Animal rights and protection have been a contentious issue for several years, not only in India but also across the world. Quite simply, animal welfare is the well being of animals. While there is no objective definition for the well-being of animals, there are generally accepted standards and codes across the world on animal protection, animal rights, animal welfare etc. The primary belief behind the provision of such welfare is that animals are also conscious beings that have the ability to feel and sense things. However, even this is widely debated. This may sound appalling to any animal lover but there are oppositions to providing even the least of care to wild animals.
While the Indian Constitution makes it very clear that we as citizens have a fiduciary duty to the environment and everything in it, there are also 2 laws as well as IPC codes to direct this. However, the last amendment to this was in 1976, which is quite a while ago and probably not strong enough to deal with newer issues like cosmetic testing etc. This is why there are also animal protection organizations and animal welfare institutes working towards this voluntarily. They have their own codes and are led by the general philosophy of respecting everything on this planet. A very popular animal welfare non-profit organization is PETA. While it’s based in the US, it has subsidiaries across the world and they work almost tirelessly to expose animals suffering in labs because of testing, in the clothing and food industry and even the entertainment industry. Similarly, there are several NGOs working exclusively in India as well.World Animal Welfare Day is observed on Oct 4 every year to raise awareness about the dire need for better standards of animal treatment and animal protection as well as our crucial role in ensuring we give them this. Since we as humans are at the top of the food chain and have a conscience, it is our responsibility to ensure that we don’t misuse this beautiful world we have been given. And animal welfare isn’t only about our pets like dogs and cats- it extends to every species of non-human being on Earth. So, this animal welfare day, let’s try a little more to make the world a little better for these creatures.