Every last sentient being on Earth deserves the same level of basic rights and respect as any other. We all feel pain, we all experience the same highs and lows of emotion, we all need to eat and sleep, we all desire to procreate, raise families, seek safety and shelter.
We’re all born, we all bleed, and we all die. In between those events is what we call life, and that life is precious in its own way.
Animal rights are a touchy subject for some people. Despite our supposed intelligence, it is hard for some people to conceive of a world where every sentient creature is given the same treatment as we lend to each other.
This is due to an array of conditioning and societal issues, but the truth remains, humans have a poor track record of fitting into the web of life with the rest of Earth’s creatures.
Why is this such an important issue though?
Because evidence shows that how people treat animals is very much related to how people treat other people. Much of the violence and horror in this world is perpetrated by the same people who have no qualms with torturing, exploiting, and annihilating animals for various gains, or even for sport. It’s all a part of the same barbaric mentality. Call it carnism, sociopathy, or just plain ignorance, the fact remains, animal rights are human rights, and both need to be fought for.
Do Animals Have Inherent Rights Like Humans?
First, let’s get something out of the way. If you’re here and want to learn more about animal rights or how fighting for animals can help us, it’s important to establish that we, too, are animals.
Since we live in a very anti-science society and culture, this basic fact of life is sometimes pushed under the rug. The idea that humans are different than animals is a commonplace misconception that is due to a combination of our vocabulary, lack of importance placed on education, and a general inherent bias against animals as inferior creatures.
However, we are very much a part of the animal kingdom.
No one but the maniacal and myopic among us would argue that we have inherent rights. The right to freedom, to pursue goals, to be safe and secure, to not feel pain, to live. This is pretty basic stuff, but sometimes it’s important to reiterate such things.
It would seem that many would deny these very same inherent rights to animals, though. This is based on a wide range of convoluted and arbitrary factors, such as our supposed superiority, “survival of the fittest,” our “diet,” and on and on.
This garrulous array of misconceptions and lies contributes to the deaths of over ten billion livestock animals every year, just in the United States alone.
This staggeringly insane number doesn’t take into account livestock killed in other countries, marine animals, roadkill, animals that die in labs, animals that are put down in shelters, pets that die due to negligence, animals that die from hunting and poaching, animals that die from habitat loss, and animals born, bred, and slaughtered in the fur industry.
The colossal magnitude of raw death that humans inflict on our brothers and sisters in nature is absolutely beyond comprehension. Think of the worst accidents, wars, and incidents of mass-death that have ever occurred to the human species, and it is nothing in comparison to what is happening to animals.
Hundreds of billions of creatures of all shapes and sizes, all with the same desire to live like you and me, are robbed of that life, because of the belief that their lives don’t matter.
Yet, we too are animals. Many creatures feel fear and pain in greater magnitude than we do. Animals have emotions, they think and feel. We’ve come to accept outright lies as societal truths, that animals are these naturally forming robots that are here for our pleasure. They are walking pieces of food, mere playthings for a greater, more evolved animal.
Such delusions are propagated by the very minds that brought us slavery and the Divine Rights of Kings. Tyrannical, thoughtless nonsense that literally ignores every facet of science, logic, metaphysics, biology, empathy, psychology, and plain common sense.
We know animals feel fear, we know they are each self-aware in their own way. Anyone who is an animal lover or who spends regular amounts of time around animals knows that there is far more going on behind their eyes than some would have us believe. In fact, many animals are far more “aware” than humans, if you take into account how senses play a role in shaping our reality.
Animals cry when they experience pain, they mourn when they experience loss, they get depressed when things they like go away. Tough times make them rough, pleasant times make them soft. They seek shelter, they seek companionship, they form bonds. They communicate each in their own specific ways, even if it happens to be non-verbal. They each live in special worlds we can’t imagine, with colors we can’t see, smells we can’t smell, and dreams we could never dream.
Each animal is its own being, with its own personality, its own needs, its own wants, desires. This is an undeniable fact and base facet of nature itself.
The Earth didn’t produce a bunch of robots and then suddenly bam, we have humans, these magical creatures with a mind and emotions. It doesn’t work like that.
Every last animal on this planet has awareness, even if its means of communicating that awareness is foreign or unreachable to us. It’s easy to see the awareness and intelligence of say, a cat or a dolphin. It’s much harder to see it in animals that we are more distantly related to, such as chickens and snakes.
Yet, for the varying degrees in which life presents itself in nature, there can be no denying that it is life that is the important factor here. And within that life, is the will to live. This is not a robotic mechanism. This is not pre-programmed video game script. Every animal, from the elephant to the ant, desires to live. And therein lies our glimpse into its spark of awareness.
These creatures that we share the planet with have just as much right to be here as we do. A person’s will to live is exactly the same as a dog’s. Within the state of life, living exists as a primal and ever-present drive that unites every last animal on the planet.
This sentience excludes any notion of robotics and lack of rights. Simply because a dog cannot form English words and cry out, “I want to live,” does not mean that it has less of a will to live, or less of a right to live.
That is one of the great follies of our species. We judge everything else by arbitrary standards that we invented and that only technically could ever apply to us.
Can a cat understand a beaver? Can a giraffe understand a buffalo? Of course not.
Everything communicates in its own way, and everything manifests its sentience in a different way. One thing holds true among all of us though: we all understand love and we all understand pain. This is not only what brings us together on the same stage as people, but equalizes us across all species.
The pain we feel is the pain of a duck, rhino, cow, pig, moose, or shark. Biologically there is little difference, the same parts of the brain light up when tested, the same physical reactions occur, the same fear-based response will build up if threatened with the same pain again. If you think your pain is special or “better” or “more painful” than the pain a cat feels, or a cow feels, or a guinea pig feels, you are quite literally just wrong. It is not a matter of opinion, but one of science and common sense.
As I said, nature didn’t spit out tens of millions of “robot” species and then randomly out comes human beings, these super-special creatures that feel emotion and pain and have a right to life when for whatever reason everything else before us just doesn’t.
That’s not how reality works, it’s not how nature works, and belief in such absurdities is the doorway to the dangerous, dark road we have been collectively traveling for thousands of years.
Abuse of Animals is the Number One Indicator of Sociopathy
There is something inherently wrong in the act of terrorizing another living being. It has long been established that hurting or terrorizing animals is a red flag personality defect likely indicative of sociopathy or even psychopathy. This is because, at the end of the day, a living being is a living being. Cruel tendencies and violent behavior aren’t compartmentalized. What one is willing to do to say, a dog, one would do to another human being if given the chance.
Taking note of an individual’s view toward animals has always been a reliable indicator as to their personality. If someone were to casually mention that they stuck their pet mouse in a microwave when they were younger, or would purposefully go out of their way to strangle kittens, would you let that person into your home? Of course not, unless you’re willing to become a headline in the nightly news or wind up in a ditch somewhere.
The sad reality is, this kind of casual carnage is extremely rife in our society. The wanton abuse of pets, for example, is more common than you would think. Leaving dogs in sweltering cars, leaving dogs chained to posts in storms, smacking and swatting cats for the mere crime of scratching a chair or carpet, etc.
It’s so common we don’t even really think twice about it – and these are pets, the most beloved rank animals can achieve in the warped human dichotomy. Imagine the horrors that factory farm animals suffer?
The ability to suspend all empathy and sanity for the sake of harming another living creature is a damning indictment of our species, that so many would be willing to do it. But then again, is it really that much of a surprise? Look how many of us are willing to go to war, or even harm our own offspring?
We’re the only species on the planet that will beat their own children to keep them in line. Homo sapiens are a very damaged species, and it shows in how we treat other living creatures, including each other.
It has been revealed that someone who harms animals is five times more likely to harm another human. In the world of analytics, this is a massive red flag, an iron-clad correlation of sorts. Domestic violence households, for example, routinely are the kinds of places where you find dogs chained for days at a time outside, animals routinely kicked and smacked when they don’t behave a certain way, neglected and filthy animals, and anti-social animals that have endured years of sociopathic abuse.
This is not a coincidence but a product of their environment. Those who would harm another human are extremely likely to have “tested” this behavior on animals, and this becomes their common mode of operating.
Human Beings Are Not Inherently Violent
The issue here is, the human animal was never meant to devolve into such cruel behavior.
We’re not even a carnivorous species, let alone a violent one. We are frugivorous apes who most closely resemble the morphology and biological tendencies to that of the bonobo. Despite popular belief and the persistence of our various cultures, human beings were never meant to kill other animals outside of self-defense. This aberration in our behavior only came about due to species-wide trauma and desperation during the course of our development.
One of the best indicators of an animal’s predilection for violence or its capacity for killing is to watch how it behaves as a baby.
Animals begin their formative years by mimicking the behavior of their parents in the form of “play”, that readies them for the real world, when their pouncing, running, and biting will aid them in the hunt. Look at a kitten for example: it’s in their nature to tackle one another, bite at each other’s necks, and run around chasing each other. This isn’t just for fun: it’s a biological impulse to prepare them for adulthood, to hone the skills needed in order to survive.
Now let’s look at bonobo children, or human children. They are pretty much indistinguishable from a behavior standpoint.
We begin life as meek, soft, defenseless creatures that can barely move. We suck on our own toes and roll around until we gain the ability to crawl. Then we spend our time touching and tasting everything by picking it up and chewing on it, just as a bonobo would in the wild. We appreciate a good bit of food, we’re sloppy eaters (with the jaw movements, teeth, tongues, saliva, and digestive systems of herbivores, mind you), and have an overall gentle disposition.
A human child is an interesting being. It shows none of the violent tendencies and cruel behaviors that many adults exhibit. If raised correctly in a loving environment as we would be in a natural setting like a bonobo family, human children reach toddler age being quiet, docile, gentle, complacent little beings that are often skittish but curious, have a moderate amount of energy, and who would prefer to snuggle with a bunny or bird rather than attempt to chase it down for food. Just like the bonobo.
It is well known in native cultures that still retain natural child-rearing practices, that human babies don’t normally cry and whine. This idea that human babies are these fussy, whiny, aggressive “pains-in-the-neck” to deal with have that idea because our culture lacks even the basic structure to raise a child correctly. Instead, we resort to violence: yelling, smacking, scolding, gaslighting, punishments.
In traditional cultures, the child is attended to as a baby animal would be in the wild: it never leaves the arms of its parents, it is breast-fed for years, it is continuously held and cradled, and is given the appropriate space to play, learn, make mistakes, and express itself without fear of being hit or reprimanded.
In this natural environment, human babies show the true colors of our species: a docile frugivore with absolutely no natural aggressive or violent tendencies.
Furthermore, human beings have absolutely no natural instinct to hunt prey or consume meat. The only reason why we can stomach it in the first place is because we cook it, but the fact remains, the sight and smell of blood is revolting for most of our species. A corpse even more so.
Humans lack the claws, fangs, and brute strength necessary to take down prey in the first place. We lack any sort of biology that suggests we were ever meant to kill other animals and use them as food: this habit developed out of desperation during the course of our evolution. This is the price we paid for leaving the trees and migrating away from our natural habitat.
We must put aside this idea that we need to exploit and murder animals in any way, shape, or form. It is cruel and unnecessary by every metric we have available to us. To further compound the absurdity, eating meat actually harms us. Because we never developed the biological means of digesting animal protein or dealing with the acidity of meat, our bodies are forced to leech calcium and other minerals from our bones every time we consume it. The cholesterol clogs our arteries, and we can’t even make use of the protein as much as some would have you believe, since we evolved specifically to derive our proteins from plants.
We Will Never Know Peace While Animals Suffer
Any conversation about “world peace” must include animal rights. So long as billions of innocent creatures are massacred by our hands on a yearly basis, there will never truly be peace in this world.
True peace can’t exist in a world where tens of thousands of workers around the world are expected to slit throats every day.
Peace can’t exist when billions of baby male chicks are tossed into grinders and gassed because there’s no use for them in the egg laying industry.
There will never be peace among us as a society if some members of our society have the capacity and willingness to poach elephants for their tusks or to rip the skin off of still-living rabbits and minks just for their fur. Anyone who believes otherwise is only deluding themselves, doesn’t know the human psyche, and has no conception of what peace really means.
Harmony, a peaceful culture we can all be proud of, is of course possible. Millions of people are rejecting animal cruelty every day. Veganism is the fastest growing lifestyle movement on Earth right now, and it’s only getting bigger. But we need to raise awareness and educate people. Animal rights are human rights. So long as they suffer, we suffer.
There is violence and carnage in this society because certain sick minds insist it stays that way. Immature and deranged individuals who love war, restricting the rights and freedoms of others. They salivate over the idea of owning guns, shooting living beings, going to war. They believe we are dominators instead of caretakers of the planet, and from this belief stems a thousand idiocies.
We all need to stand up and do our part to get the word out and educate others. To be sure, the horrors that are being inflicted on animals all over the world is the biggest humanitarian crisis ever. Animal agriculture is the number one leading cause of climate change. Our obsession with eating meat and dairy is not only taking the lives of billions of innocent animals every year, it is annihilating our ecosystems. Ocean dead zones, giant waste pits, contaminated ground water, increased greenhouse gases, worldwide food shortages: all a product of animal agriculture.
It’s more than that though. At the end of the day, how we treat them is a reflection and indictment of our entire species. Right now, the human race is by and large miserable, chaotic, disconnected from nature, violent, sick, and angry. Part of the reason is because of our rejection of nature and everything in it. We cannot insist on living as though we’re not a part of the web of life.
It’s only going to cause more suffering and pain.
Do your part, stand up, and raise awareness. This is a call to action, and now that you know, you can no longer claim ignorance. If you care about your own rights, care about the rights of every living being. That is what will distinguish you and help bring about a better future for everyone.
The founder of Digital Sages, Matt has an extensive background in self-mastery and has authored several books on the subject. His goal is to demystify important esoteric subjects and help people transform their lives through self-awareness and personal empowerment.