World Animal Day (October 4) is an international day of action for animal rights—a day to fight speciesism, or the misguided belief that one species is more important than another.
For this year’s World Animal Day, more than 400 academics from 39 countries put together a groundbreaking proclamation of animal liberation—the Montreal Declaration of Animal Exploitation —to speak out against the pervasive cruelty and exploitation of our fellow animals all over the world.
The authors of this groundbreaking declaration—experts in moral and political philosophy—agreed on “the need for a profound transformation of our relationships with other animals.”
“We condemn the practices that involve treating animals as objects or commodities. Insofar as it involves unnecessary violence and harm, we declare that animal exploitation is unjust and morally indefensible.”
The letter goes on to point out that other sentient beings have their own interests that are no less important than those of humans. Therefore, using other animals as if they exist for us to experiment on, eat, wear, or abuse for any other reason is morally unjustifiable.
“[I]t is well established that mammals, birds, fish, and many invertebrates are sentient – i.e., capable of feeling pleasure, pain and emotions. These animals are conscious subjects; they have their own perspective on the world around them. It follows that they have interests: our behaviours affect their well-being and can benefit or harm them. When we injure a dog or a pig, when we keep a chicken or a salmon in captivity, when we kill a calf for his meat or a mink for her skin, we seriously contravene their most fundamental interests.”
The authors further conclude that it is our responsibility to refuse to support industries or institutions that use other animals as if they were disposable objects—that means buying cruelty-free cosmetics, eating vegan, ditching leather and other animal-derived clothing, avoiding cruel marine parks and crummy roadside zoos, and more.
“From a political and institutional standpoint, it is possible to stop viewing animals merely as resources at our disposal.”
Looking toward a hopeful future in which animals are liberated from industries that use and kill them, the letter asks its readers to denounce speciesist practices: “[T]he end of animal exploitation is the only shared horizon that is both realistic and just for nonhumans.”
Help PETA End Speciesism on World Animal Day
Celebrate World Animal Day by joining PETA in taking action for our fellow animals. Here are a few ways you can help:
- Pledge to go vegan.
- Support PETA’s Research Modernization Deal to replace animals used in cruel experiments with modern, human-relevant research methods.
- Take action for animals trapped at roadside zoos.
- Ditch leather, fur, wool. down, and other animal-derived clothing.
Click the button below for other quick actions you can take for other animals, today and every day: