Dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, and even wild animals like lions, bears, elephants … and every existing living animal in the world are not very different from you and I. They all have the right to live without fear of being hunted, tortured or abused.
In our own homes, there is a reason that so many of us animal lovers treat our pets in the same way we treat our children, and why many of us consider them part of our family. Like children, dogs and cats need our protection, period. They are fully dependent on us for food, good health and safety.
My hope for our world is that we, collectively as a society realize that animals need our protection and that we work together to ensure that animals are treated with care, become vigilant about animal abuse in any shape or form, and punish those who harm animals in any way.
Nobel Peace Prize winner archbishop Desmond Tutu released a statement on animal welfare which was part of a foreword for the Global Guide to Animal Protection. In it, he wrote:
There are other issues of justice–not only for human beings but also for the world’s other sentient creatures. The matter of the abuse and cruelty we inflict on other animals has to fight for our attention in what sometimes seems an already overfull moral agenda. It is vital, however, that these instances of injustice not be overlooked.
I have seen firsthand how injustice gets overlooked when the victims are powerless or vulnerable, when they have no one to speak up for them and no means of representing themselves to a higher authority. Animals are in precisely that position. Unless we are mindful of their interests and speak out loudly on their behalf, abuse and cruelty go unchallenged.