Animal rights is a very contentious issue because in a world where there are no human rights, animal rights are defined not as a prevention measure but more as an after-effect measure as a direct outflow of the lack of support we provide to each other as individuals.
If we look at the patterns that emerge when you have a society that allows extreme poverty to exist, the animal starts playing the role of ‘love’ in the life of the poor. The poor feel – and this is not a generalization, this is a pattern – that they are ‘un-loved by the system’ and thus they search for some form of recognition, some form of appreciation and this is defined with animals – then, suffering together when there is not enough money for food is seen as benevolent.
Within the Basic Income Guaranteed proposal we suggest that pets should not be a commodity, so that pets are not bred for money and that there is a measure and prevention instituted to ensure this is in fact applied. We also suggest that the veterinary profession falls in the same category as the health-care profession and a medical profession, which are professions that do the work they do because it’s a calling and a personal vocation. With the Basic Income Guaranteed one of the effects that will happen with for instance circuses where animals are trained to entertain for the purposes of making money, is that people will instead be able to rather easily become an animal/nature conservationist because their basic needs will be met. Thus, if their calling is to work with animals = they can do so! Thus nature conservation and animal rights will receive a far more effective level of support from the human race within the Basic Income Guaranteed system.
At this stage the plight of the animals – especially in countries where there is extreme poverty – has become excessive, this causes the explosion of animal populations that causes more hardship and suffering. The animals form packs and start to work together to try and find food, they are then blamed for their behavior, but their behavior is a direct result of the economic conditions that’s allowed to be existent in the world among humans, it is thus a direct effect of the human influence on them. These types of scenarios will be prevented once the human is no longer under threat by the economy and we stop disregarding each other when it comes to human rights.
The conclusion is that animal rights and human rights are intrinsically linked – the two will develop together. This is why we suggest to all animal activists: the way to truly support animals is to support a Basic Income Guaranteed that is sufficient to meet every human being’s basic needs – and their basic needs may as well be a pet, therefore that pet will have sufficient support to have a decent and enjoyable life.
Equal Life Foundation Research Team