Established by the non-profit Our Planet. Theirs Too. in 2011, The National Animal Rights Day (NARD) is an annual day observed in multiple countries around the world on the first Sunday in June, for the purpose of giving a voice to all animals and raising awareness for their rights, until all animals are free from enslavement and their rights are established and protected by law.
On this day, special NARD events are held simultaneously in major cities around the globe. They start with a memorial ceremony for the billions of animals who die every year by human hands - often in the presence of real deceased animals, and continue with the reading and signing of The Declaration of Animal Rights. They end with a celebration of the animals in our lives, and the steps that are being made every year towards ending animals' suffering and shifting the planet to a cruelty-free, plant-based, lifestyle.
The National Animal Rights Day (NARD) was established in New York City in 2011, by a group of animal rights activists who came together under the name "Our Planet. Theirs Too.", with the vision of uniting the many animal rights and environmental groups in the city, for a common cause: To give a voice to the billions of animals who languish and die in the US each year by human hands; mourn their loss and its adverse impact on the planet and human health; reiterate their rights to live happy and free; and celebrate the progress being made towards changing this sad reality. This vision was guided by the collaborative and impactful work of the Spanish animal rights organization Igualdad Animal, and its mass public events on the International Animal Rights Day in December.
While it didn't create a new and lasting model for collaboration in the animal rights movement in New York City, the event started the tradition of the annual NARD, and exposed the public to the cause of animal rights in a new and powerful way. The day started with a requiem ceremony for the billions of animals who die each year in the US by human hands, and then proceeded to the unveiling and signing of The Declaration of Animal Rights, which was drafted by the group especially for the event and copied onto a large scroll of paper. It then ended with a celebration that included info tables from 30 animal rights and planet protection organizations, vegan food, live music, speakers, and more.
NARD2 was organized again in New York City by Our Planet. Theirs Too. in June 2012, and it included such additional activities as yoga, street theatre and dance performances, all related to animals and their plight. NARD3 saw the expansion of the NARD tradition to Los Angeles as well, and the addition of a new and moving element to its opening ceremony, taken from similar ceremonies done by Igualdad Animal in Spain and other animal rights groups in Austria, Australia, and Israel: participants holding the bodies of real deceased animals in their hands, to show the public the direct results of their lifestyle choices. NARD4 came to San Francisco too, and NARD5 - by which Our Planet. Theirs Too. has become a non-profit organization and The Declaration of Animal Rights scroll has reached the length of 100 feet with thousands of signatures on it - was celebrated in 8 cities across the US, and for the first time Canada too.
The NARD tradition will continue as long as animals are enslaved, abused, and killed by humans, and until the equal rights of all animals are fully established and protected by law.