Let's Talk: Animal Rights

Last year I made a change in my life, I pledged to only use cruelty free products. I found it very disheartening to know that animals were dying and being treated cruelly and for what- so that my complexion looked better and my hair was a little shiner? This seemed wrong and I wanted to help make a change, so I stopped using products that tested on animals. This was not an easy change once I realized how many of the products that I used each day were tested on animals, but it was a change that seemed worth it. I’ve been an animal lover for as long as I can remember. My dad, being a veterinarian, would bring all sorts of animals in the house to help nurse back to health, and I think that is what really sparked my empathy for animals.

Animal rights can be a bit of a controversial subject because we have to decide where do you draw the line? Some people believe animals should have all the same rights as humans, and others believe that animals do no, and should not, have any rights at all. So where does that leave us? Unfortunately, not in a very clear place. I think I have a unique and pretty fair point of view when I comes to animal rights. I believe that animals have a right to live their own life free of suffering and cruelty. That means as humans, I think we should do more to love and respect animals. 

One issue that is brought up when talking about animal rights is hunting. I’m not against hunting if it’s done properly and without intentional suffering. I am against hunting endangered species as well as hunting for sport. I think that hunting should be for a purpose, and I feel that it’s wrong to kill an animal just for fun. Hunting has been a way of living for so many years and I think that as long as you use every part of the animal in some way, then there is nothing wrong with it. However, I personally will not be out in a tree stand anytime soon.

Another aspect of animal rights that tends to be a touchy subject is using animals for entertainment purposes. My view here is that using animals in shows is wrong. Animals don’t naturally jump through hoops or touch balls with their noses, and it's wrong for us to force them to do this. I do however support zoos that rescue animals, I think there is something beneficial both for the animals and for the people who get the chance to learn more about them.

Another hot button issue is eating animals. I am not a vegetarian or vegan; I think as long as an animal died in a humane way and lived a cruelty free life, there is really nothing wrong with eating meat. What I disagree with is the way most big farms treat their animals by giving them little room to move and not providing them with a fair and humane life. I prefer to get meat from local farmers where I know the animals are raised in humane conditions.

There are many other points that could be made for and against animal right, and theses are just a few of the issues that arise when we talk about them. Animals don’t have a voice, no matter what Disney movies may have led you to believe, which is why it's our responsibility to decide what is right and fair for them. We should be able to live in harmony on this earth with all living beings, but we need to be responsible for taking care and standing up for what is right. If you are looking for away to be a positive change for animals, start by looking at just how animals were effected by the products you use or consume everyday, and then ask yourself if an animal was treated badly in order for you to have it. If the answer is yes, then it might be time contemplate if it was really worth harming another living thing to have it. Just remember it’s the little things we do everyday that effect the future. 


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