Introduction

I delved into the background of this day International Day of Animal Rights, and I was surprised to learn all of the interesting history behind it. I see this day in a very different light now.

Obviously one can draw the conclusion that we ourselves are animals hence we should respect that connection, but this day has deeper connection with our history as humans – some of the most dark parts of history and the more positive parts of our history.

Connection to the Past

The 10th of December has deeper meaning to us as Humans.

Way back in 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted and declared the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We came to the conclusion that we needed this declaration to stop the atrocities of the WW2 from happening again. We had just come out of humanitys’ most destructive war; a war that was heavily based on the subjugation of people, and we as a species decided to never let this happen again.

You can read the thirty articles of Universal Declaration of Human Rights here.

It’s a good read and I concur with all it. I in particular love the way it doesn’t specify any race, gender or ethnicities. It’s open to one and all. And that’s it why International Day of Animal Rights happens to be today, the 10th of December – the same day the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was declared.

It was designed for us people to draw the conclusion that animals are deserving of rights too. Especially because animals are so vulnerable… from us.

We have rights, and we recognize those rights as being unalienable – but we also have responsibilities, and one of those responsibilities is not harming other life on this planet.

Speciesism

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights aims to stop discrimination amongst humans. But we ourselves discriminate against animals. Perhaps more so and in ways that magnifies the atrocities of WW2.

International Day of Animal Rights was designed to bring awareness to that discrimination, and it led to the term Speciesism being coined. I never really like the term because I find these intellectual terms abstract away the pain and suffering animals go through – but I can now see reasoning behind it.

It highlights that we discriminate, and we do so because we think we’re superior just because we won a genetic lottery. That trillion in a one chance of being born human has led to us taking animals for granted. This is not right and needs to stop.

Tel Aviv

When I became Vegan the biggest surprise I came across was that Tel Aviv is the most Vegan city in the world.

Tel Aviv has been officially recognized as the ‘Vegan Capital of the World’. Tel Aviv has more than 400 vegan or vegan-friendly restaurants across the city that caters to the gastronomical needs of more than 200,000 vegans living in Israel.

I suspect it may have something to do the survivors of the holocaust as well as with Gary Yourovsky.

The Nazis used butcheries and butchery equipment when subjugating Jewish people in the concentration camps. They used butcheries and butchery equipment because they actually saw Jewish people as other than human. The survivors of this holocaust remembered that and they never forgot, so when they some settled in Israel they thought differently. When they saw meat – they saw it as torture. This is why you find a lot of the old folks in Israel are Vegan.

But I think Gary Yourovsky had a hand in it too. He happens to be the OG Vegan Activist and he set the bar incredibly high.

The dude is a hero. In the early 2000’s he was giving numerous talks all over the world about going Vegan, and he had enormous success in Israel with the youth gravitating towards these ideas. I think the seeds he planted back then yielded massive results.

The connection to the atrocities of WW2 resonate today both in International Day of Animal Rights, as well the survivors of World War 2 embracing the ideas of animal rights.

Solution : Veganism

Veganism is the solution to ending animal suffering. It as simple as that. We as people make the mistake of thinking a dogs value is greater than that of a fish, but all sentient being that have the capacity to suffer are entitled to rights.

Conclusion

Observance of International Animal Rights Day draws public attention to the issues of speciesism and discrimination.

I started writing this post thinking it would be fluff, but I found lots of connections to human rights, to the holocaust, to the most Vegan city and all this got me thinking – and I’m left with the conclusion that International Day of Animal Rights is an important day that brings about incredible awareness. In that regard it’s been a massive success.

Photo by Sridhar Chilimuri on Unsplash