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Home > General > International Animal Rights Day 2024: What Is It & How to Celebrate

International Animal Rights Day 2024: What Is It & How to Celebrate

Protesters holding placards for animal rights

It is impossible to deny that animals are integral to human life. Animals surround us in all places, from the most rustic wilderness to urban cities. While many people love and respect animals, that is not the case all across the world. The cruelty many animals suffer is why holidays such as International Animal Rights Day exist.

International Animal Rights Day is recognized on the 10th of December. During this holiday, promoting the importance of all animals and their rights is vital.


History & Origin of International Animal Rights Day

In 1970, the term “speciesism” was coined. This term was used to promote a dialogue regarding the mistreatment of sentient creatures based on their species. With this dialogue, animal rights activists sought to challenge the notion that animals are inherently inferior to humans, as that mindset has contributed to the disregard and abuse of animals for generations.

Nearly three decades after the term speciesism was coined, an official statement was made regarding animal rights. In 1998, Uncaged (an animal protection organization) established International Animal Rights Day to spread awareness of the violence and neglect many animals suffer. Uncaged asserted that since animals cannot advocate for their rights, humans must do it for them.

Since this holiday was declared, there have been organized demonstrations, fundraisers, and events that the media has covered to display the exploitation many animals endure.

Beginnings of the Animal Rights Movement in the United States

Animal rights Act under magnifying glass
Image Credit: alejandro dans neergaard, Shutterstock

There have been several people invested in animal rights for generations, but the modern animal rights movement in the United States began with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

In 1866, the ASPCA was founded by Henry Burgh. Burgh believed that animals are entitled to dignity and protection under the law. The ASPCA collaborated with the government in New York City to enforce laws against animal cruelty, particularly with carthorses. These laws prevented the abuse of carthorses and demanded that injured horses receive proper care. From there, the ASPCA expanded its outreach nationwide to enact change for animals in need.

Today, more than 40,000 non-profit organizations exist to protect and defend animals in need. Many of these groups advocate for animals by supporting animal rights legislation, rescuing animals from hazardous situations, and bringing awareness to animal abuse and exploitation.


Importance of Animal Rights

Animal rights are essential to securing the dignity and protection of animals worldwide. They combat the long-held belief that animals are inferior subjects to be used at humanity’s disposal. Fighting against the abuse and mistreatment of animals will help create a better, brighter future where animals and humans can be treated with respect.

Facts About International Animal Rights Day

International Animal Rights Day is an important holiday to observe. The more you know, the better you can support animals in need. To learn more about this holiday, take a look at the facts below.

1. International Animal Rights Day Shares a Date with Human Rights Day

Both International Animal Rights Day and Human Rights Day fall on December 10th. This is no coincidence, as the founders of International Animal Rights Day wanted the holiday to coincide with Human Rights Day to promote the dignity of humans and animals together.

Woman holding animal rights placard
Image Credit: Fractal Pictures, Shutterstock

2. There Are More Holidays that Promote the Dignity of Animals

International Animal Rights Day is not the only day that advocates for the respect and protection of animals. For instance, World Animal Day is recognized on October 4th. World Animal Day is a global movement that seeks to improve the living situation of all animals.

3. Few Countries Have Laws Protecting Animals

While many people are passionate about human rights, few countries have officially enshrined animal rights into law. The United States and the United Kingdom have basic protections for animals but not much else.


How You Can Support Animal Rights This International Animal Rights Day

It may seem hopeless to fight for the rights of animals, considering how few governments acknowledge their importance. However, by banding together and making our voices heard, we can advocate for the dignity of the animals.

Even in your everyday life, you can strive to make the world a better place for animals. You can donate your money or time to animal rights activist organizations and assist injured or sick animals you come across.

female volunteer with homeless dogs at animal shelter
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

International Animal Rights Day is a day where we promote awareness of the abuse and exploitation that animals suffer so that we can advocate for better legal protections for other sentient creatures. Animals are not mindless beasts or inanimate objects; they are living creatures that deserve a fulfilling and wonderful life.

Featured Image Credit: AndriiKoval, Shutterstock

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