Animal Rights on Election Day

Posted by Jennifer Molidor, ALDF's Staff Writer on November 6, 2012

patriotic dog, animal bill of rights
(Photo by Don Graham)

On this election-day, ALDF asks you to vote for animals, by voting for the Animal Bill of Rights. By now, many people have grown weary of politics–and the sense that nothing can change. After months of relentless fundraising and negative campaign attack ads, some of us just want elections to end. But let’s not forget what a privilege it is to vote–a right not safely available to everyone on our planet. And now, more than ever, there is something tangible at stake. Our lives are held in the balance of our own destinies. But for many animals, the simple ability to live a dignified life free from excruciating pain is not possible under current laws.

ALDF offers legal analysis of how existing laws fail to fully protect animals–and why we desperately need each of the six tenets of the Animal Bill of Rights.

  • The Right of all animals to be free from exploitation, cruelty, neglect, and abuse.
  • The Right of animals in laboratories not to be used in cruel or unnecessary experiments.
  • The Right of farmed animals to an environment that meets their physical and psychological needs.
  • The Right of companion animals to a healthy diet, shelter, and adequate medical care.
  • The Right of wildlife to a natural habitat, ecologically sufficient to a normal existence and self-sustaining species population.
  • The Right of animals to have their interests represented in court and safeguarded by the law of the land.

We must mend the growing chasm between the human world and the natural world, for they are but one and the same. In this great divide, we falsely imagine ourselves as separate from nature and distinct from nonhuman animals. We live in a world that permits the exploitation of animals in laboratory facilities, in industries of entertainment, clothing, and agriculture, and fails to protect animals from even the harshest of cruelty. So many animals, because their legal rights are not protected, know horrors few of us can bear to imagine.

Recently in the U.S., we have delisted endangered animals like wolves so we might “hunt” them again–in the air, in their dens, and in barbaric medieval trapping devices. We’ve passed legislation barring truth-telling by undercover investigators at corporate farms. We’ve failed to penalize violations of the Animal Welfare Acts at roadside zoos and amusement park aquariums. We’ve failed to realize in law what we know in our hearts–that nonhuman animals have interests and intelligence, feel pain, express joy, and not only have the capacity to love but the right to live.

When we label inhumanely-produced eggs “free range” and tuna as “dolphin-safe,” we need better laws. When tigers are caged at truck stops, chimps are tortured in labs, dogs are used in savage blood-sport, and the “pink slime” of candy-fed cows slapped onto our children’s plates at schools across the nation, we need better laws. To achieve rights for animals and reunite humans with the natural world, we must each be heroes. Now is the time for heroes and for our greatest humanity–now is the time for animals to be protected by right and by law.

Whoever wins the presidential election, a seat in the House or Senate, a ticket to the show in state legislatures and city councils, and agendas of various groups in ballot initiatives, the case for animal rights must be made. As we move forward in the 21st century, animal rights must be at the forefront of our legal, cultural, and political efforts. To end the abuse of animals is to meet the dawn of a new era of humane living.

Show your support for change for America’s animals–sign the Animal Bill of Rights!

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