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What is the animal rights movement? - Open Education Online

What is the animal rights movement?

The animal rights movement has a long and storied history. In fact, it dates to ancient Buddhist and Hindu scriptures as many of those called for practitioners to adopt a vegetarian diet for the sake of animals and otherwise called for their protection. However, although religion does still play a definite role in the animal rights movement today, it’s largely a secular affair.

Beliefs

Today, many activists believe that animals should not be deemed to be a lower class than people, and nearly all are against the abuse and mistreatment of animals, especially as it relates to animal testing and factory farming. A number of participants also refuse to eat animals and are vegetarian or vegan.

The bottom line is that all in the animal rights movement believe in the rights of animals. In their view, too many people in the world don’t believe that animals should have rights or that the rights that animals already have are sufficient when they’re not. Activists also want others to help them share their message.

Worldwide

The animal rights movement has spread worldwide.

Several acts and other changes have been made as a result of what the animal rights movement has done. Progress has been made. One is the Animal Welfare Act of 2005, which was passed in Switzerland. It stated that any activities that have been judged to be degrading to animals’ dignity is not legal. Not only does this include causing them to experience pain or harm but also anxiety and humiliation. As a result, World Animal Protection awarded Switzerland a grade of “A” on its Animal Protection Index.

Organizations

The number of animal rights organizations is extensive.

PETA is one of the most popular although it is controversial too as some activists do not agree with how this organization gets its message across. It was founded in 1980, has 7 million members and is known for doing whatever it can to get the attention of major news outlets and others, including using celebrities.

Several countries have organizations devoted to animal welfare. One of the most known is the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). It was founded in 1824 and is the world’s largest and oldest of its type. It’s also one of Great Britain’s largest charities of any type.

Many activists are members of groups such as these although several people who are in the movement do so on their own, not as part of any specific organization.

Activities

Animal rights activists often participate in a number of activities. These can range from protesting in front of places that test on animals or restaurant chains that engage in what they view to be inhumane factory farming conditions to going undercover at meat-processing plants and sharing what goes on there with the world.

Many with master’s degrees in a variety of fields are involved as activists and serve as assists to activists. These include veterinarians, animal control officers, lawyers, lobbyists, graphic designers, writers, public relations specialists, researchers and those who serve in areas such as accounting, developing and reception with animal rights organizations.

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