October 4, believed to be the birthday of St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, is celebrated worldwide every year as World Day for Animals.
And while animal welfare groups throughout the world call for a better deal for animals by way of welfare reforms, the international animal rights movement, represented most visibly and actively in South Africa by Animal Rights Africa (ARA), calls on South Africans to change the way they think about animals and also to alter their lifestyle so as to eliminate all products that are derived from the many forms of animal abuse and exploitation that characterize our relationship with animals, both wild and domestic.
“We are not interested in larger cages, or more humane methods of slaughter, or more refined methods of laboratory animal research”, said an ARA spokesperson. “In supporting these cosmetic changes that are touted by animal welfare bodies, and the big business multi-nationals” who are behind the massive institutionalized animal exploitation industry, we are delaying real reform, prolonging the injustice that characterizes our relationship with non-human animals, and playing right into the hands of those who profit most from animal exploitation and abuse”.
Over fifty billion sentient, intelligent animals are slaughtered worldwide for food every year. During the same period countless billions of fish are dragged from the oceans and millions of other land animals are shot or trapped. Over two hundred million animals die in biomedical, warfare and other research programmes, and futher countless millions of animals are incarcerated for life in cages in homes, zoos, circuses and oceanariums. All of this is tolerated, even promoted, by people who ludicrously claim to care about “animal welfare”, even “love “animals.
ARA calls on animal-caring people throughout South Africa to re-examine their relationship with animals so that they give consideration to what animals endure as they are forced to suffer and are then killed to provide us with the food, and other trappings that we take for granted as we go about our daily lives. Let October 4th, 2007 be the day upon which thinking South Africans take their first step towards a new, cruelty-free lifestyle. “The most effective thing that any person can do towards ending animal suffering is to become a vegan”, says ARA.
For more information on how to help animals and end their unnecessary suffering and death, visit the ARA website at www.animalrightsafrica.org .
Contact : Steve Smit (Durban) – 082 659 4711 or Michele Pickover (Johannesburg) – 082 253 2124