January 24, 2020

Animal Rights

Nowadays fighting for animal rights is an issue more than just philosophical. A whole lot of people in the community are contemplating the necessity to give rights to animals.

Even though there are people who are reluctant to talk about this issue, it’s important that they be receptive to the idea that they are not asking for the same rights as people, just other rights, such as the basic right of not suffering pain and to be respected as living beings.

It’s incredible that there are people who categorically deny giving rights to animals. Suffice it to say for this reflection that there have been similar attitudes in different times in our history every time there was a proposal for certain rights. That is what happened when there was a demand for the rights of black people as well as for the rights of women. Since they have promulgated the Universal Declaration for the Rights of Animals we have come a long way in soliciting minimal rights for them; such as for domestic animals to not be abandoned, or the rights of horses that carry cargo, to not be forced to take on weight heavier than their strength, or the rights of wild animals to not be moved from their natural place of habitat, the rights of wild animals not to be forced to perform in ways that are not part of their natural behavior or the rights of animals not to have to undergo experiments. Without a doubt it is not easy for the human being to deal with these issues of recognizing new rights because ever since he could, the human has enslaved animals and today they are the last slaves that still remain.

Although some people will find it paradoxical that in a time where so much violence is widespread among human beings, we are dedicating time and energy to protect animals. One must come to understand that we live in a world in which we are not the only ones in the animal kingdom. We share it with non-human animals and we should respect them as living beings; fundamentally because we left Descartes way back long ago and his fatal statements relative to that animals were like machines and so do not suffer pain, statements which leave the door wide open for experiments with live animals.

We who are asking for animal rights are not so alone and the international legislation of a country as well as the global declarations or international treaties on which I have had the honor to work, are receiving the concerns of a world that is growing toward a true comprehension of our brothers of the kingdom; distancing ourselves from those who consider the animals to be natural resources; to proclaim an ethical position from suffering, protecting the animals from something that is surprisingly familiar to us all, namely pain and anxiety.

Martha Gutierrez

President of ADDA