The 1st European Conference on Animal Rights was held in Warsaw
On 29-31 July the first Conference on Animal Rights in Europe was held on the basis of University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw, Poland. The Conference was organizered by the Polish farm animals protection organization Open Cages.
The conference was attended by social activists, sociologists, philosophers, psychologists, university teachers and researchers from more than 20 countries in Europe, America, the former Soviet Union. The conference featured more than 50 lectures, which were held simultaneously in 3 classrooms in both English and Polish.
The lectures were structured in blocks:
The Psychology of Eating Meat
The Politics of Animal Rights
Psychological hygiene for activists
Starting an organization
Effective altruism and animals
Problems and positive trends in animal rights in Belarus
From Belarus the report "Promotion of environmental ethics and bioethics in Belarus" was made by Ludmila Loginovskaya, the Director of the Center for the Ethical Attitude Towards Nature "Ecoetika.by".
In my report I spoke about the problems of animal rights protection in our country, mainly on the absence of the Law "About protection of animals from cruelty", and about positive trends, - says Ludmila Loginovskaya. - For example, I emphasized that Belarus - the first post-Soviet country, where thanks to the incredible efforts and enthusiasm of Tatsiana Mishatkina, Professor of ISEU, environmental and biomedical ethics had been taught at the academic level. And the Belarusian State Medical University in 2002 became the first university on the Post-Soviet Space, which completely abandoned animal experiments in education.
I told about the work of our Center, the main focus of which is the formation of a moral attitude of people to all living beings by means of enlightenment and education, - Ludmila continued. - During the current period of our work we together with Belarusian scientists and educators developed training programs on bioethics for children and adolescents, conducted a series of classes on the basis of certain educational institutions, published a number of teaching handbooks, made the abolition of animal experiments in more than 50% of Belarusian universities.
The conference was mainly aimed at improving of the situation of animals in the world, which can be achieved through the more efficient activities of public organizations for the protection of animal rights. Speakers shared their experiences on successful public campaigns, on lobbying for animal rights in politics, it was told about how to succeed in social networks, how to work with the sponsors.
In Austria the animal rights are fixed in the Constitution
At the conference there were many bright interesting speeches, about the most memorable and impressive I would like to tell apart.
First of all, that was the speech of Mr. Martin Balluch from Austria. Martin Balluch - Austrian scientist, president of the Austrian Association Against Animal Factories. Balluch is remarkable, because he has been able to convince the Austrian Parliament in 2004 to bring to the Constitution the amendment "about animal rights." In accordance with Austrian law state-funded position animal welfare attorney has been officially introduced to be able to initiate the legal proceedings relating to animals on behalf of the animals themselves. Balluch said that even in 1998 in Austria the last fur farm had been closed. Then there was a ban on the sale of products made of animal fur. Since 2002, circuses with wild animals were also banned. Since 2004, a campaign against battery hens was launched, which ended with success: in 2009 in Austria it is illegal to keep chickens in the poultry cages. The conditions of chickens keeping have been significantly improved. Since 2005 the experiments on primates are completely prohibited. In addition, in Austria the problem of homeless animals is completely solved. The Austrian shelters are empty, the sale of cats and dogs at shows and in pet stores is prohibited. In order to acquire a cat or dog, the Austrians "adopt" homeless animals from other countries, for example, from Greece.
In Ghent city in Belgium, the selling of meet is forbidden during 1 day per week
Tobias Leenaert - a founder of the Belgian non-profit organization, the first vegetarian organization in the world, which received structural funding from the governments of Belgium. He spoke at the conference about how best to win the supporters of the vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. In 2009 Tobias convinced the city of Ghent in Belgium to become the first city in the world, which would officially support a weekly vegetarian day. Thus for several years one day a week in all stores and public catering it is forbidden to sell meat. Tobias believes that the improvement of the situation of animals in the world will contribute to the gradual transition of mankind from eating meat to veganism. In his opinion, as long as people consume meat, empathy and compassion that people feel for animals, are difficult to be implemented in practice. Significant reduction of meat consumption by population followed by transition from intensive farming to the production of organic meat should be, in his opinion, the first step to vegan lifestyle. The development of vegetarian and vegan infrastructure appears to be an important point, as later this would lead to an increase in the number of vegetarians and vegans in the world. Lennart is an expert in vegan strategies and communications, consults various large organizations and companies on vegetarian issues and is currently finishing ghz work on his own book.
In general, the Conference helped to establish communication links between its participants, to define the important strategies and tactics for the protection of animal rights. It was also decided to hold a similar Conference next year in the capital of the Czech Republic - Prague.
Conference Website: http://careconf.eu/
The author: Ecoetika.by