Do you think an iguana could have rights?
Cookie is a hero! Thisparrot’s courage was celebrated in a news article after he saved his teenage owner when a fire broke out in their home in Wales.
The bird flapped its wings and squawked to alert Ben Rees to the blaze. He fled, Cookie died.
Kayla, a dog in the US, was luckier. It jumped around its sleeping owner to warn her about a gas leak. Both have survived to tell the tale.
There are many stories of animals keeping humans out of harm’s way. But the relationship between species hasn’t always sounded so friendly and selfless.
From 1911 to 1986, canaries were traditionally taken down British coal mines to alert workers to the presence of toxic gases. If the animals got sick, humans knew to leave the area. Today sniffer dogs are used by the police and the military to locate drugs, landmines and even dead bodies.
The gratitude to animals, which bring us companionship and evenus, contributed to making the modern concept of animal rights popular. The idea can be traced back to 19th century England. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) was created in 1824 and is still going strong today.
Local groups in different countries have focused on issues on their own area. Spanish animal rights activists, for example, have engaged in a campaign to ban bullfighting.
And the animals don’t have to be majestic bulls or cute birds, cats and dogs to be spared suffering. What about pythons and iguanas? They have rights too, according to the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Singer Beyonce was criticised recently by the organisation for wearing a costume made of the skins of such animals on a recent Super Bowl appearance.