Even though you’ve no doubt heard about animal welfare, you might not have stopped to think why it’s so important. After all, animals are often seen as lesser beings than us. They do not display the same signs of intelligence that we show, but we use them as food or beasts of burden. That doesn’t exactly inspire people to treat them with respect all the time. And yet, animal welfare is still very important, even if people can’t always see why.
Being Kind to Living Things
If you have even an ounce of decency, you have some compassion for living things. No living thing deserves to be in pain or live in fear; everything should have the opportunity to thrive and be healthy. That alone should hopefully inspire some people to be kind to animals and not allow them to suffer. Domesticated animals should be kept happy and healthy by their owners, while wild animals should be allowed to live their lives in their habitats with little intervention from us.
Protecting the Environment
Another reason animal welfare is essential is that it is directly tied to the environment. The environment is directly tied to the welfare of wildlife. When animals are suffering or not getting the proper nutrition, it’s often a sign that the environment is not doing well. Species that become endangered or extinct do so because their habitats and food sources are being destroyed, often by us. For the sake of the environment, we need to be better about keeping animals and their habitats safe.
Being Part of the Food Chain
Part of the reason people don’t always take animal welfare seriously is that we rely on animals for food. After all, why would you show compassion for something you’re just going to kill and eat? Well, the truth is that the food chain is much more than the cows, chickens, and cattle that we slaughter for our meals. It’s the insects that pollinate plants and keep our produce growing, the predators that keep animal populations down to a healthy level, and the environments that allow all of these animals to thrive. If any part of the food chain or the environment is lost, the results will be catastrophic.
In short, animal welfare is important because we share the world with them. Their health and safety are tied directly to us. Where they go, so do we, so it will always be in our best interest to keep animals happy and healthy, whether domesticated or in the wild.