International Animal Rights Day 2011 (Spain)
10 DECEMBER 2011, Puerta del Sol, MADRID
400 ACTIVISTS GATHER FOR INTERNATIONAL ANIMAL RIGHTS DAY
On 10 December 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to prevent World War II and the concentration camp horrors being repeated. Only by recognising every human's fundamental rights without concession, could there be any chance of an end to similar tragedies. Thus, the United Nations declared that respect and dignity for human beings are “the foundations for freedom, justice and peace in the world”.
In 1970, 22 years after the Declaration of Human Rights by the UN, and more than three decades ago, the term speciesism was coined for the discrimination of sentient beings because of the species they belong to. Like racism and sexism, speciesism has no justification. However, we continue to live in a speciesist society; in every country in the world, other animals are considered property and their interests have no value. The value of their entire lives is dependent only by their market price.
We have gathered here today to show society the consequences of speciesism. Each and every one of these dead bodies was once an animal like us all. These animals just wanted to live their lives. But speciesism didn't allow it. The discrimination they suffered because they weren't born human didn't allow it.
We are here today in deep sorrow for all of them, for all the animals waiting for their turn inside slaughterhouses, for all animals in laboratories, for all who are in circuses and zoos, for animals that die in the bullrings, and for those who suffocate in the fishing nets … But today we are also hopeful. The hope is to see how more and more people become aware that there is no need to live off the lives of other animals. That there is an alternative. That the animal rights movement is a movement not only legitimate but necessary if we want to live in peace with others on this planet.
Our hope grows as we see more and more people choosing to live a vegan lifestyle, and how more and more people decide, as all have here today, to become animal rights activists.
In this year, 2011, our movement - the animal rights movement - very young in Spain, has suffered the largest attack in its history. Twelve activists were arrested on 22 June in an attempt to criminalise events like today's. These activists are awaiting trial, and they want to send a message to all of you who are standing here today:
"Have no fear. Don't allow our unjust arrests make you doubt or fear. You are part of the most altruistic social struggle in history. You are the seed for a better world. You are the hope, the only hope for millions of animals. Please don't be afraid. Raise your head up proud and say: I am part of the animal rights movement”.
For all of them. For the animals. For a better world towards veganism and the end of speciesism.
You can make a difference, and be part of the change: