This article was written by Sakshi Jain a student of Amity Law School, Noida (Lucknow Campus).
All deserves to be treated equal, as we all are the creatures of God. But sometimes, human beings fail to understand this and make animal victim of their need and demand. Animals are the one of the innocent creature on the planet who cannot speak for their right to the inhumane treatment done against them. Animal welfare should be needed so that it can be stopped as soon as possible. Dogs among the animals are considered to the best companion of the human being but they are also being targeted. Stray dogs are beaten and abused by the humans. Cows slaughter rate is increasing day by day. Chemical Testing is done in animals before going to the human body. Manufacturer fails to understand the pain of animals and become cruel. We all are the creature of God and God does not differentiate between all of us. No religion has taught us to harm animals by any mean. Animal abuse and inhumane treatment are done to them is a very hot topic in this time and by the supreme court guidelines, many mentoring companies banned the testing of detergent and chemicals on animals. Various laws are there to prevent the rights of animals. Various NGO’s works parallel for animal’s right.
Animals in custom, tradition, and religion
Custom and Tradition
Earlier animals were used to punished for their unlawful act as the, in the same way, the humans are been punished. Before 1860 when Indian Penal Code came into the picture, animals were brutally punished for an offense and treated same as the human. There was a mindset in the earlier times that animals and human beings are same and have the same set of min. there are enough examples which prove that in ancient legal institutions, the punishment being inflicted on animals or inanimate objects for injury caused by them. Baring Gould’s curiosities of olden times clearly show this fact in an example that the first time an ass, if found in a cultivated field not belonging to its master, one of its ear, is chopped off. And if it commits the same offense again, it loses the second ear.This concept has changed as after the commencement of Indian Penal Code, 1860 and human beings are the only one who is considered to commit a crime as animals as called to be senseless and cannot differentiate between right and wrong.
Different religion has its own opinion about the animals and its use into it. No religion believes in harming the living creature intentionally. But unintentionally, they do harm animals. Some religion believes that animals do have their own right to live and consider themselves equal as they equally deserve to live without being inferior by other. But other religions have traditionally seen animals as beneath humans and of lesser importance.
In most of the religion, sacrificing of animals in front of the god will remove all their sin, as they believed it. But in each and every religion, nowhere it is mentioned that we should harm animals just to please our tongue and mind. In Mohd. Hanif Quareshi v. State of Bihar , the Muslim petition claimed that slaughter of cows in the occasion of Bakrid is an essential part his religion. The high court held that cow slaughter is not an essential of any religion and it should not be allowed for any furtherance.
In the very first chapter of Bible, it has been mentioned that when God created things, animals were e not created to food for humans. The Revender Andrew Linzey said animals are God’s creature as humans are. They are neither the property nor the commodity but the precious being in God’s sight.
Hinduism believes in the law of non-injury and none harming. The wording of God is that all the creatures should be treated as the same and equal way. That means animals are cared and respected the same way as humans are. In Manu Smriti, it has been duly mentioned that “By not killing any living being, one becomes fit for salvation”
“The one who purchases the flesh performs violence by his wealth, the one who eats, does so by enjoying the taste and the killer does it so by tying and cutting of the flesh. All of them are considered to be the meat –eater.” – Mahabharata, Anu 115:40
Sikhism also follows the no violence act done against the animals. The Guru Granth Sahib believe it to be a nonviolent act who eats egg or flesh only to meet the pleasure of someone’s tongue. Sikhs who are into the Khalsa’s brotherhood eat no egg, meat or flesh. There is no acceptance of killing of any creature of God as it stands still, by the side of human being.
Jainism is the strong and true follower of ahimsa; harming and nonviolence. Jainism does not have a single founder of its own but it was developed in the period of ages by the 24 Tirthankaras who are considered to the God of Jains and they follow their path. Mahavira said once, “There is no quality of soul more subtle than nonviolence and no virtue of spirit greater than reverence for life”
Jains are against animal killing and believes that all creatures have the living soul. Therefore, every species are considered to be of equal value in the eyes of Jains and follow the path of nothing; ahimsa for their rest of their life.
Animals in drugs and cosmetics experiments
Every year, millions of animals are killed heinously by the product makers for experimenting the drug and cosmetic products in the animals. For this kind of barbaric experiment, mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and many more animals are killed due to the side effects of toxic material present in the products. These animals are forced to inhale or swallow or inject their eyes or skin the toxic products during the experiments. In all the countries, the experiment of drugs and cosmetic products on animals are illegal except in China. China has made it legal to test on the innocent animals as they prefer the lives of human first as in the comparison of lives of animals. All the imported to China drugs and cosmetic material are first tested and experimented upon the animals and if the test qualifies, then only it goes further to the shops. But nowadays, most of the experimental are failing as different species react in different ways.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines cosmetics as any substance which is applied to the human body for cleansing, glowing beautifying, increasing fairness and attractiveness, alteration in the appearance without affecting the body’s structure or its functions”. All these includes fairness cream, lipsticks, nail polish, eye makeup, facial, shampoo, etc. these products are labeled as Cosmetics which are tested on the animals by the manufacturing companies to find the defects in the products.
There is a different kind of animal testing. They include,
Skin and eye irritation test also known as Corrosion Test. Under this, the chemicals are dropped or rubbed into the eyes of animals, mostly on the rabbits without giving any pain relief element to them.
Lethal dose test is conducted where the animals are forced to swallow a large amount of chemical to test that whether it causes death or not.
Birth defect and cancer determine test is also done. It takes a long process to be executed for which animals are forced to repeated feeding of the chemical for few weeks or months to determine the illness, birth defects or cause of cancer.
India got the victory for banning the test for cosmetics and drugs upon all the animals in the country. “The end to cruel and unreliable cosmetics tests on animals in India is a victory for animals and science—and the ban’s compliance with international standards will improve trade avenues for our country,” says PETA India’s science policy adviser, Dr. Chaitanya Koduri. The test of soap and detergents on the animals are banned as it contended it is an inhumane and cruel treatment done to the animals that cannot fight for themselves and for their rights. They are forced to swallow the chemicals, sometimes dipped in their eyes and throat of rabbits which causes a severe effect on their lives. Banning the test is a great achieve for the PETA activist in India. After the Fifth Amendment rule, 2014, (Drugs and Cosmetics Rules), it has been declared that the products which have been tested upon the animals shall not be imported into the country.
Some major countries like Norway, Israel, Canada and other countries of European Union along with India have banned the sale and marketing of animal tested cosmetics. All these countries have taken the initiatives for fighting for the rights of animals as they cannot fight for their own.
Animal, a person or a property?
The word animal is always misinterpreted in respect of the person and the property. People say that dogs are the best companion for them and consider most of the animals as their pets. On the other hand, some people do not think over again before eating, wearing and experimenting on their pets. Animals are not things or property. They are the person as they do have their own feelings. Pain is pain, irrespective of the race, sex, or species of the victim,” states William Kunstler in his foreword.
As late as the seventeenth century, the animals are merely treated as a thing and not as a person. It was considered that animals do not have the mind to sense the things which are happening in the environment and therefore, do not possess the soul. No pain, pleasure can be sensed by animals so hurting them do not cause any moral obligation on to humans. It was also considered that souls are invested on in humans by god and not in animals. No moral obligation was thereupon the man for the treatment of animals. Moving towards the 21st century, there is a sense of development in human beings as they consider their moral duty and obligation to protect animals and fight for the rights of them. Many NGO’s is working for the right to animals as they cannot speak up their emotions and take a stand for themselves.
The principle of equal consideration should be taken into the purview will comparing animals with the human. God of the creature of each creature and all living beings have a living soul in it. So, harming them after considering that do not have heart and do not get pain, is totally vague and absurd. Animals should not be considered as property as unlike inanimate objects, they have their own sentiments and are concerned for their own lives. Criminal laws have given protection to animals and prohibited animal cruelty by penal section just to make people aware and make them realize that they are also a living creature and cannot be considered as a thing or property.
It cannot be considered that the one who cannot speak do not have to feel onto them. They do have feelings as other living beings have. Animals can also sense the pain as the human beings do. So, there should be no barbarous treatment should be there for animals. Earlier there was a way different concept for animals as there was no moral obligation and no animal rights. But now, we all are aware of our moral rights and there are laws which prevent animals who cannot fight back. Animals should not be considered inferior to humans. They move parallel to human beings. All religion mentioned nonviolence as an act of salvation or removing of sin. No religion tells that animals do not have a feeling or they are senseless. But what they teach us that we should not harm other living creature as they have a living soul in them. Therefore, it is considered that animals are not a thing or property but a person who have same feelings as human beings have.
 . India Penal Code, Prof. S.N. Misra, 19th Edition
 AIR 1958 SC 731