Animal Rights Moves into the MainstreamPosted by April Nockleby, ALDF's Online Content Manager on July 15, 2010
TIME published an article yesterday that asks, “Can animal rights go too far?” — citing examples such as California’s vote in 2008 to increase the size of cages for egg laying hens so they can stand up, lay down and spread their wings, and the more recent law signed by Governor Schwarzenegger last week that requires out-of-state egg producers to follow the same rules if they intend to sell their eggs in California.
The article discusses numerous animal protection laws — in both the U.S. and abroad — and how the force driving the animal rights movement is “a surprisingly strong level of popular support.”
It’s exciting to see this informative article in a major news outlet, despite its leading title and ever-popular comparison between the animal rights and human rights movements. Early in the article, the author writes:
“Even as human rights seems to have taken a few hits of late — with the U.S. government endorsing harsh interrogation techniques, also known as torture, and the Supreme Court whittling away at race-discrimination laws, defendants’ rights and the Voting Rights Act — animal rights has moved further into the mainstream.”
Comparisons like this disturb me. Why is there a belief by some that advocates must choose between fighting for the rights of humans versus non-humans? As an animal advocate, I am not aware of having signed an exclusive contract to only help animals. I am fully capable of empathizing with both humans and non-humans, and I work toward ending the suffering of all individuals, whether they have fins, feathers or feet. Let’s stop sensationalizing the issues and start working toward a world that recognizes and respects the rights of all sentient beings.