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When Is Animal Rights Awareness Week? (Updated in 2024)

Elizabeth Gray

By Elizabeth Gray

woman sitting down with two dogs and a cat

For animal lovers, few things are as upsetting as the knowledge that not everyone shares their dedication to all creatures, great and small. Animal cruelty and exploitation occur worldwide, but advocates draw attention to this issue by celebrating Animal Rights Awareness Week. Animal Rights Awareness Week takes place during the 3rd week of June.

In this article, you’ll learn when Animal Rights Awareness Week was first created and why it was founded. We’ll also cover some of the animal rights issues this week tries to draw attention to, plus ways you can participate in Animal Rights Awareness Week.


What Is Animal Rights Awareness Week?

Animal Rights Awareness Week was founded in 1991 by the In Defense of Animals activist group. It takes place each year during the 3rd week of June. The purpose of Animal Rights Awareness Week is to remember the animals harmed and exploited because of human actions. It’s also intended to raise awareness for various animal welfare causes and draw attention to the issue of animal rights worldwide.

a young woman hugging her pet Staffordshire Terrier dog at the park
Image Credit by: Aleksey Boyko, Shutterstock

What Are Some Animal Rights Issues to Be Aware Of?

Animal Rights Awareness Week highlights a variety of animal welfare issues worldwide. For example, animal testing by the beauty or medical industry remains legal in many countries. Other countries still lack laws to address keeping exotic animals as pets or at unregulated circuses or zoos.

The illegal exotic pet trade is a multi-million-dollar business worldwide.1 This trade harms native wildlife populations in the countries where animals are captured and sold. The money from selling exotic animals is often used to fund other criminal activities.

These are just some of the animal welfare issues that Animal Rights Awareness Week tries to draw attention to. Look for other concerns in your local area. For example, do you know the animal welfare laws in your state or town? Do they need to be stronger?

How Can You Participate in Animal Rights Awareness Week?

One of the easiest ways to participate in Animal Rights Awareness Week is to promote it on social media or in-person to your friends and family. Let people know why you’re concerned about animal rights and ways they can help. Here are some of the other ways you can participate:

  • Consider organizing local events during Animal Rights Awareness Week. Potential options include fundraisers or a day to draw attention to a specific animal welfare issue in your town or state.
  • If you can, donate your time or money to animal rights and welfare groups. You could make phone calls, sign petitions, or volunteer at one of their events. If you regularly donate to medical charities, ensure they don’t fund animal testing.
  • Try to buy cosmetics, soap, sunscreen, and other products that are cruelty-free and don’t perform animal testing.
  • Consider going vegan either for the week or permanently. The less demand for animal products, the fewer animals are harmed to produce these items.

portrait of a cat and dog
Image Credit by: Erik Lam, Shutterstock



Humans may be responsible for animal suffering, but we can also do our part to end it. Animal Rights Awareness Week, celebrated on the 3rd week of June each year, is the perfect time to support animal welfare causes worldwide. Ending animal cruelty and suffering may seem like a monumental task, but even the most minor steps you take on your own contribute to the overall goal.

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Featured Image Credit by: Chewy, Unsplash

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