by Rafael Pepper-Clarke age 9, Rosa Parks School, Berkeley

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]artin Luther King Jr. said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
That’s why I’m writing about my own dream. My dream is for animals to have rights and for us to respect them.
First of all, understand that without animals we’d all die of starvation. They are the top of the food chain but below us.
They help us because they supply us with food and keep the world balanced.
Bees pollinate flowers and give us honey. Actually, we take it from them. The bees don’t give it to us, we steal it!  Like we stole land from the Native Americans.
Ants also get rid of extras which we don’t realize and we kill them. So do dung beetles, which we think are gross because they are rolling a ball of poop around and we kill them even though they’re getting rid of extras.
Killing them is dehumanizing/deanimalizing.
Also, animals get rid of pests like weeds, flies, locusts, etc, to help us stay alive.
Animals also can warn us of storms like tornados, earthquakes and hurricanes. They’re also adorable.
But animals don’t have a voice. That’s why we can hurt, kill and torture animals and nobody stops us.
What would you do if you were an animal? Put yourself in their paws, hooves, or fins.
I believe that animals have the same emotions as humans, like fear, pain, sadness and joy.

Service dogs are the friends and trusted companions for disabled children. Lydia Gans photo

Animal rights groups believe “that every creature with a will to live has a right to live free from pain and suffering.”  This is why we should help animals and give them a voice and I hope you agree after reading this. All we need to do is start.
Animals are awesome.
“Sì se puede!” “Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed,” said César  Chávez.