Animals are the largest community of sentient beings, yet are exploited for the sole purpose of human consumption. Be it for fashion or food, medicine or sport, the one thread that ties all cruelty towards animals together is the long-standing belief that animals are here for us, not with us.
In India, as in many other nations, our laws classify animals as ‘property,’ no different than a table or a chair or a car, offering protection based on the ‘worth’ they hold for humans, devoid of any intrinsic value. Thankfully, we live in a world marked by its gradual shift toward equality. And it’s high time we demand equality for animals.
With this aim in mind, Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations (FIAPO) has taken a bold step forward: demanding legal personhood for the Asian Elephant on grounds of their intrinsic value and dignity.
The immediate objective is to secure the status of legal “persons” in India for the Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus), and we are demanding that all begging elephants in the Indian states of Punjab and Gujarat are immediately rehabilitated into sanctuaries on grounds of their intrinsic value. Read our submission to the states here and here.
Our supporters include: Anjali Gopalan, India’s foremost champion of LGBT rights, Naz foundation; Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation; and Christine Townend, author of Walking with Elephants.
So come join FIAPO’s biggest, boldest initiative by signing the declaration demanding the rights and dignity for all animals and become a part of this landmark campaign for animals in India. Sign the declaration here.
Featured image: Elephant in front of the temple. Credit: Dietmut Teijgeman-Hansen, used under CC BY-SA 2.0