Typical. It's sunny up here in North Wales, and I'm still ill. Damn Freshers flu.
Anyways, I digress.
I wanted to talk today about this bizarre assumption that keeps coming my way - that to be interested in animal rights and/or welfare means that a person doesn't believe or support human rights campaigns and causes. I have no idea why some people seem to think this is a fallible suggestion. The way I see it is that both beliefs can be attained at the same time. It isn't an either/or situation. I know plenty of vegans/vegetarians/animal activists who campaign for human rights organizations, some more so than they do for animal rights issues. Generally, they tend to be pretty politically active people anyway, and human rights is just one of their many political campaigns/beliefs. I just don't really understand why some people criticize people who are concerned about animal welfare in this manner. To me it just doesn't make sense.
I myself am a member of Amnesty International, as well as my local Amnesty university group, I'm part of my university Fairtrade society where we promote Fairtrade products and show the significant difference it can make to people's lives. Also, I recently cut off a load of my hair to be donated to a charity which makes wigs for children with cancer. These are just a few of the more active things I've done in the last couple of months for human rights. Previously I have also donated money to causes such as the Trevor Project, and the Salvation Army for their work with the homeless, and every time I have a birthday, or am asked what I want for Christmas etc, I usually ask people to get me a WorldVision alternative gift. I'm not saying I'm a saint, just that myself, like many other supporters of animal rights, are also active in the realm of human rights issues. The welfare of animals aren't considered more important than that of human welfare. But it is considered important. Something so important that we need to campaign for better welfare and treatment, and raise awareness and understanding of how animals are treated behind closed doors, where we often can't see this abuse and neglect. After all, much of this neglect is either directly or indirectly caused by humans, and many of us realize this is wrong. I've always felt it is the right thing to stand up for your beliefs, especially when another life may be in jeopardy if you don't. I feel that way about human and animal rights. On equal ground. I don't think I should shout louder for one over the other, rather that I should put all my efforts into shouting equally as loud as I can to try to ensure that all rights are given fairly to all people and all animals. After all, we're animals. And we have rights.
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