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Animals Have Rights, Too

Wild animals don’t kill for pleasure, but there are men who do.

In ages past, men and beasts intermingled freely. But after civilization started to spread far and wide, man’s propensity to harm other men and animals escalated, as well. The powerful pounced on the weak, peace now is nowhere to be found.

Any harm done to another is a bad thing and no excuse is acceptable. All the religions teach the same, and this injunction includes any possible harm done to animals, as well. A basic Hindu teaching declares that everything and everyone, even animals are parts of the One Supreme Being, and that all men and animals are brothers.

Just by looking at animals, we realize that we are not at all so different from them. Animals are just like any human – they can be happy and sad, peaceful and friendly, or mad, jealous, angry and vengeful. Spiritually speaking, we need to love all things created by God. But we don’t follow God’s commands. For purposes of medical research, we experiment on innocent animals, causing them to undergo intolerable suffering and death, against their will and without their permission, for our own selfish reasons.

Animals should have legal rights also and equal protection under the law. There have been many successes as in the laws relating to animal abuse and in the illegal hunting especially of endangered species.

Once found in large numbers, today, because of indiscriminate killings, there are much fewer lions, elephants, tigers and rhinos. Because of man’s ignorance and abuse, many animal species are now extinct. Here in our world, God has made us the masters, superior to all other beings, but we are supposed to love and care for all His creatures. Instead, we continue to do the very opposite thing.

There are many instances. Since the very beginning, animals have worked hand in hand with men. Most of us are not aware that ants help us a lot in different ways. Bats, bees and other insects pollinate plants and scatter them all over many places, the plants in turn provide us the food we eat. Bees also produce honey. Goats and cows give us milk and cheese. Birds also contribute in plant pollination and seed dispersal, insect pest control and nutrient recycling. Dogs and cats serve as our pets and friends. Police dogs help in crime prevention and search operations, guide dogs serve as the eyes to the blind, the sick and elderly.

In recognition of the great benefits we enjoy through our co-habitation with our brother-animals, there are now much work done by many groups in the fields of wildlife conservation, animal protection and animal rescue, animal rights and the prevention of cruelty to animals.

Everyone is enjoined to help.

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