International Animal Rights Day 2017: 10th December
Picture the scene. Babies taken from their mothers and slaughtered, covered in blood, another victim of human tyranny. Wailing animals crying out in pain, animals abused and silenced, animals taken for granted and their free will taken away. You hear their cries but your tears mingle with the crowd, already you are turning away, running from what you don’t understand. You have pets at home, a dog and cat that you love and cherish,that you shower with love. If anything happened to your babies you would feel broken, a former shell of yourself, they are your children. But then something does happen, a burglar breaks into your home and takes your babies away; like the calves that are taken from their mothers, your babies are without their mother. Suddenly it all clicks and you realize your hypocrisy; you preach about ‘how much you love your pets’ and yet you were supporting causes that inflicted pain on the animals you loved.
You spent hours researching reports on animal cruelty, watching documentaries on how animals are electrocuted, shaved, gagged and injected, before being thrown in the ‘trash’ to dispose of their dead bodies. You see baby monkeys being taken from their mothers, being housed in cages where they can’t even stand and feel your heart breaking as you watch them cry out in pain. It’s not enough to abstain from just eating meat, you are using products that are testing on animals too and even in the middle of the night you feel nauseous that even the toothpaste that you use has resulted in a dead, tortured or seriously ill animal, who was taken from their home and kept in squalid conditions just so you could have the ‘brightest smile’. You pack away all your designer leather handbags and throw out all the make up that has been tested on animals. Even the shampoo you had been using was not cruelty free and you hurl violently, feeling ashamed that you called yourself an animal lover and yet unknowingly participated in the destruction of animals for the sake of your own vanity.
But it’s never too late to stand up for animal rights and make a difference. I wasn’t always a vegetarian, I wasn’t always cruelty free and I too would enjoy visits to the zoo and aquarium until I educated myself on what these poor defenseless animals go through on a daily basis for the sake of our own entertainment value and vanity. You don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian, but please I beg you, think about what you are wearing and what you are using to clean your home, do your make up and treat your skin. Because even the smallest change like boycotting brands that test on animals can make a difference. Do the right thing. Be cruelty free.
History Of International Animal Rights Day
To some the 10th of December might seem like any other day, but here is where I tell you to sit up and listen. For it is today that animal activists lobby worldwide for the protection and humane treatment for animals, that are often tortured, killed and jeered at while they are still infants. It is today that we show animals the same respect and consideration that we show our human friends and shower them with love, instead of treating them like the dirt under our shoes. Today it is International Animal Rights Day an observance that coincides with the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declared in 1948, and this has been made deliberately.On December 10, 1948 the UN General Assembly adopted and declared the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to prevent the repetition of World War II and concentration camps. Yet it wasn’t until 1970, 22 years after the Declaration of Human Rights by the UN, that the term speciesism was coined in order to talk about discrimination of sentient beings due to the species they belong to. This means that as humans we think that we are superior and see animals as ‘lesser beings’ which means that we rationalize having more power and status as an excuse to pillage animals homes, take infant animals from their mothers and kill animals so that we can appear to be more ‘powerful’.
So although ‘speciesism was coined in the 70’s, it took 20 more years for International Animal Rights Day to be created to contest centuries of incessant animal abuse and cruelty. Activists will chant, create demonstrations and write poems, but why should you do the right thing and stand up for animals on International Human Rights Day? From protecting baby monkeys from becoming depressed and anxious to wearing clothing that has not killed innocent animals like Angora Rabbits and Minks, read on to find out the horrifying truth of animal cruelty and the changes you can make to prevent animal abuse.
Animal Cruelty: Baby Monkey’s & Lab Testing
A heartbreaking PETA investigation uncovered footage from NIH testing lab facilities that were testing on monkeys, housing them in claustrophobic, anxiety inducing conditions. Baby monkeys were kept in cages, where they couldn’t even stand, they were that small. Baby monkeys were taken from their mothers and startled with loud noises that would result in serious cases of anxiety and depression, which would plague those monkeys for the rest of their short lives. When baby monkeys were kept in ‘cages with their mothers’ the mothers were heavily sedated and had their ‘nipples taped over’ which meant that the baby monkey’s could not suckle at their mother’s breast. In one terrifying video I watched a baby monkey squeal in pain, as ‘mechanical snakes’ which monkeys are naturally afraid of were released into the cage. Because the baby’s mother had been sedated, the infant was shaking and terrified, trying to get his mother to wake up but unaware that the lab had sedated its mother.The baby monkey had thought that his mother was dead, and when the mother came around from her sedation, she struggled to comfort her infant, which the experimenters had laughed at.
How can these monsters live with themselves, knowing that they are tormenting baby animals and their mothers for the sake of their entertainment. How can they go home and hug their children with a smile on their faces knowing that they have blood on their hands?These baby monkey’s are isolated from their mothers and treated little better than dirt, forced to consume substances like alcohol that worsen their depression and forced to rip out their own hair, attack their own limbs and become desensitized to the world around them. Although the monkey’s can live up until they are 30 in the wild, many monkeys fail to live past their 8th birthday, when they are killed once the laboratories have got bored with their ‘latest toy’. It sickens me knowing that these ‘lab testers’ are regular people like me and you and yet lack the basic human values of ‘compassion and empathy’ that make up our society. It saddens me that NIH has acknowledged that these ‘experiments’ have no relevance to human need and yet continue to splurge $30 into animal testing, each year.
Animals & Fashion: Skinned Alive
And it’s not just monkeys: minks are slaughtered to make fur coats, Angora Rabbits are skinned and have their fur ripped out to make wool sweaters as they scream out in pain. I watched the video footage obtained by PETA who videoed Angora Rabbits screaming as the workers ripped out their hair violently, showing no compassion for these beautiful and gentle animals. It was a hard thing to watch, but I am glad I did because it showed me that making the decision to be cruelty free and abstain from leather, suede and wool was the best decision that I could have ever made. With 90% of Angora Rabbit farms being in China-where there are no penalties for animal abuse on rabbit farms, these beautiful creatures endure this cruelty roughly every three months, for two years before their throats are slit and they are murdered, being skinned alive.
Reptiles & Ostriches
While we automatically think of animals like ‘bunnies and monkeys’ (which are seen as cute and cuddly) as fashion victims, what about reptiles like crocodiles and Alligators, who are made into bags and purses for luxury brands like HERME’S ? In a 2014 PETA US Investigation titled ‘Belly Of the Beast’ investigators discovered the dark ‘underbelly of the fashion market’ where baby crocodiles and alligators were slaughtered for designer powerhouses like Hermes and Prada. With huge factory farms like Bodega in Zimbabwe, which creates 43,000 alligator and crocodile skins a year, crocodiles and alligators are kept in crowded concrete pens and are often killed when they are just three years old.
What many consumers don’t know is how compassionate and loyal these creatures are; fascinatingly intelligent and fiercely maternal it beggars belief how anyone could buy a bag, knowing that a ‘three toddler alligators’ were killed to make one designer handbag. It’s disgusting; toddlers have scalpels plunged into their spines and have their brains taken out, while they are still alive. Although Bodega claimed that they are stunned before ‘being slaughtered’ when investigators traveled to a Lone Star Farm in Texas, the reality of alligator and crocodile farming was far more grim then they could have ever imagined. Shot in the back of the head with a bolt gun and sawed into the back of their necks with a box cutter to sever their blood vessels some alligators survived in agony for several minutes. It was horrifying to watch but nothing could have prepared me for the agony of what happened when the bolt gun had been misplaced by the manager. Four conscious alligators had been stabbed with a knife in an attempt to dislocate their cervical vertebrae, but the workers admitted that the alligators continued to live after cervical dislocation, meaning that their last moments on earth was plagued with incessant pain and suffering.
When the gun had malfunctioned on more than five days, the manager ordered workers to cut into more than 500 conscious alligators in a crude attempt to dislocate their cervical vertebrae. More horrifyingly the workers were then told by the manager to plunge a rod into their skulls to ‘scramble their brains’. But these animals were not just killed barbarically, they were also kept in dank, dark pits that were filled with murky brown water that were ‘full of putrid excrement’ and conditioned into a life of loneliness, isolation and heartbreaking torture. But for what? All so they could pander to the luxury consumer?
And don’t even get me started on ostriches. Killed before their first birthday and orphaned from their mothers,this is the true story of the horror behind the ostrich/leather industry in South Africa. In 2015 PETA uncovered that the Western Cape of Africa is the Ostrich killing capital of the world, with 75% of the world’s ostrich leather, feathers and meat coming from slaughterhouses in this region. On production farms chicks never get to meet their parents and are tagged as though they are nothing more than ‘walking merchandise’. Imagine the horror of being a baby chick, forced into barren, dirty ‘feedalots’ knowing that you will be killed before you are even one years old. Workers push baby ostriches through a herd chute and force them into a box to be electrically stunned , while baby ostriches who are next in line are forced to watch their friends be slaughtered in the doorway. Once the babies are stunned, another worker then cuts their throats, before hanging them up while they are still warm to be turned into watches,bags and more.
Animal Testing In The Cosmetic Industry
It is shocking that in 2017 we still have to contest the inhumane treatment of animals who are still being tested on for the sake of huge cosmetic companies like MAC, Benefit And Revlon who all ‘sell in China’, where there are no laws against animal testing. Millions of animals have been injected, force fed substances and tortured or killed to make cosmetics. While in the UK testing cosmetic products and their ingredients on animals was banned in 1998 and across the EU in 2013, in China more than 375,000 animals were tested on in 2015 to meet so called ‘pre-market test requirements’ . This means that any company that enters into the Chinese Market has to abide by ‘China’s Food and Drug Administration’ which requires all imported cosmetics, new cosmetic ingredients, and “special-use” cosmetics such as hair dyes, deodorants and sunscreens, to undergo animal testing before being sold. In other words companies like Benefit and now NARS (who recently lost their cruelty free status) sell their products in China, which means they are tested on animals.
In June 2014 CFDA introduced regulatory reform that removed the mandatory requirement for ‘pre-market animal testing’ for non-special-use or “ordinary” cosmetics manufactured in mainland China. Although this rule change could potentially allow for some animal reduction in animal testing, this only providing that Chinese domestic companies choose to conduct or contract for non-animal product safety assessments, which being ‘expensive’ is not often a choice that Chinese domestic companies levitate towards.
Big Brands That Test On Animals
Revlon,NARS, Benefit, Maybelline, Max Factor, Loreal, Proctor & Gamble- Which Owns Herbal Essences, Pantone & More.
Big Brands That Don’t Test On Animals
Limecrime, Lush,Barry M, Makeup Revolution, Elemis, Colorpop, Anastasia Beverly Hills Among Others.
Notable Demonstrations Against Cosmetic Testing On Animals Throughout History
While International Animal Rights Day was only created a few years ago, throughout history there has been notable demonstrations against cosmetic testing on animals. From candle light vigils to the dead animal victims in Madrid (video linked at the end of the post) in 2011 to Performance Artist Jacqueline Traide Getting Tortured Like an Animal to Raise Awareness for Animal Cosmetics Testing in Regent Street, London, read on below to find links on where you can obtain information on animal rights demonstrations and find out how you can get involved.
How You Can Make A Difference On International Animal Rights Day
1. Commit to a vegan or vegetarian diet. If being a vegetarian or vegan is something that you would struggle with, only purchase food from brands that are dedicated to the fair treatment of animals.
2. Use Cruelty Free Cosmetics, Skincare, Cleaning Products That Do Not Test On Animals.
3.You can help save an animal life by becoming a foster parent for a shelter.
4. Adopt An Animal From The Animal Shelter instead of buying animals from the pet shop.
5. Organize a demonstration that lobbies for animal rights & raises awareness of animal cruelty worldwide.
6. If like me you are not able to keep a pet in the house, sponsor an animal like a tiger instead, and help them have a better life.
7.Choose an animal sanctuary instead of a zoo or choose a film that uses a CGI animal instead of an animal actor.
8. Get On Social Media, Write Blog Posts & Sign Petitions To End Animal Abuse & Raise Awareness Of Animal Cruelty.
Videos That Raise Awareness Of Animal Cruelty (Warning Contains Graphic & Heartbreaking Content)
(Video is at the bottom of the page- a moment of silence in Madrid, where 400 activists showed dead cats, dogs, pigs, pigeons, rabbits and more that had been killed for fashion, medicine and more. )
A Real Look Into Alligator & Crocodile Farms & How Toddler Reptiles Are Killed For Luxury Fashion. Watch On Youtube HERE
A Real Look Into Ostriches Being Killed For Hermes & Prada. Watch on Youtube HERE
Baby Monkey Experiments Exposed: National Institutes Of Health. Watch On Youtube HERE
What Are Your Thoughts On Animal Cruelty? Were You Aware Of What Happens To Animals On Production Farms, Labs And Factories For Our Cosmetics, Fashion, Medicine & More?
*Since writing this article I have discovered that in 2015, a year after PETA’s campaign into ending Monkey testing, Stephen Suomi’s laboratory was closed down, and he will no longer be involved in any experiments on animals.