All individuals are entitled to have certain liberties as their birthright, whether they were born an orca, a macaque, a chicken, or a bat. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that no human being is entitled to use a perceived difference as justification for robbing a sentient individual of his or her inalienable right to freedom, dignity, autonomy, the pursuit of happiness, or the avoidance of needless pain and suffering.
Therefore, we have conceived this declaration of the rights of all animals:
Animals, including fish, many of whom rub against one another as a sign of affection, have the right not to be impaled on a hook or caught in a net and pulled out of the water to suffocate.
Animals, including chickens, who worry about the future and pass knowledge down from one generation to the next, have the right not to spend their lives trapped in a crowded battery cage, in a dark and filthy shed, or on any farm, only to end up dying in terror in a slaughterhouse.
Animals, including sheep, who can read emotions on each other’s faces, have the right not to be beaten, mutilated, tormented, and killed for their wool.
Animals, including dolphins, each of whose pods has its own language, have the right not to be abducted from their homes, forcibly bred, and held captive in a small concrete tank, where humans gawk at them or use them for rides.
Animals, including geese, who often spend the remainder of their lives as widows or widowers after their lifelong mate has been killed, have the right not to be plucked alive and eventually killed for down.
Animals, including pigeons, who can recognize all 26 letters of the English alphabet, have the right not to be exploited for deadly races or harassed and harmed just because they’re trying to survive.
Animals have the right to live, raise families, explore, make choices, and spend their time pursuing their own interests, not those of humans.
Other animals have repeatedly appealed to humans’ sensibilities and objected to our tyranny over them by fleeing, hiding, crying out, or fighting for their lives—most often to no avail. Our fellow animals are capable of experiencing hope, joy, love, fear, pain, loss, and sorrow, and we hold that all individuals are deserving of respect and consideration. In conclusion, animals have the right to be free of the crushing grip of human oppression, and we must grant them their independence.