Little ducklings

Even as a mother
protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish
all living beings.
Sutta Nipata

What do the teachings of Buddhism say about animal rights?

In Buddhism the highest and universal ideal is to continually work for a permanent end to the suffering of all creatures, not just the human animal, but all animals, all living beings without exception.

In Buddhism there are five precepts, codes of moral conduct, the first of which is an injunction against destroying life. Buddha laid great emphasis on the fact that the restriction on casing harm applied not only to human beings but to all creatures all "living beings."

Here is Buddha's response on an occasion when he came across a flock of sheep being driven towards the city of Rajagaha to be sacrificed.

Among the sheep a lamb was injured and Buddha feeling compassion for the poor creature picked him up, followed the shepherds into the city and prevented the sacrifice from taking place by asking King Bimbisara to stop animal sacrifices saying:

All beings tremble before danger, all fear death. When a man considers this, he does not kill or cause to kill.
 
All beings fear before danger, life is dear to all. When a man considers this, he does not kill or cause to kill. 

Dhammapada 54 #wp

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