SINCE THE DAWN OF HUMANITY, there remains a group so persistently abused and marginalized, that their suffering is ingrained in our everyday lives. If animals could talk, their chorus of cries would drown out every other sound in the world. We are all animals. We are all living, breathing beings who share the same Earth. We all feel pain and suffer when we are hurt or deprived of our lives, our families, our freedom. We all have the right to experience kindness, compassion and dignity. We believe in the kinship of all beings, and the possibility for us to coexist in peace and harmony on planet Earth.
CONSIDERING that all living beings on planet Earth came originally from the same source, and follow the same evolutional principles;
CONSIDERING that all living beings on planet Earth inhabit the same lands, seas and air, and therefore share them and their resources to live within, and to live off of, comprising one ecological system;
CONSIDERING that all living beings possess the same basic needs: to survive, to seek happiness and pleasure and avoid pain, to live comfortably, to procreate, create families and other social structures;
CONSIDERING that all living beings, as known to humankind, are sentient beings, and therefore can feel pain, pleasure, sensations, feelings and emotions;
CONSIDERING that the human species is only one of millions of animal species, and comprises a minute minority in number, compared to the billions of animals living on this planet;
WE HEREBY PROCLAIM THAT:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all beings are created equal, and have a right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of their Happiness.
Therefore, all animals have the same natural right to exist, as any other living being.
All animals have the right to be free, to live their lives on their own terms, as intended by nature.
All animals have the right to eat, sleep, be physically and psychologically comfortable, be mobile, healthy, safe, and fulfill all their natural and essential needs. As such, all animals are to be free from hunger, thirst, and malnutrition; physical discomfort and exhaustion; confinement against their will, bad treatment, abusive or cruel actions; pain, injury and disease; fear and distress; and free to express their normal patterns of behavior.
All animals have the right to reproduce, live with their offspring, families, tribes or communities, and maintain a natural social life. They have the right to live in their natural environment, grow to a rhythm natural to their species, and maintain a life that corresponds to their natural longevity.
Animals are not the property or commodity of humans, and are not theirs to use for their benefit or sustenance. Therefore, they are to be free from slavery, exploitation, oppression, victimization, brutality, abuse, and any other treatment that disregards their safety, own free will and dignity. They should not be slaughtered for food, killed for their skins, experimented on, killed for religious purposes, used for forced labor, abused and killed for sport and entertainment, abused for commercial profit, hunted, persecuted or exterminated for human pleasure, need, or other ends.
Humans shall do whatever is within their means to protect all animals. Any animal who is dependent on a human, has the right to proper sustenance and care, and shall not be neglected, abandoned, or killed.
Animals who have died must be treated with respect and dignity, as humans are.
We call for the protection of these rights. They must be recognized and defended by law, as human rights are. Any act which compromises the well being or survival of an animal or species, or jeopardizes, contradicts, or deprives an animal or species of the rights listed above, should be deemed a crime, and should be punished accordingly.
IN WITNESS THEREOF, this Declaration is hereby signed today, Sunday, June 5th 2011, The First National Animal Rights Day, in the City of New York, The United States of America.