Moralischer Fortschritt und Tierschutz

PRINCETON – Mahatma Gandhi bemerkte scharfsinnig dass „die Größe einer Nation und ihr moralischer Fortschritt danach beurteilt werden können, wie sie ihre Tiere behandelt.” Der Versuch, das Leiden derjenigen zu verringern, die vollständig unter jemandes Herrschaft stehen und sich nicht wehren können, ist wahrhaft ein Zeichen einer zivilisierten Gesellschaft.

Die Fortschritte in der Tierschutz-Gesetzgebung auf der ganzen Welt sind daher allgemein  als ein Indikator für den moralischen Fortschritt zu werten. Im letzten Monat gaben parallele Entwicklung an entgegengesetzten Orten der Welt Anlass zur Hoffnung, dass die Welt – langsam und zögerlich –  ein wenig zivilisierter wird.

Zunächst stimmte das britische Unterhaus einem Gesetzesantrag zu, der die Regierung zu einem Verbot von Wildtieren in Zirkussen verpflichtet. Dieser Antrag folgte der Veröffentlichung von Bildmaterial, das die Tierschutzorganisation Animal Defenders International mit versteckter Kamera gefilmt hatte. Die Bilder zeigen, wie ein Zirkusmitarbeiter wiederholt auf die Elefantenkuh Anne einschlägt. Die konservative Regierung war, zumindest anfangs, gegen diesen Antrag, der allerdings später von den Mitgliedern aller politischen Parteien unterstützt wurde. In einem Triumph parlamentarischer Demokratie wurde der Antrag ohne Gegenstimmen angenommen.  

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