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  • Writer's pictureTraci Wilkerson Steckel

Animal Rights Awareness Day

I have had a love for all animals since I was old enough to look at one! I had many domestic pets growing up, most of which were dumped onto our property by irresponsible pet owners.

Growing up in the country of a small south-Texas town, I was surrounded by wild animals that I also loved and was taught to respect.

Today is National Animal Rights Awareness Day, a day in which people and organizations worldwide unite to bring awareness to animals’ lives and well-being.

First off, why is this important? This is a question that may have many answers and some that are total opposites, but hopefully, we will have more people on the same side before the end of our days.

While there are people who do not believe in the importance of maintaining basic needs for animals, today is the day to try and encourage them to uphold this belief.

Animals like humans have basic needs.

They need to eat and drink water to live in.

They should have sustainable living quarters.

They should be without pain.

Some animals remain wild, and some are domesticated as our loving pets. Others are used for science or in the farming industry. Factory farming for their meat, eggs, and milk or a small family farm with a minimum number of animals cared for very well with space to roam free until their job is “done.” It can also mean farming for fur or trophy.

All of these animals serve a purpose.

They help our ecosystem, and they're our companions, sadly, used for testing products, for human consumption, or sport. I, for one, haven’t ever supported testing on animals. I haven’t supported hunting for sport in decades or eating animals or most products from animals.

I’m a vegetarian with a vegan tendency; I like to say. I started this lifestyle about five years ago after watching a few documentaries on factory farming. I know that many people rely on farming for food and also for their livelihood. I root for the small farmer who raises animals for the consumer or keeps their animals for their consumption, as long as they are treated very well. I watched another documentary that Natalie Portman produced, “Eating Animals,” and am saddened by these small farmers being overtaken by the factory farming companies.

David Wong/South China Morning Post via Getty Images
Photo credit: David Wong/South China Morning Post via Getty Images

Sadly, many of these mass-producing companies are too big to regulate these animals’ treatment in their care until their time is “done.” In my opinion, it is unnecessary to mistreat a farm animal for fun today, just because it will be slaughtered tomorrow.

What if these animals who help us in so many ways are treated with respect and kindness?

What if we ensured that instead of just the bare minimum of providing these animals with food and water to live and crappy living quarters, we provided them with the best shelters to keep them safe and comfortable?

What if we decided to ensure they had the best lives possible even if they’re awaiting a day of fate when their job is done?

What if we chose not to allow them to be in pain and quit testing on them for cosmetics?

What if we quit breeding them to be thrown out in a field to be chased down and hunted for sport or used for the fur industry?

What if we just treated them the way WE wanted to be treated?

What if we decided to be their voice?

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