Animal welfare is the physical and psychological well-being of animals. Animal welfare science uses measures like longevity, disease, immunosuppression, behaviour, physiology, and reproduction, although there is debate over which indicators provide the best information.
This implies that systematic concern for animal welfare can be based on awareness that non-human animals are susceptive and that consideration should be given to their well-being, especially when they are exploited by humans. There are practices that affect the objective of Animal Welfarism such as Animal Testing and Animal Farming while there are some practices that aid the goal of Animal Welfarism.
PRACTICES AFFECTING ANIMAL WELFARE:
Animal Farming: Animal Agriculture or Animal Farming, is the mass industrialization of the breeding, raising, and slaughter of animals for human consumption. As the whole point of the Animal-farm goal of efficiency is to produce as many animals as possible while maximizing profits, the animals suffer the most from it.
Animal Testing: Animal Testing is considered to be valuable for advances in human health, the development of cosmetics, and the discovery of cures and medications. To achieve these goals, different kinds of tests are performed in the laboratory. Many of the animals subjected to animal testing end up dying as a result of the testing.
PRACTICES AIDING ANIMAL WELFARE:
Ethical Veganism: Ethical veganism isn’t just about not eating animals and animal products, but about not relying on animals in any form or fashion i.e., not using fur nor wearing leather as well as avoiding other products that rely on animals. These factors affect the objectives of Animal Welfarism in some way, either positively or negatively.
Many researchers use Five Freedoms Concept to define animal welfare. According to this concept, animals should be: free from hunger and thirst; free from discomfort; freedom from pain and disease; freedom from fear and distress; free to express normal behavior.
“The law is made for men and allows no fellowship or bonds of obligation between them and the lower animals.” Animals have long been considered as ‘legal things’ and not ‘legal persons.’ Legal persons have their own rights, legal things don’t, where legal persons may exercise property rights over the legal things. However, this status provides indirect protection of laws intended to preserve social morality or the rights of the animal owners, where criminal or civil statues permit owners for compensation for inflicting damage on their animals.
A legal thing can become a legal person; this has been often observed when a slave was freed, wherein the former legal thing then possesses his own legal rights and remedies. Parallels have frequently been drawn between the legal status of animals and that of human slaves. The American jurist Roscoe Pound wrote that in ancient Rome a slave “was a thing, and as such, like animals could be the object of rights of property.” In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, humanitarian reformers in Britain and the United States campaigned on behalf of the weak and defenseless, including the cruel treatment of animals.
Martin’s Act (1822), made it a crime to treat a handful of domesticated animals—cattle, oxen, horses, and sheep—cruelly or to inflict unnecessary suffering upon them. Laws such as the federal Animal Welfare Act (1966), for example, regulated what humans may do to animals in agriculture, biomedical research, entertainment, and other areas. But neither Martin’s Act nor many subsequent animal-protection statutes altered the traditional legal status of animals as legal things.
The founders of the Indian Constitution were sensitive towards the topic of animal interests and their protection which is evident from the Article 51(A) G of the Indian Constitution which reads as: It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.
India first embarked on its endeavours to promote animal welfare and ensure animal safety with the enactment of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act in 1960 (‘the PCA Act’). There has been significant progress there on, which can be seen in the development of various laws and policies like those on the treatment of performing animals and the ban on animal testing of cosmetics . The Animal Welfare Board of India under Section 4 of the act is set to guard animals from being exposed to excessive torment.
Section 11 of the Act mentions the condition under which a demonstration is perceived to be brutality against animals. The arrangement expresses that slaughtering any animal in any pointlessly savage way is a culpable offence. The discipline for the said offense, on account of a first offense, is fine which is between ten rupees to fifty rupees and on account of a second or consequent offense with fine which is between twenty-five rupees to one hundred rupees and a maximum of three months of imprisonment on repetition of the said acts.
In May 2014, the Supreme Court of India delivered a sensational judgement banning certain bullfighting practices. The Court, in its analysis, sought to bring animals under the protection of the rights discourse by stating that Article 21 of the Constitution of India could be applied to animal life. The Court stated that the term ‘life’ must be expansively interpreted. As animals form a crucial part of human beings’ environment, their rights must also be protected under Article 21. In 2000, the Kerala High Court, in N.R. Nair v. Union of India , considered the question of extending fundamental rights to animals and emphasised that legal rights should not be “the exclusive preserve of humans which has to be extended beyond people thereby dismantling the thick legal wall with humans all on one side and all non-human animals on the other side”. This view was further developed by the Supreme Court in Animal Welfare Board of India v. A. Nagaraja . Karnail Singh and Ors. vs. State of Haryana is a revolutionary judgment in which the judiciary took the matter of animal rights in the extent of Fundamental Rights. The doctrine of parens patriae which states the duty of the state to provide protection for those who are unable to protect themselves which was earlier limited to humans, has now also included non-humans in the range of this doctrine.
The concept of Animal Welfarism is a great approach towards the betterment of Animal life and it should be accepted worldwide because its recognition globally can be really beneficial for the ecology. Even though the organizations in the business of Animal Farming and Testing might consider Animal Welfarism as not a practical approach, it is still undeniable that these activities affect the ecology in many ways. It is true that these businesses can not be shut down just because of the reason of Animal Welfarism, but it can be limited to the extent that it does no harm to the ecology nor animals. These big businesses have a huge market of their own and it is understandable that profit is the purpose of every business, but there are some social responsibilities that these organizations should comply with. Thus, the best way to tackle such a situation is to not harm the animals while testing and limiting the farming of animals to not affect the ecology. Balancing these factors together could help making the society better for both humans and animals.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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