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Animal Rights Awareness Week 2024: When It Is & How to Participate

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on June 24, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

hands of man and woman with cat paw

Animal Rights Awareness Week 2024: When It Is & How to Participate

Animal Rights Awareness Week is held each year in the third week of June. For 2024, that’s the 17th to the 23rd of June. It’s the perfect opportunity to raise awareness about animal cruelty, learn more about animal welfare, and find out what you can do to help improve the situation for all animals, no matter how small.

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What Is Animal Awareness Week?

Established in 1991 by the organization In Defense of Animals, Animal Rights Awareness Week was created to remember and honor the animals worldwide who have been exploited or harmed due to human actions and to raise awareness of animal rights issues that currently exist globally.

The movement advocates for the humane treatment of animals across all settings, including pets, farm animals, and wildlife.

save animals from cruelty protest
Image By: AndriiKoval, Shutterstock

The 5 Rights of Animals

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the welfare of an animal includes its physical and mental state.

They list the following five:

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst
  • Freedom from discomfort
  • Freedom from pain, injury, or disease
  • Freedom to express normal behavior
  • Freedom from fear and distress

Animal Rights Awareness Week is used to highlight a variety of issues that affect the health and well-being of animals throughout the world. In the beauty and pharmaceutical industries, it advocates for ending animal testing.

Another issue it highlights is that of illicit wildlife trade. Exotic pets are sought after everywhere, even in the United States, where owners are often unaware of the pets’ origins and don’t understand how the illegal exotic pet trade harms wild populations. In other countries, big cats such as lions and cheetahs are killed for their bones, pangolins are captured for their scales, and elephants are slaughtered for ivory.

Animal Rights Awareness Week aims to highlight all the above issues, plus more local problems, such as how to help local stray and feral cats.

animal rights activists wearing animal masks and holding signages
Image By: Ladanifer, Shutterstock

How to Participate in Animal Rights Awareness Week

You can help animal rights in your community and beyond in many ways. Here are a few ideas:

  • Consider going vegan for the week or even permanently. According to research by the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization in 2019, roughly 890,000 cattle were slaughtered for meat daily. Lower demand will, eventually, result in fewer animals being harmed.
  • Donating or giving time to a local animal shelter or animal welfare group is a great way to participate in a cause you believe in. Look for local organizations that you can get involved with, and offer to volunteer at their fundraisers and awareness events.
  • When buying cosmetics and health and beauty products, check that they haven’t been tested on animals. These products usually carry a cruelty-free badge.
  • Look for ways to help with an animal issue you are passionate about. For example, if you are passionate about caring for cats, look to see if a Trap-Neuter-Return program is running in your area.

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Animal Rights Awareness Week takes place annually during the third week of June. It’s an excellent opportunity to do our part to end animal cruelty and help make the world safer for all creatures. Participating in Animal Rights Awareness Week doesn’t have to take up time or money sometimes, dialogue goes a long way.

Consider spreading the word about Animal Rights Awareness Week over social media or talk to your friends and neighbors about it in person!

Featured Image Credit: Elizaveta Galitckaia, Shutterstock

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