. Although you might only choose to support animals’ rights during the national week, you can still make small changes in your life to stop supporting animal cruelty.
Featured Image Credit: Evgeny Bakhchev, Shutterstock