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In the not too distant future, over the next decade, all rules and regulations related to animal welfare and exploitation will change radically. Anyone found to be in contravention of these new rules will be dealt with harshly.

No longer will people be allowed to exploit animals for any reasons which can alter their physical or mental health in a negative manner.

These include not using them for food, testing, intensive labour, or anything else which can adversely affect mental or physical health.

Basically, anything a human can't be forced to do, now animals can't. An 'Animal rights' similar to our current 'Human Rights'.

They can still be used as pets, military and law enforcement, and works which do not harm the animals. All animals must have a high quality of life.

As we all know there are many uses for animal products and by-products in everyday life from clothes and food, to manufacturing and production.

What major difficulties could this cause in our day to day lives?

If any more information is required, please, let me know.

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    $\begingroup$ All animals are included in this. Fish, mammals, etc.. $\endgroup$ – Terry Jul 26 '16 at 11:26
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    $\begingroup$ So, we aren't allowed to kill insects. Presumably we are still allowed to use barriers to keep ants from eating our food, mosquitoes from infecting us with malaria, and so on? $\endgroup$ – John Dallman Jul 26 '16 at 11:30
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    $\begingroup$ You added a "reality-check" to this... which means: this won't happen. We need animals today for our "daily bread". We simply do not have enough vegan food production to survive without milk, eggs, fowl, pork, fish and beef. And especially so if we are not allowed to kill off the current livestock! We will starve. Why would the democracies of the world, along with the dictators of the world, suddenly do this way? Reality-check you asked for... I am telling you: realistically, this cannot happen unless you have already solved the problem of food. If not, then there is the biggest problem. $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Jul 26 '16 at 11:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Terry Well, as I said: your problem is that the concept alone is not realistic. First thing that will happen is that seven billion people will ask "Why?!". I mean, not even with Global Warming - there the danger is proven and imminent - can we force people to stop using fossil fuels. And despite air pollution killing millions of people every year, people are still releasing exhaust and smoke unchecked. And with that in mind, you think you can suddenly force this on them?! First problem: you are never going to get people to accept this. Second problem: food. $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Jul 26 '16 at 11:50
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    $\begingroup$ One of the challenges with this approach in the real world is the difficulty in defining a "high quality of life." There is not a 100% agreement as to what that phrase means for humans, who can talk and discuss it. Extending that to animals who cannot talk in our language would be extremely difficult. Consider that "quality of life" is supposed to be very high in the US, but the US ranks quite low on measures of happiness (one site lists the US as 108th out of 140 countries), and we have lots of stress related diseases. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Jul 26 '16 at 14:23
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If farmers are not permitted to kill crop pests (mainly insects, but also rodents and birds) then agriculture is going to suffer. Yields will go down. People will go hungry, because we can only feed the teeming billions with modern agriculture.

And I can't even begin to figure out how you'd harvest a crop without harming the huge infestation of insects which would living in and on it? Gently pick off every caterpillar and greenfly before you send in the machinery? Plus you'd just taken away those insects' food supply if you harvest the crop out from under them. They'll all starve, which is presumably illegal?

You could move some food production into gigantic greenhouses like this 10 football pitches sized tomato greenhouse but you'd need an 'airlock' and 'decontamination' system to keep the insects out. So producing those tomatoes will be vastly more expensive than it is now.

Farmers everywhere, from the third world to high tech agribusiness will fight tooth and nail to prevent this world happening. Here's the drastic measures taken in rural Africa to try and limit the damage done by quelea (locust birds). The clip is from Human Planet. Stop watching at 2.00 in if you don't want to see the carnage.

EDIT: Thought of some more stuff!

You can't feed your pet cat or dog properly - they need meat in their diet to stay healthy. If you are no longer allowed to spay cats & dogs, the streets will soon be awash with feral cats and feral dogs.

Meanwhile, pretty much every breed of farm animal is doomed to extinction. No farmer will want to keep cows, pigs or sheep if he is not allowed to make money from milk, meat or wool. Today horses are a luxury, and that's when we're permitted to ride them. A few people might plough their income into running a Sheep Sanctuary or a Llama Rescue Centre, but most folk won't bother. There will be feral cattle etc running wild in some places (trampling on crops and eating them), but your average European/US breed of hornless dairy cow won't last long in the wild. Ditto short-legged sheep, and not to mention turkeys, which can't breed without human assistance.

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    $\begingroup$ +1 for a solid answer. But letting people starve is not technically illegal, so letting the infestation starve would be okay too. Also, in many states, shooting trespassers is legal, so maybe harvesting crops might still occur. After all, the farmer didn't invite those insects onto the property. $\endgroup$ – Henry Taylor Jul 26 '16 at 12:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Henry Taylor not every state has castle doctrine I'm pretty sure California doesn't. $\endgroup$ – Bryan McClure Jul 26 '16 at 16:16
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    $\begingroup$ @BryanMcClure, agreed. but many do. So at least a few crops will remain harvest-able. Then, when only those states (which allow their citizens to defend the property) have food, emergency elections will quickly change the laws in those other states. Hunger motivates! $\endgroup$ – Henry Taylor Jul 26 '16 at 17:03
  • $\begingroup$ @HenryTaylor fare enough $\endgroup$ – Bryan McClure Jul 26 '16 at 19:43
  • $\begingroup$ I actually liked that video. When I saw the swarms, I imagined some dude with a flamethrower taking them out. To my surprise, that's about what happened! $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Aug 11 '16 at 4:38
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The reason humanity won't starve, in the end (as some others suggested) is that humanity is very, very good at surviving, and is absolutely capable of being vicious, brutal, and cruel when necessary.

They will utilize your loophole. The major, gaping loophole that has been overlooked. There is no need to treat animals well, to give them an actual high standard of living - they simply must be treated like humans and given a similar/equivalent standing. Animal rights are, in your world, equivalent to human rights - but human rights are not set in stone! Human rights already vary by a lot of factors, including government, area, physical environment, historical period... I expect to see minimizing or outright discarding human rights before I see people dying en masse to accommodate animal rights. If we can't change the legislation about animals being treated equally, we will slide everyone's standard of living down until the levels are "survivable" - and practice "some are more equal than others" whenever and wherever we can.

So, fairly soon after implementation - there will be changes that legalize human slavery, cannibalism, and murder - all of which legalize the exploitation and consumption and slaughter of animals. The definitions of "harm", and "adversely affecting health" (mental or physical) will be redefined to not cover any harm or damage to health we can't afford do without, like starvation of those wild (or "free"), or exploitation of the enslaved (in return for "care"). Probably it would start with making humans do the work because someone has to, then progress to the idea that if animals are protected form the things we protect humans from, they can be made to do anything we can make humans do. Then the dropping of human protections, allows the continuation of farming and meat processing, pharmaceutical testing (by removing all consent requirements, instead of excluding animals because they cannot consent), and a host of other preexisting systems that people will die without.

I expect in some areas this would be initially considered almost a formality - legalizing, say, cannibalism would be about letting animal meat consumption continue, or using slavery for nonpayment of taxes to continue with animal labor, and expecting that social taboo would keep eating or exploiting humans from appearing in practice... until, of course, somebody actually did (complying with whatever regulations are in place, of course). At which point, social anarchy in all its glory will commence, for a while. Anyone accustomed to a higher standard of living will make a point of targeting anyone who thinks the new law(s) are a good idea in any sense of the word - drastically dropping the number of supporters in a very short period of time.

In other areas... well, I said legalization, but it needn't be quite so formal - if not legalization, per se, I expect at least the removal of whatever systems currently make it criminal to do such things. If someone kills an animal (in self-defense or other directly survival-related reasons), and is tried for murder - next round has that judge/jury killed in "self defense" because the penalty is the same, and the danger is the same, right? If someone is starving, and the penalty for eating the chicken is the same as eating a human, than the law enforcement who would have enforced the penalty for the first will end up in someone's pantry.

Survival can't be legislated away so easily.

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Such a law would never be feasible. In addition to the other answers, there is one major problem. If all animals have the right to life, how do we deal with predators. If a cat eats a mouse, who is responsible and how are they punished? With rights comes responsibility. Is the cat now guilty of murder? If so are we going to imprison the cat?

This would mean arresting all animals that kill or otherwise contravene other animals rights. Anything unable to live on a vegan diet would die out or be imprisoned pretty fast.

We could waive the responsibility of the animals based on their lack of understanding, as with pleading insanity perhaps. However we would then need to create a vast care system for any animal that infringes on anothers rights.

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Well obviously the meat market would crumble anyone involved in the selling or packaging of meat would pretty much go broke. The same can be said for the fishing industry. If the rule includes insects then roach traps wasp spray and other products will be legal a long with mouse traps. This might cause some poor area is to be overrun with past which in turn might cause disease. ( please tell me that they don't consider viruses and bacteria to be animals, because if they do the world is doomed) the demand could potentially go up so high some criminals might develop lucrative business selling illegal products like rat poison.

The development of pharmaceutical drugs would would have to replace animal studies which human experiments. If Animals have the same rights as humans then they can't be forced to take experimental drugs without their consent, unfortunately we are unable to communicate with animals, so The Logical conclusion is to replace them with humans who can sign a contract waiver in there rights and granting the pharmaceutical companies full control over their body.

Personally I think if Congress passed this law if they would be riots throughout America some states might even refused to enforce it.

The pharmaceutical and meat companies would almost instantly insist that the law be declared unconstitutional.

Also remember that in the American justice system unpopular laws are hard to enforce. This is why many whites got away with lynching African Americans in the past. Let's say that a police officer arrest a man for murder because he killing a cockroach or a rat, you can take him to trial but what Jerry would you unanimously convict him of murder?

History has shown us that changes take time the less time you have the more resistant people are to it, just look at the desegregation and gay marriage. What you're proposing would be much harder because unlike those two things these laws impact the daily lives of almost every American ( even most vegans still eat fish and dairy products). In addition to that livelihood of thousands if not millions of Americans would be ruined by these laws. Powerful Corporations would crumble. Even if you gave it 10 years for the law to fully come into effect, it would still not be long enough to avoid the gigantic backlash. Maybe if you spread out over a couple generation.

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One of the most interesting problems that could arise is that animals would be considered a burden now. Who would risk taking on the care and feeding animals if you could be prosecuted for not properly caring for them? I suspect a lot of animals would be abandoned and left to fend for themselves, which would certainly create interesting problems. Animals that have been domesticated are unlikely to do well in the wild.

Entire business operations- farming, slaughtering, butchering, storage, transport, and sales of animal products- would be eliminated, so there would need to be a large scale effort to retrain and modify existing businesses in order to not have massive unemployment which would lead to social unrest. Such social unrest would likely lead to political movements that would oppose the government that put these policies into place, so having a plan for transitioning the economy would be key to preventing massive unrest.

Changes in food services- grocery stores, restaurants, etc would be significant but given time they would adapt and come up with replacements for most animal based products. Eggs would be hard to replace as they are key ingredients in many baked goods, so if not allowed developing a viable substitutions would be vital. Restaurants would need to revamp their offerings. Restaurants that currently offer mostly animal based items (hamburgers and steaks, chicken, seafood) would likely go out of business unless they were able to quickly develop replacement items, while those already catering more to vegetarian and vegan clientele would see their business increase.

Leather products would be replaced by synthetics, but the existing items will only increase in value as they can not be replaced. Quality leather jackets, handbags, and shoes would likely see a thriving resale market. There would probably be some black markets that would continue to sell these items. https://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S46/59/11K97/index.xml?section=newsreleases Is this ban worldwide, or just in one country/area? How would violators be prosecuted?

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