As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “the time is always right to do what is right”. Whether you know this or not, animals all over the world are being tested on, used for entertainment that could be harmful or detrimental to their well being, held in captivity, and are being abused and abandoned. People all over the world are remaining silent, even those advocating for change are just sitting around and letting all of these awful and shameful things happen to life’s beautiful creatures.
Animals of all size and species around the globe are being used for many different forms of human entertainment such as the dog fights, trophy hunting and as circus animals. The ASPCA says that “Dogfighting is one of the most heinous forms of animal cruelty. Dogs used for fighting are typically raised in isolation, so they spend most of their lives on short, heavy chains”(ASPCA). As the dogs grow up in these harsh and inhumane environments, they are often at risk of being injected with steroids and other lethal substances to make them more active and encourage aggression in a fight. While trophy hunting is one of the most prized sports by hunters, hundreds of thousands of animals are killed in trophy hunts where the primary motivation in the sport is to kill the animals and obtain their parts for their own personal use. As a child you might have loved to go to the circus to witness all of the talented animals in action, but did you know that behind the scenes, animals such as elephants are housed in small confined cages and are often beaten to develop muscle memory for there big performance? Former elephant keeper at the circus Tom Rider says that “after my three years working with elephants in the circus, I can tell you that they live in confinement and they are beaten all the time when they don’t perform properly”(Tom Rider). The public does not see the the punishment and abuse these animals endure, but that does not mean we should do nothing about it. Unfortunately the harm to animals does not stop there. Along with the abuse some animals are already facing, people all over have been harvesting animals out of the wild or raising and holding them in captivity for their fur and other by-products. The majority of harvested fur comes from fur farms. PETA shared that “Eighty-five percent of the fur industry’s skins come from animals on fur factory farms—dismal, often filthy places where thousands of animals are usually kept in wire cages for their entire lives”(PETA). It is unfortunate that we are losing over 50 million animals who are violently killed for their fur and hides every year so we can have luxuries such as clothes, rugs, hand bags, shoes and furniture. For most people the worst abuse animals face is animal testing and the cruelty that comes with the trails they are used in. The majority of animals tested on are rodents, rabbits, dogs, cats, guinea pigs and monkeys. For these animals the majority of their life is spent in and out of labs getting tested on daily for a wide range of products that benefit humans. Animals have been used as test subjects for hundreds of years in laboratories. While beauty cosmetics and a number of household products such as cleaning supplies usually come to mind when one thinks of what animal testing is used for, our animals are also used for medical treatment projects. PETA has told us that “Animals are also used in toxicity tests conducted as part of massive regulatory testing programs that are often funded by U.S. taxpayers’ money. The Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Toxicology Program, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are just a few of the government agencies that subject animals to crude, painful tests” (PETA). As a result of all of these heinous actions, we are losing a number of animals due to unsuccessful tests that have been performed.
The majority of people all over the world consume eggs, chicken, bacon, pork, beef, and quite a few other products that many people have in their kitchens. But have you ever stopped to think of how they got there or what the animals it came from had to endure? Before the animal appears on your plate at the dinner table, they are first put through a factory farm. According to the ASPCA, “A factory farm is a large, industrial operation that raises large numbers of animals for food. Over 95% of farm animals in the U.S. are raised in factory farms, which focus on profit and efficiency at the expense of animal welfare. Factory farms are often located in rural, disenfranchised communities.” (ASPCA) One example of an animal that lives on a factory farm is a chicken. For the most part chickens are raised in small and crowded enclosures with an emphasis on getting them fattened for slaughter quickly. The majority of breeding chickens or hens are stuck in confinement for a longer period of time while the other animals are sent off to slaughter. Hens are kept longer and put in confined coops to lay eggs until their reproduction system slows down and they become unusable to the factory farm. Cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, and a number of other animals face some of the same issues in factory farms such as space confinement and inability to engage in natural behavior. Factory farms are not concerned about individual animals. Some animals will die as a result of debeaking, tail docking, disease, and intensive confinement, but the operation is still profitable overall. Factory farms are also using hormones and a wide range of antibiotics on the animals that are held in factory farms. It has been proven that “Hormones cause the animals to grow faster, produce more milk and produce more eggs, which leads to higher profits. Large numbers of animals living in intense confinement mean that disease could spread like wildfire. Animals also fight and suffer from cuts and abrasions from their cages, so all the animals are treated with antibiotics to minimize losses from infections and the spread of diseases. Also, small daily doses of certain antibiotics cause weight gain. This means that the animals are over-medicated, which causes bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics. Both the antibiotics and the resistant bacteria reach the consumer in the meat” (ThoughtCo.). Human population is an animal rights issue as well as an environmental issue. People all over including those who are advocating for animal rights may not realize it, but they are also contributing to the problem. As the human population grows, there is a high demand to build more living spaces and structures to house more people. By urbanising the land around us we are infringing on the animal habitats. By infringing on natural habitats, we are kicking animals out of their native land that they know and and have adapted to. With the building of structures we are also taking away resources that all animals need such as berry trees/bushes trees used for shelters, ponds, and open fields for animals to hunt and for smaller animals to burrow and build underground shelters in.
In conclusion, as a society it is our responsibility to ensure the humane treatment of animals and that their living spaces are protected. By buying products not tested on animals, buying animals food products that are free range and hormone free, and by protecting land for habitats we are saving animal lives. The human race is placing these animals in enclosed areas to take their homes with no thought about the way we harm the environment or the animals themselves. These people who are destroying the earth are simply getting away with, and even worse, are treating these animals with cruelty for human pleasure. We need to spread the word, to advocate treating these captured animals with care, just like we would other humans.
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