February, Americans celebrate black history and the African-American leaders
and communities who helped shape it. For many, it's a time to celebrate the
obstacles we've overcome as a nation and to honor all who fought for freedom
and equality in the face of adversity.
centuries, oppressors have validated their abusive and exploitive actions by
claiming economic or social gain. From the slave trade to forced child labor to
the denial of women's suffrage, there are numerous periods of American history
that many would rather forget. However, our past provides important
guidance for overcoming one of the greatest social justice issues of our time:
animal rights. After all, isn't
it time to extend moral considerations to non-human animals as well?
take a look at what some prominent leaders of social justice movements had to
say about humans back then, and
reflect on what they could mean for animals now
I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on
him personally." —President
What It Means for Animal Rights: Be empathetic. Imagine if you, your child, or your dog were
the one being abused. Does it make a difference? It shouldn't.
"It is often easier to become outraged by injustice
half a world away than by oppression and discrimination half a block from
T. Rowan, prominent black
journalist of the 20th century
What It Means for Animal Rights: The exploitation of animals in the food, clothing,
vivisection, and entertainment industries is a terrible injustice. Luckily, you
can help animals every single day by choosing compassion when you eat, shop,
and select activities for your family.
"Silence never won rights. They are not handed down
from above; they are forced by pressures from below."—Roger
Baldwin, one of the
founders of the American Civil Liberties Union
What It Means for Animal Rights: Get active. Check out our database of delicious vegan recipes. Contact companies that still use fur in their
designs. Boycott companies
that test their products on animals. Attend a circus demonstration in your hometown.
anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."—Martin
Luther King Jr.
What It Means for Animal Rights: We must extend our compassion to all living beings. You
can make a difference. Don't let animals suffer another minute.
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.