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International Animal Rights Day

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2nd International Animal Rights Day (IARD)
10th December 1999

"We seek to undermine tyranny in all its forms and promote peace and harmony for all the inhabitants of this planet."

Above: Photos from Uncaged Campaigns' and Loughborough Animal Concern's candlelit vigil outside Harlan UK, in Belton, Loughborough, UK.

Since the launch of the Universal Declaration of Animal Rights we’ve had an excellent response. This campaign has, so far, received international backing from organisations representing hundreds of thousands of people in from Australia to Austria, including  the leading UK-based national organisations, dozens of local groups, and several British celebrities. (Click here for full list)

There is currently a greater public and political debate about the concept of basic animal rights. Political and legal procedures have been undertaken to establish rights for great apes (chimpanzees share all but 1% our genes) in New Zealand (where great strides have been made), the USA and the European Community. Such concerns have led to the cessation of the exploitation of great apes for vivisection in the UK, and increasing public and political concern for the plight of all non-human primates.

Like last year on December 10th 1999, the 51st anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), candlelit vigils took place at many locations across Britain, Europe and the USA where the rights of animals are ignored - where animals suffer pain and death. The vigils paid tribute to the UDHR’s immense significance towards the protection of human lives, and endeavoured to take the principles contained in the Declaration one step further to include all sentient beings.

The vigil organised by Uncaged Campaigns was well attended, despite the freezing weather, and the delicious vegan BBQ certainly warmed a few souls! The amount of banners and posters (all lit up) and candles, lamps and flares certainly got the message across very well. This was evidenced by the amount of 'toots' from passing motorists, and enquiries from locals who had always believed this hell-hole to be 'merely' a farm.

There were many other similar actions that took place across the UK, and beyond. Below is a list of those that we have received details of so far:

Uncaged Campaigns: Vigil at Harlan in Belton, Leicestershire on 10 Dec from 4pm to 7pm, plus a vegan BBQ and speeches.

Alliance for Animal Rights: Picket outside Barnardo's Furriers, Grafton Street, Dublin City Centre. 12-2pm.

Amy Rawson and Co: Vigil at Reading University.

Croydon Animal Aid: Table of candles outside East Croydon Station and opposite bus stops (like last year) & white doves of peace.

Dyrebeskyttelsen Norge: Launching Norwegian counterpart (incl. stunt/vigil).

Edinburgh Animal Rights: Vigil at Quintiles laboratory on Heriot Watt University campus. 10pm-1am.

Intl. Animal Rescue: Leafletting (&vigil?) in Mauritius.

Ipswich Animal Aid: Vigil at Huntingdon Life Sciences in Eye, Suffolk.

JFA, Brighton, &  Save the Shamrock Monkeys: Vigil/demo at Shamrock Farm.

Lincs AWS: Vigil at Covance, Harrogate or Bantin & Kingman, Hull.

Rocky Mtn Animal Defense: Leafletting (&vigil?)

SARG & Sheff.Uni AR: Vigil outside Sheffield University, and leafletting throughout the day.

Solihull Animal Aid: Vigil at John Summers broiler chicken farm, Tanworth-in-Arden (off B4101between A34 & A435).

SQAT: Vigil at Quintiles lab on Bromyard Rd, Ledbury, Herefords (100 yards from Ledbury Station). 4.30pm - 8.30pm.

West Wales Animal Aid: Vigil outside slaughterhouse in Cardigan then leafletting of Tescos re: turkeys & veg (etari) anism etc.

YorkLEAF: Vigil outside Smith & Nephew office in York University science park.

Northampton Animal Alliance: Picket & vigil at Huntingdon Life Sciences, Cambridgeshire.

Covance Campaign: Vigil at Covance Laboratories Ltd., off Otley Rd, Harrogate.

The movement for animal rights consciously builds on a commitment to the notion of fundamental human rights. These are rights that do not spring from contracts with other members of society (hypothetical or otherwise). Instead, they arise from a recognition of the inherent value of all sentient, conscious animals, including humans. All animals should be treated with the respect they are due as ends-in-themselves, rather than a means to an end. It is this respect that prevents the exploitation and destruction of the innocent, one of our most fundamental moral intuitions.

The beneficiaries of animal rights are the vulnerable and powerless of all species and all countries. We seek to undermine tyranny in all its forms and promote peace and harmony for all inhabitants of this planet.

Animal rights is the morality of the future. As a society, we are slowly beginning to realise that our exploitation of other animals is simply an abuse of power, and has no ethical justificiation. The advance of animal rights signals a fundamental improvement in our humanity. It is the true definition of progress.

Many thanks to everyone who organised or attended any of these or other actions in support of this campaign.

Max Newton, Uncaged Campaigns

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Uncaged 1993-2012: This is the archived website of Uncaged. All information correct at the time of archiving - November 2012.