On World Animal Day, How ‘Great’ Would Great Britain Be in Gandhi’s Eyes?

Posted by 5 years ago | Permalink | Comments (4)

During a week that marks both Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday and World Animal Day, we thought it appropriate to take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom from the “Great Soul”: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. If Gandhi were alive today, how would the UK fare in his eyes?

One of the first pieces of animal rights legislation in the world, the Cruel Treatment of Cattle Act of 1822, was introduced in the UK, and we’ve continued seeking protection for animals ever since. We were among the first countries to forbid experiments on chimpanzees, orang-utans and gorillas. The passage of the Animal Welfare Act of 2006 gave us a comprehensive law to help prevent abuse and neglect.

Fur farming has been banned since 2000, and a 2011 TNS survey shows that 95 per cent of people in this country refuse to wear fur. Foie gras production is also illegal, and this “delicacy” is so unpopular that most major retailers refuse to sell it. Every year, the UK consumes less meat than the year before – 245,000 tonnes less in 2009 than in 2005. A 2003 Consumer Analyst Group study indicated that Britain would be a vegetarian nation by 2047 if the current trend continues. And 94 per cent of people support a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.

The animal rights movement is one of the fastest growing movements in history, but much more needs to be done before our treatment of animals can be called “great.” In 2008, the RSPCA investigated 140,575 cruelty-to-animals complaints. Only 2,574 offenders were convicted. There are approximately 250,000 captive animals in the UK’s zoos, aquaria and circuses. Approximately 3.5 million animals are used in laboratory experiments each year. Nearly 900 million cows, chickens, pigs and other land animals – and millions more fish – are killed for their flesh each and every year.

As a vegetarian and animal advocate, Gandhi would no doubt be appalled by the way that animals are abused, neglected and killed every day in the UK. If humanity is to make real moral progress, we must treat animals not as property but as sentient beings whose lives are their own, not ours. This World Animal Day, why not make a real difference for animals and honour Gandhi by ordering a free vegetarian/vegan starter kit or signing up for our Action Team?


  • Brien Comerford commented on October 4, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Gandhi would be dismayed by the inhumane mistreatment of animals in slaughterhouses and all the other atrocities commited against animals in every single nation in the world. Even worse is that the United Nations has done nothing to truly encourage people to stop eating meat even though raising and killing animals for food causes more global warming and environmental damage than any other destructive human activity.

  • Chris commented on October 5, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Gandhi would also be appalled by Peta’s use of sexism and misogyny to so say promote the rights of animals. You talk about ‘moral progress’ but promote the very attitudes that promote violence and abuse of people and animals in the first place. Quite frankly it outrageous for you to suggest you are promoting ‘moral progress’ when you have become a marketing arm of the debased porn industry and all it represents.

  • John Carmody commented on October 5, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Stop cruelty to animals.

  • Vicky commented on November 19, 2011 at 12:46 am

    I don’t think that it’s fair to blame PETA for sexism and debasing people just because of the ‘rather go naked than wear fur campaign’, photos not sexually explicit moving images like fur wearer Jennifer Lopez on the screen on ‘family’ shows. I agree that in society in America and England there is too much explicit nudity and expectations that people will act in a promiscuous way in soaps and film, but PETA does not show ‘full frontal’ and the society that we live in maybe has to have beauty and glamour to use against the constant cruel use of animals behind the beauty industry, as L’Oreal , Procter and Gamble Oil of Olay etc use supermodels and actresses to promote their goods. Beauty Industry whines about staying young and sexy whilst aa lot of equally good BUAV approved products don’t have the same massive advertising budgets to compete with them. I think PETA by grabbing attention in billboards and magazines have to bring cruelty to the general public’s attention, as only advertising in ‘Green’ magazines…people who already know about cruelty might buy but others might not.

    Even if you don’t agree with PETA’s campaign, it isn’t drawn up by the animals, and they are the VICTIM’S in all this.
    Best wishes


Post a Comment


By submitting this form, you will be indicating your consent to receiving e-mail marketing messages from us unless you have indicated an objection to receiving such messages by unticking the box above. You're also acknowledging that you've read and you agree to our privacy policy.