Should animals have rights?
Well, the obvious and simple answer to that question is, "Yes"! Animals surely deserve to live their lives free from suffering and exploitation.
Duhaime.org, legally defines a Sentient Being as: "A creature that can suffer and feel pain, mostly animals and humans. Generally, in law, a sentient being is one with the faculty of sensation and the power to perceive, reason and think."
"Sentient animals are beings that have a physical and psychological sensibility, which allows them - in the same way as humans - to experience pain and pleasure. And it is certain that they naturally seek, by all means available to them, to avoid painful experiences."
Sentience is the ability to feel, perceive, or experience subjectively. Eighteenth-century philosophers used the concept to distinguish the ability to think (reason) from the ability to feel (sentience). In modern Western philosophy, sentience is the ability to experience sensations (known in philosophy of mind as "qualia"). In Eastern philosophy, sentience is a metaphysical quality of all things that requires respect and care. The concept is central to the philosophy of animal rights, because sentience is necessary for the ability to suffer, and thus is held to confer certain rights.
Animals have the ability to experience varying emotions such as depression, as well as compassion for another animals and humans.
It happens everyday, dogs are given up and their hearts are broken. Some are adopted out and many out there are put to sleep, or just left on the streets to fend for themselves. They feel the pain and anguish of abandonment.
That's what happened to this poor baby, who was devastated when her owners surrendered her at the pound recently. She wouldn't raise her head, terrified at where she was she sat in the corner. Another gentle soul, who was also an 'owner surrender', had a big enough heart to try to cheer up her new friend; by trying to play with her and to get her to lift her head.
Animals simply do not like being tortured, as described in the case of this mother bear and her cub, known as bile or battery bears, being held captive for harvesting of their bile. In 2011, Chinese media reported that a captive bear on a Chinese bear farm killed her son and then herself after she heard him cry out in pain when a catheter was jammed into his abdomen so that bile could be extracted from his gallbladder for human medicinal purposes.
Around 14,000 bears are kept in horrific conditions and routinely tortured on bear farms. In this case "a mother bear reportedly broke free after hearing her cub's cry, causing bear 'farmers' to run away in fear. She then ran to the cub's side and immediately smothered it, then ran headlong into a wall and killing herself instantly."
Captive bears spend upwards of 30 years in tiny cages where they can barely move their head and neck to feed and drink water. As they get larger the bears are crushed in their cage so that more bile can be squeezed out.
Moon Bear Rescue Centre outside of Chengdu, China, founded and run by Animals Asia, to date have rescued 361 bears and have a very active campaign specifically designed to end bear farming. While there is unimaginable suffering, there also some awesome individuals such as the Animals Asia team. Consider Jasper, who, after spending 15 years of torture in a tiny crush cage, has become an ambassador for forgiveness generosity, peace, trust, and hope.
Jasper welcomes new bears into the rescue center, breaks up fights, and plays with others who were lucky enough to be rescued. While tears flow for many other captive and rescued bears, individuals like Jasper bring smiles to our face and give us hope for the future. Clearly, it's time to end bear farming now.
On a more positive note, changes are moving to a higher stage.
The French Parliament has overturned 200 years of law to elevate animals to the status of sentient beings. Although it was already obvious to most of us, this recognition in law is an important milestone for animals. As the law begins to acknowledge the sentience of animals, recognition will grow that animals have needs and desires of their own. And one day they will gain the rights that they have so long been denied. As well, New Zealand is set to acknowledge sentience in its own animal welfare legislation later this year.
Ending an era for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' fabled elephant acts, the parent company, Feld Entertainment, announced Thursday that it will phase out the performances by 2018, over growing public concern about the animals, calling the decision "unprecedented". Members of the public have voiced concerns about how elephants and other animals are treated in circus acts.
The 13 elephants that are now part of the Ringling Bros. shows will be sent to the circus' Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida by 2018, joining more than 40 others.
These few stories barely touch the surface of the enormity of animal cruelty that is prevalent on the planet today, in it's various forms. We can each do our part to help … research, sign petitions, share information with others. The animals need our voice.
Love doesn't see animals versus humans, Love just sees, feels, and knows the vibration of God, beneath the false costumes of animals, or humans. Just love all beings, feel the vibrations, stop seeing through the eyes of the ego and see through the eyes of Christ. All for one, one for all.
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