We, animal welfare advocates, have “rights” when it comes to helping animals who hurt, because we are hurting inside for them and us. We know what it feels like to be fatherless and motherless like many animals are, although many of us have fathers and mothers, even if they were not what we hoped for. We know what it feels like to be lonely like many animals are, and we “hurt” for the animals who are lonely and want to be their friend. We know what it feels like to be caged up, literally and figuratively, like many animals are, and we want both animals and ourselves to break free from these cages.
We, animal welfare advocates, have “rights” when it comes to speaking up for the “voiceless” animals and not be ashamed or even shamed for that. Many of you, when we talk about animal welfare issues, want to “humanize” our cause. When we speak up for an animal welfare cause, many of you will say, “what about children?” or “what about the homeless?” It is actually very insulting to do this, as it makes us feel that we DON’T have “rights” to care about animal welfare, in and of itself, because you have brought in the human angle when that was not who we were speaking up for. We know you mean well, but we do not like this. It actually takes away from our speaking up for the animal welfare cause that we feel is admirable and lofty, in and of itself. Many of you do not care that we anthropomorphize animals, though we have every right to do just that. We don’t want you to “de-anthropomorphize” what we feel in our hearts are our “rights” regarding animal welfare.
We, animal welfare advocates, have “rights” to protect the innocent, those without a voice, those without a champion, that the animals so desperately need. We know that children are innocent, as well, and we do very much care about children. But we are animal welfare advocates, which means we stand up for animals and not children. We do hope that if you wish to advocate for the innocent children, that you will. But please allow us our “rights” to advocate for the innocent animals, as we believe this is exactly what God has purposed us for.
We, animal welfare advocates, truly and “rightfully” are upset when:
- A dog or cat is bred to have puppies and kittens, when we already have numerous homeless dogs and cats in shelters. We do NOT support breeding but only spay and neuter until there is not one single dog or cat in a shelter needing a loving, forever home.
- A mother cow has her babies immediately torn from her on factory farms for her milk for her babies. As mentioned regarding the fatherless and motherless, we believe all animals born should spend their entire lives with their father and mother to be loved and never abandoned.
- An animal is put in a research lab to be tested on and tortured. Many of you will say, “I am a human, NOT an animal,” and if that be the case, then why test on and torture animals for human concerns?
- An animal is taken out of the wild and put into a circus, amusement park, or zoo for human domination. We believe that God made wild animals “wild,” meaning they need to stay in the wild and be allowed the freedom to run and play and love in the wild.
- An animal is killed for fur or leather or feathers or other human clothing products. God gave humans skin, same as God gave animals fur or leather or feathers or other outer protection. We do not want anyone killing an animal to wear that animals’ protection that God gave him or her.
- Speaking of “him” and “her,” we very much dislike when someone refers to an animal as an “it.” An animal is NOT an “it,” as an “it” is an inanimate, nonfeeling object that is not alive. Animals ARE animate and NOT objects who feel and are alive, so out of respect and their “rights,” they deserve to be called “him” or “her,” as applicable.
- An animal is hunted for sport. Truth be told, we don’t like any hunting at all, because we care very much for the family unit, and we do not feel it is kind to kill an animal, even for food, as that animal has a family who will grieve for him or her when he or she is killed.
- A farm animal is put on a factory farm and kept in the most intense confinement and kicked and assaulted by factory farm workers, only to have their life taken from them at slaughter for their meat. We do not wish to get into an argument about whether one should eat meat or not. We only feel we have “rights” to personally not eat meat because we do not support any industry that abuses farm animals which belong to God and, thus, should be treated as “good,” as God stated they were at creation (Genesis 1:25). We know that these same animals have feelings and suffer and feel pain, and we do not want to inflict that on them or support anyone who does, so that is why most (if not all) of us are vegetarians or vegans.
We, animal welfare advocates, have “rights” to actually like people, which many of us do, and would never in a million years NOT help a fellow human who is in pain or suffering. But, once again, we are animal welfare advocates, and this means we speak up for the voiceless animals and wish not to be derailed from this under any circumstances.
We, animal welfare advocates, pray you can accept our “rights” to speak up for the voiceless animals, to never shy away from helping them when they need us, and to always go to bat for them, even to the point of personal suffering and/or mental/emotional difficulties.
Please accept these “rights,” so that we can accept your “rights” to stand up for whatever or whomever you care to make your own personal cause to fight for. We, animal welfare advocates, pray that each person will stand up for the cause that he or she believes in, because then all could leave in peace and there would be no pain or suffering in this world.
Always and ONLY for the animals, as we are animal welfare advocates,
Timothy J. Verret