REQUEST-PETITION to the U.N Secretary General, Mr. António Guterres; to the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, Mr. John Knox ; to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Mr. Michel Forst ; to the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Mr. Mutuma Ruteere; to the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Ms. Victoria Tauli Corpuz; to the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Ms. Hilal Elver.
We the citizens of the world
- considering that a major cultural shift is taking place in many countries;
- considering that the most recent studies in mathematics, physics and chemistry are providing new knowledge of the cosmos, of our planet and its inhabitants, as well as new types of life (from Fritjof Capra to Jeremy Rifkin);
- considering that many texts have been written by philosophers and jurists (Peter Singer, Gary L. Francione, Luisella Battaglia, Francesca Rescigno, Gino Ditadi, Jim Mason, Marco Maurizi, Leonardo Caffo, Paola Cavalieri, Erik Marcus);
- considering that, in addition to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Convention on Children’s Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Convention on the Rights of Women, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, on the various international conventions on the environment, that a Universal Declaration of Animal Rights was also presented to UNESCO (15 October 1978);
- considering that in many countries throughout the world so-called “green” movements and environmental associations, vegans, anti-vivisectionists and associations for animal rights have sprung up;
- considering that in many countries a new popular sentiment of “respect” has arisen for nature and “diversity”, whether human and non-human, as well as for a new ethic which is open to the recognition and safeguarding of all living beings and the elimination of prejudices of racism and speciesism;
We believe it is necessary and urgent for a U.N. document to define a new relationship between Homo sapiens and our environment, in order to emphasise the complementarity between human rights, environmental rights and the rights of all living beings.
We therefore propose the following document prepared by Agenda of the Planet Earth.
- Life is one, and all living beings have a common origin which has diversified in the course of evolution;
- All living beings are interdependent, interconnected and self-organised in the natural environment.
We humans believe that our species are not at the centre of the universe, nor the sole owners of the planet earth, or separated and isolated from our planet, but deeply integrated with it, and in the name of interspecific justice, propose:
All human and non-human animals have equal rights to existence and co-evolution within the context of biological balance, in the diversity of species, individuals and cultures.
No one can kill, persecute or deprive individuals, groups, and human and non-human populations of their territory for commercial or industrial reasons, war or for other reasons that do not relate to their well-being.
We believe the following to be harmful to the Community:
A) BIOPHOBIA, which is fear-hate-discrimination on the part of humans against nature and non-humans;
B) RACISM, which is fear-hate-discrimination against individuals, groups and human populations due to differences in colour, anatomical structure, personal or social status, ethnic origin, language, opinion, religion, morals and sexual orientation, gender identity;
C) SPECIESISM, which is fear-hate-discrimination on the part of humans towards all non-human species or towards some other species.
A) ECOCIDE, which is the killing of an ecosystem, since the destruction of the environment and pollution produce illness and death;
B) BIOCIDE of humans and non-humans, which is a crime against life;
C) GENOCIDE of humans and non-humans, which is a crime against all species.
Civil and political rights, as well as economic, social and cultural rights, although governed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, require greater depth, however, on natural rights and environmental issues.
The natural rights of non-humans must be recognised and safeguarded by the laws of the human community.
Each animal is entitled to respect and therefore must not:
- undergo suffering, cruelty or maltreatments for any reason;
- be killed if not for urgent self-defence;
- be bought or sold, nor possessed, used or detained, or rendered a slave for any reason;
- be bred, transported, traded or killed for any reason;
- be subjected to experimentation for scientific, medical, educational or industrial purposes, war, commercial and similar reasons;
- be used and/or killed for entertainment, sports, spectacles, rites, events, religious and popular festivals of any kind.
In the respect of liberty and love, the human community must overcome ignorance and indifference with “responsibility”, adopting our current level of information and knowledge in mathematics, physics and chemistry, including philosophy and psychology, to promote empathy and friendly relations of coexistence and respect.
The education of citizens of all countries must, from early childhood, foster understanding and love towards others, both humans and non-humans, as well as to nature and life.