Animaleft Statement calling for release of Disha Ravi, an animal activist and a climate change warrior
The Delhi police must immediately release climate change warrior and animal activist Disha Ravi, who has been arrested as part of an investigation into a farmers’ protest toolkit.
Disha Ravi faces an absurd and untenable charge of “sedition” for helping edit an online toolkit. The document details peaceful methods to support ongoing protests against three new agricultural laws that the Indian central government enacted in 2020 without properly consulting affected farmers.
It is not a contradiction to be a climate activist and also support the ongoing farmer protests. Like many young climate activists, Disha’s work acknowledges that the economic viability of farming is linked to sustainable agricultural practices. Environmental justice and social justice go hand-in-hand.
Disha’s activism has also recognized how factory farming and the animal agriculture industry are contributing to the climate crisis and causing immense animal suffering. In India, animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transport combined. Deregulation of farming will directly contribute to suffering of farm animals and rising temperatures.
At Animaleft we believe that our commitment to uphold animal rights (in India and abroad) goes hand-in-hand with our commitment to stand against all/any caste, class, religion or gender based discrimination and violence. Like the struggle for human rights, the movement for animal rights opposes the notion that some lives are more important than others.
At Animaleft we chose the difficult path: all non-human and human lives matter. Period.
Disha’s arrest is part of a growing crackdown on dissent and freedom of expression in India. A country that won its independence through peaceful protest is now stifling the very voices which are upholding its founding principles of equality and liberty.
The central government must release Disha Ravi and all other political activists whose only ‘crime’ has been to exercise their constitutionally protected right of free speech.