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From: Doveret Anonymous [dover@anonymous. org.il]
January 10, 2008

First "Animal Rights Day" marked by The Knesset (Israeli parliament) as a day without meat in restaurants

The day's events included a discussion of 10 bills promoting animal protection, a meat-free day in Knesset restaurants, and more then one quarter of Knesset members signing "The Declaration of Animal Rights"

The Israeli organization for Animal Rights, Anonymous, organized the first Animal Rights Day in the Knesset on January 1 2008, in which artists, animal advocacy organizations, and 15 Members of Knesset from all ranges of the political spectrum were present, including two senior ministers --Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni, and Minister of Agriculture Shalom Simhon. The highlight of the event was the launching of "The Declaration of Animal Rights", which states:

"Out of a ethical recognition of the fact that animals go through countless experiences similar to those experienced by all of us -- agony and joy, fear and happiness, curiosity and boredom, social contacts, parent-offspring attachment and more -- I hold that there is no justification for ignoring the basic needs of animals, and that it is our duty as humans and as a society to take action to protect their basic rights. These rights include, among others, the right not to suffer violence, hunger and thirst, the right for living in a space allowing free movement, and the right for natural behavior.

I believe the state of Israel has the duty to protect the rights of the animals, and pledge to try to adopt habits in my personal life as well, that will prevent harm to animals."

The declaration was eventually signed by more than one quarter of Knesset members, including four ministers and prominent legislators of all political divisions. Anonymous aims to collect half a million signatures in the next five years, and at the same time, intends to promote bills protecting the rights of animals, such as the right not to suffer hunger and thirst, the right for a living space allowing free movement, and so forth. Particularly significant was the support of Tzipi Livni, a declared vegetarian who has greatly assisted in the struggle for banning force-feeding of geese in Israel.

Vegetarian Legislators -- for a Day

The initiative to organize a "meat, chicken and fish free" day in the Knesset cafeteria was led by Knesset member Yoel Hasson, chairman for the Lobby for the Protection of Animals, member of the ruling party ("Kadima"). Some Knesset members complained when faced with the choice between a vegetarian lasagna and rice-stuffed pepper, but most accepted this approvingly. Anonymous intends to make sure that no meat is served in the cafeteria in future Animal Rights days as well, as an important reminder to legislators that the food industry is where most animals are harmed.

Excerpt from the speech given by Gaya Goldberg, Anonymous spokeswoman: "The right to live in welfare is relevant to every sentient being. Though there are differences between the needs of different animals, it is obvious that when you live your entire life crammed in a tiny cage, exposed to sudden and severe violence, being mutilated without anesthesia, starved or force-fed, secluded or placed subjected to overcrowding, the elementary requirement for welfare cannot be met. Unfortunately, such is the reality of life for more then 300 million animals annually in Israel, that are harmed mostly in the meat, eggs and dairy industries, and in testing laboratories. Their exploitation, while it still lasts, must be subject to ethical 'red lines'. The animals exploited on farms and in laboratories also deserve basic rights that may not be annulled for considerations of comfort and profit."

Pictures of the event:
http://www.anonymou s.org.il/ knesset-p2. htm

Anonymous website (in English, Hebrew, or Arabic):
http://www.anonymou s.org.il/ english.htm
http://www.anonymou s.org.il/
http://www.hayawan. org/

For further details: Gaya Goldberg, Anonymous spokeswoman:
dover@anonymous. org.il
054-6256878

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