December 11, 2015

All Life Has Rights

Yesterday was World Human Rights Day. Same with today. Every day is human rights day. I would like to see us expand the concept to include the rights of all living things. Then celebrate that every day.

That might be a bit much to expect at this point in our painfully slow evolution. We can't even get human rights done properly.

The advocacy group Human Rights Watch "monitors policy developments and strives to persuade governments and international institutions to curb abuses and promote human rights". Their "World Report 2015" gives human rights information for 90 countries.

This is what the report had to say about Canada's recent human rights record:

" 2014, the sitting majority in parliament refused to take essential steps to remedy serious human rights concerns..."

How does your country rate in the area of human rights? Check out the report here. More than likely, like Canada's dismal record, you won't like what you see.

So how do we stretch our brains around recognizing the rights of more than just humans, of all living things? International Animal Rights Day, which also happened to be yesterday, reminds human beings that every creature on the planet deserves to be treated with equal kindness and respect.

It isn't that hard to understand. Life wants to live, without pain or harassment, and be free to grow and thrive in all possible ways. It applies to humans, and farm animals, and trees. Ticks and flies as well.

This also applies to Mother Earth, as she has rights, too. We are about as bad at recognizing those as we are with human rights, with similar catastrophic results. How do we turn this around? We have to take responsibility for our actions before we can improve our performance on recognizing and celebrating rights.

With our human rights come responsibilities, the oft forgotten other part of the equation. These are equally important. The number one responsibility is to recognize and honour the rights of all living things. Do no harm. Live and let live.

If we would do this to the best of our ability with each decision we make, everything else would take care of itself. Imagine what that world would look like.


  1. Anonymous12/11/2015

    I think the world needs a celebration day for all sentient beings every day. I was just discussing over breakfast with my wife how important bees were to agriculture. This planet is huge bio system and the two realms of plants and animals seem to be interconnected by the fungal kingdom that seems to provide the communication between these very different spheres. Fungus takes elements from both the plant and animal kingdoms. We can never improve on nature and must love and respect it. Love this post.

  2. A long time ago I saw a documentary about a man living in the wilderness. He hunted and caught fish, grew what the climate would allow. What I never have forgotten is the respect withwich he treated Mother Earth and all beings. Having shot a deer, he bowed down, took his hat off and thanked it and God for giving him food. Pam


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