Humans kill an overwhelming number of animals every year. More than 56 billion are killed for food alone, excluding sea animals. This death rate amounts approximately 3,000 animals dying a second worldwide. These statistics are devastating and shocking and doesn’t even include the animals killed for fashion or research and testing.
As an animal lover, hearing these statistics can be absolutely devastating, but it is extremely important to remember that despite all the cruelty, there is also an incredible amount of good being done by unrelenting animal advocates. In fact, we have made many positive strides forward to help animals across the world. Many places are beginning to institute bans on a wide variety of animals products viewed as the worst of the worst. These changes are making an impact worldwide, and are an example that the rest of the world should follow. The examples below show there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for animals, and will hopefully provide motivation for people to continue similar work.
1. Fur is Out in West Hollywood!
In 2013, West Hollywood banned selling fur clothes. High-end boutiques were not happy about the change, but the animals definitely were. Some boutiques even protested via their pro-fur windows displays. While the ban may hurt some of their pocket books, this seems a small price to pay for animals to keep their own coats.
2. Foie Gras Ban in Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil, recently announced it would stop the selling and production of foie gras. Foie gras is produced by force-feeding ducks until their livers swell up to ten times the healthy size, a process that is extremely painful for the animals. This is not the first place to ban foie gras, and hopefully this trend will continue.
3. Cows Find Safe Haven in Maharashtra
India’s president recently approved a ban on the slaughter of cows, including a prohibition on eating and selling cows in Maharashtra. This western state in India includes Mumbai, which is India’s biggest city. The legislation, known as the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, took 19 years to pass and includes a ban on killing bulls, bullocks, or even having beef. Seeing such a large country take a stand is certainly hopeful. Unfortunately, beef is still the country’s largest export, but that may change in the future as attitudes shift even more.
4. Europe Bans the Sale of Cosmetics Tested on Animals
While animal testing is not exactly an animal product, it certainly is equally harmful to animals since it is painful and usually results in death. The European Coalition to End Animal Experiments pushed to end the sale of animal tested products in the European Union, and it succeeded in 2013. In March 2013, any cosmetics or hygiene related products tested on animals, including the individual ingredients, were outlawed in the European Union. Not only is this a success in terms of getting the products off the shelves, it also pressures companies to end animal testing as well as seek alternatives.
5. Sharks Can Keep Swimming in California
Shark Fin Soup, a traditional Chinese dish, has become notorious for its cruelty, for obvious reasons. California moved to ban this inhumane soup in 2011, citing the fact that the demand for shark fins in California increased the overall shark fin market demand. This was, unsurprisingly, contributing to the declining shark population. The legislation made selling or serving shark fin soup illegal. There was an immediate reaction on both sides, with opponents claiming it discriminated against the Chinese community among other arguments. Luckily, California successfully defended the ban.
6. Russia Bans Seal Slaughter
Most people are aware of the cruelty of hunting seals, particularly in Canada. In Russia, though, the harp seal hunt ended in 2009. A 2011 ban also stopped the import and export of seal skins. These actions were progressed due to a petition signed by 400,000 people in 2008 encouraging Russia to end harp seal hunts. See what an amazing impact people can have for animals!
Keep the Momentum Going!
Bans can seem overwhelming, and cause an immediate reaction, often negative, from people. This shouldn’t discourage you, though. There are a wide variety of places to start, but often the easiest and most accessible is a petition. A petition, along with an event to gain attention such as a small protest, can pave the way for reform. The examples in this article show that real change is possible with enough work and education.
Lead image source: Albert Herring/Wikimedia Commons