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Dec 14, 2007

ANIMAL RIGHTS

In nature, some animals, including humans, must kill others for food to survive. Other animals, like humans and housecats, kill for pleasure. This is natural, but many people feel that as human beings we must not be cruel or kill unnecessarily. Human rights are fundamental to most people’s understanding of how societies function. There are international standards, which must be obeyed, as to how to behave towards other people. However, there are not these same standards for animals and attitudes about how animals should be treated vary widely.For millennia, people had a very strong connection to the animals that fed them. Today, we are losing our connection to the animals that provide us with our food. Factory farming is a new type of agriculture which many people are worried about. Animals are kept in very small indoor pens or cages, and fed poor quality food, most often the leftover parts of other animals. The farmers have very little personal connection to the animals they raise, and the people consuming them have no connection to the animals or farmers. Factory farming is cruel, and it is also unsustainable.Animal testing is another practice that creates controversy. Some of the most unpleasant tests on animals have led to scientific progress, allowing crucial products like medicines to be produced. However, many animals are tested on so that companies can find out how their cosmetic products, which contain new chemicals that are potentially harmful, affect humans. An alternative to this are companies use only natural ingredients which are known to be safe, or do not require animal testing. Buying these products is a way to support humane alternatives to animal testing.In cities and other places where many people live, there are often problems with animal and pet overpopulation. As a society we love our pets, but many people do not understand the huge responsibility that comes with a companion animal. Many owners abandon their animals when they are no longer able, or no longer want to care of them. Animal shelter over-crowding can be a big problem, and many shelters have to make a difficult decision about whether to kill their sick and older animals or to let all of them live in overcrowded conditions. You can help to reduce these problems by only bringing a pet into your family when you are prepared for the responsibility of looking after it, and consider adopting one from your local shelter instead of buying from a pet store or breeder. If you do have a pet, make sure that it is spayed or neutered.While cities may have problems with over-population, many other species are beginning to disappear. Many species are endangered not because they were over-hunted or poached, but because they had no place to live and raise their offspring. Peace means a safe and happy life for all living creatures, animal and human. War, poverty, and environmental destruction are all powerful, inhumane weapons that kill animals and humans alike. By living sustainably and treating nature with respect you are helping to support the rights of humans and animals alike.

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