‘Basic Rights for Animals!’ PETA Germany Marks 30th Anniversary With Demands to Parliament

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As PETA Germany celebrates its 30th anniversary, its supporters proudly reflect on decades of victories for animals. To mark the occasion, dozens of uniformed PETA Germany supporters carrying briefcases swarmed Stuttgart’s New Palace today, and they meant business.

Animals Have Always Been People—Here’s How the Law Can Recognize That

PETA Germany sent a letter to federal lawmakers in the Bundestag and the Bundesrat before protesters descended on the New Palace today demanding that they support the establishment of legal personhood and fundamental rights for animals. Those rights include the right to life, liberty, physical integrity, and the free development of personality.

“Animals aren’t things like pieces of furniture—they’re individuals like us who feel pain, fear, and love and value their lives. Simply because humans can dominate them doesn’t mean that we should,” says PETA President and founder of PETA Germany Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA Germany is urging the legal system to recognize that all animals are living, feeling beings who deserve appropriate legal rights and protections for their own sake and not in relation to how they can be exploited by humans.”

peta germany supporters in animal masks and businesswear in a triangle formation
Supporters of PETA Germany demand legal recognition of animals’ personhood with a sign reading, “Basic Rights for Animals.”

By granting animals legal personhood and fundamental rights, the German government would lay the groundwork for them to be meaningfully protected. As it stands, German law treats animals as property to be used by humans, and any welfare laws that exist for their sake build on that presumption. Around the world, the understanding of animals has grown, but it is still legal to abuse them.

Recognizing Personhood for Animals the World Over

PETA Germany’s letter and protest are just the latest in a reckoning with how societies worldwide treat animal identity. In the U.S., PETA’s 13th Amendment lawsuit sought to free orcas from imprisonment at SeaWorld, and our groundbreaking “monkey selfie” copyright lawsuit sought to establish Naruto the macaque’s right to own and profit from his creation.

Only prejudice allows us to deny others the rights that we expect to have for ourselves, and prejudice is morally unacceptable, whether it’s based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or species. As PETA entities continue to expose the reprehensible double standards of the world’s legal systems’ biased treatment of animals, they’re showing everyone why establishing legal rights—not enacting piecemeal welfare legislation—for animals is the only way forward.

Learn More About Animal Rights
a fluffy sheep on a really green hill with water in the distance

We eagerly await Parliament’s response to PETA Germany’s letter and heartfelt demonstration. PETA Germany, here’s to another 30 remarkable years of helping animals!

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