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Evolution or revolution?

Changing perceptions of animal equality

Kirsty Mead

Author: Kirsty Mead

Account Director

Date posted: 01/01/0001

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Mahatma Gandhi

We live in a changing world. Most of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to zoos and circuses. Some of us owned caged birds, went fishing or kept dogs in kennels outside. At the time, few of us considered the impact of our actions on the animals involved…

These days, perceptions of how animals should be treated are evolving. Veganism and vegetarianism are on the rise. Circuses with wild animals are banned in most of the UK. And sports such as fishing and horse racing are becoming increasingly controversial.

These are just a few examples of a broader societal trend. People are increasingly focusing on the innate value of animals – rather than thinking about them in terms of their usefulness to humans. In Purple’s Animal Health team, we’re passionate about playing our part in helping to accelerate this shift in perceptions.

Changing hearts and minds

We’re working towards a world where animals are given the same consideration and respect as human beings. That may sound aspirational, but recent changes in UK law show that progress is being made.

The Animal Welfare Act of 2021 made it illegal to keep primates as pets, banned people from importing live animals for slaughter and fattening, and restricted the number and types of pets that can be imported into the UK.

In 2022, the ‘Sentience’ bill went further. It recognised that vertebrates are sentient beings who experience pain and joy – meaning that the government must consider their welfare when creating laws that affect animals.

It’s positive news, but there’s still much more to be done. In fact, at the time of writing, another bill is already underway which will do even more to improve farm animal welfare, while also tackling other key issues such as puppy smuggling.

Supporting positive change

Through Purple’s work in animal health, we can help support positive change in different ways. We strive to ensure that vets and pet owners have access to the latest and most comprehensive information – so they can make the best possible choices about animal care. By working with the pharmaceutical industry, we also play a key role in building awareness of new medicines and treatments that improve animals’ lives.

Everything we do is underpinned by a simple, humane philosophy. We believe in looking after all the animals we work with, in order to improve their lives, and limit their pain and suffering as much as we possibly can.