The Contradiction of Our Country

written by: Tennessee Tillery.

Human rights, something everyone would agree are important, animal rights however, tend not to arouse such strong emotions. Different countries and cultures put different levels of importance on how animals are treated, even within the United States. There are  many different stances and reasons that make it difficult to have one unbiased stance on the importance of animal rights. To remedy this there’s been a multitude of attempts to produce a system to rate laws and protections of animals in different countries as well as their efficacy, this need ended in the creation of the Animal Protection Index. Another part to consider is how organizations manipulate people’s perception of these laws and the overall culture of animal ownership, but what is by far the most interesting part of  Despite the United State’s positive rating in the “Animal Protection Index”, the protections and laws protecting animals can vary from state to state.

 

When attempting to judge a country’s treatment of animals as well and its laws and regulations, it’s inevitable that you would find the “Animal Protection Index.” this is likely the most accurate and reliable resource to judge a country’s treatment of animals compared to the rest of the world, and has even been called “groundbreaking”.using this you can see specific countries rating compared to others in the animal protection index. When looking at the United States ratings in the animal protection index you can see that it’s actually very high, earning good marks in most categories.

 

One important part of the United States view on animal rights and protections is the organizations founded to protect them. Not only are there a great assortment of these companies but all seem to be unique in their activism and strategies they use to achieve these goals, a few happen to be quite questionable, one being “the people for ethical treatment of animals” or “PETA.” This company has created a style of animal protection activism that is strange to say the least, utilizing the sexualisation of women’s bodies, as well as sickening and false images to try to point the public’s attention to topics they believe are important. Not only are these advertisements degrading to women and a harmful reminder of domestic abuse, but many times what they claim has no scientific backing and spreads misinformation at a time where it is so critically  an issue. For example here’s a post that was recently added to PETA’s Official Twitter.

However companies such as this are rare, and are vastly overwhelmed by those such as ASPCA, and American Humane Society, which make no outrageous claims or attempt to manipulate people into doing what they believe, At our own Berkeley Humane they have incredibly high ratings and a multitude of positive experiences waiting inside the doors. When comparing different organizations focused on animal rights there are many factors to consider and nearly impossible to judge, and it stands to reason that it’s even more difficult to stay impartial. But some favors must be considered such as the euthanization rate of their shelters and the ethical code of the company.

PETA is a company that repeatedly pledges that their goal is to protect animals, but if you look at the percentage of euthanization cases per year it tells a different story, it’s now known that at PETA shelters they euthanize over 90% of the animals that enter their shelters, claiming that it’s protecting animals by preventing their domestication. This belief is however not shared by the Berkeley Humane Society which euthanizes less than 10% of the animals, ensuring almost all go to safe and secure homes.

But even though companies do have a large effect of how we treat domestic animals, there may be a larger underlying cause, there is very little countrywide legislation around animal rights, most of the laws and regulations are left up to the state to decide upon causing an incredible disparity between some states and others. This is one of the main objects of interest relating to animal rights in America, because between some states the difference seems almost ridiculous. One example of this is how in Texas you can be fined up to 4,000 dollars for animal abuse while in others it can be as low as 25 to 40 dollars maximum.

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However despite the regulations in place how they are enforced can vary, for example in Texas even with the heavy repercussions they are virtually inconsequential because of how lax the enforcement is for domestic animals. This is one of the main reasons that some states rating can be so low while the national rating remains high, because each individual state does have their own laws the enforcement of these laws are unevenly enforced.

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