Continuous violation of human, animal and nature rights degrade our world, our environment and consequently the lives of animals and our own lives. This violation can vary from an unintended pollution of the ocean to the torture and killing of animals for the fun of it.
Why are we so upset by these violations, caused and sustained by ignorance, abuse of power, greed and cruelty? Because these violations breach our defense of the bare life we vowed to protect in our self-made “rights”.

And we are upset because we learned that passiveness and signing petitions does not stop these destructive forces. How can passiveness stop destruction? It never did and it never will. The massive energy we put in petitions to authorities is in no proportion to the little effect. We never need petitions to authorities understanding the true meaning of rights. Why do we always have to petition and beg to people who have the key to justice but are the least inclined to provide it?

We very well know that “rights” are a human invention, requiring a human intention to protect a defined value or interest. But “having rights” gives no protection as rights are passive as well. It is a promise of justice that may never knock on your door. As we know from the human rights movement you have to activate those rights to get justice.

What about the rights of animals and nature? Who exercises those rights? Who defends and guarantees their quality of life and sustenance? Who stops their neglect, abuse, torture, destruction and extinction?
As animals and nature are defenceless, it is clear that we have to exercise their rights according to our underlying intentions for their protection. So we have to stand up and take action.

Statement 1:
The exercise of animal and nature rights is a human duty, demanding constant vigilance and action to secure these rights

If we flaunt those rights as proof of the level of our civilization, how could we build up such a miserable record protecting animals and nature? Are those rights flaunted as a cover or counter-argument against accusations of wilful violation? And if so, are the rights violated or is the law violated?

As we enforce those rights with according laws, we can surmise that the “spirit of the law” is consistent with the right it derives from. As it turns out this is no guarantee for justice.

Regarding animal rights the “letter of the law” in the EU drifted far away from this intention. The “spirit” was raped to meet the demands of cultural, religious and economic interests. The resulting legislation is alienated from animal welfare and tuned to public health and financial profit.

Probably the most shameless and violent disregard of animal welfare is the bullfight. If bullfighters “enjoy the legal right” to do their fun-killing act under political protection, animal rights are null and void.

If we are caught in the full bullfight monty exercising the ritual in a meadow behind our house, we are either lynched by the farmers, nursed with loving care in a closed psychiatric ward for the rest of our life, or imprisoned for the most repulsive crime of the century. How can the same acts be heroic and legal inside an arena?

How can exclusively for torture and killing designed instruments for bullfights – deliberately inflicting irreversible lethal damage – be legal?

It is clear that such extreme effects of faulty legislation, contradicting the rights it is based on, lead to a total absence of justice.

In short, we get upset when legal justice creates social injustice. We know that, the courts know that, the culprits and their accomplices who inflict the damage know that. And that must stop!

Statement 2:
The “letter of the law” must never contradict the “spirit of the law”

Crippled justice creates room for denial and violation of animal rights, and also explains the tenacity of the resistance against animal rights activities. The denial is expressed in omitting the word “rights” in the title “animal activist”, hinting at terrorism to outlaw animal protection efforts.

We hardly realize that the issue of animal welfare constantly influences our choices, our habits and our physical and mental health, having the highest impact on our daily life.
Animal rights turns out to be the most emotionally charged battlefield as the culprits and victims live around us.

Violation of animal rights causes physical (heart, stomach) and mental (depression, suicidal) diseases in people suffering under incomprehensible pictures of condoned or legalized extreme animal abuse. Amongst them we see compassionate people ruining themselves on a desperate rescue of the sick and maimed “live waste” dumped by irresponsible owners.
Because of their personality structure compassionate people are sensitive for the suffering of the victims and vulnerable to the impact of injustice.

Statement 3:
It is a human right to be guarded from suffering

The physical and mental damage by suffering is not restricted to the violation of human and animal rights, but can also be caused by destruction of nature.
The playgrounds of human, animal and nature rights may have different structures and dynamics, with diverging scopes and tactics.
But whatever their differences in background, focus or motivation, all activists have a few characteristics in common:

They have the drive to achieve legal and social justice for the victims of the violation of their rights, be it nature, animals or man.
They made the implicit or explicit pledge to stop and eliminate every legal or illegal violation of the dignity, quality and sustainability of life.
They push back the suffering of witnesses of violation of rights.

So it makes sense to recognize activists as a positive force to obtain justice where law fails to prevent or stop violation of rights. We cannot fail that duty. As “there are no rights without obligations” it makes sense to lay down the fact that a human duty is a human right.

Statement 4:
It is a human right to exercise a human duty

Compassionate people – either unvoluntary exposed to suffering or actively involved in these duties – cannot avoid suffering themselves. If not physical, the impact of suffering always has a damaging effect on the mental state, turning them gradually into the sorry state of victims as well.
So the simple fact of “being there”, witnessing suffering can ruin your life.

Which leads to the final conclusion:

Statement 5:
It is a human right – and duty – to stop suffering

We know that a new generation is absorbing the values of life, the significance of rights and the duties to make rights come true.
They are very active restoring the balance of nature in different parts of our globe, understanding that “only activists can save the world”!

~ Marius Donker



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The science is conclusive: animals are emotional beings

September 2012
Prominent scientists sign declaration that animals have conscious awareness, just like us