Being a veterinarian and an animal rights defender

The best career path, for me, is one that focuses on the things you love to do.

I love animals, so I want to be a veterinarian so I can treat them and help prevent disease.

Author Yumi with Milky, Tagpi, Puti and the Pandacoco puppy.

I also want to fight for animal rights. Through my love for digital art and animation, I hope to one day use my arts skills to create communication materials to help stop or prevent different forms of animal cruelty.

I love fighting for animal rights just as much as I love fighting for human rights. I believe that animals should not be treated as if they are beings whose life is worth less than ours because they are “just animals” as others say. This is my personal position on animal rights. I’ve seen so many people treat animals like they’re just things they can get rid of whenever they want. I believe that animals deserve fair treatment, as fair as humans. They are living beings after all, much like us.

Animal cruelty continues despite animal welfare laws. I see on TV and on the internet that there are only a few officials here in our country who care about animals. There was once a story in the news about animals in the zoo not having enough food and not being cared for properly. But no one did anything until an animal rights group staged a protest and the story caught the attention of the media.

Going through Republic Act 8485, also known as the “Animal Welfare Act of 1998”, as amended by Republic Act 10631, I can tell that there are a few gaps in said act. . In article 6 of the said law, for example, although it is great that dogfights and horse fights are listed as illegal in this article, it is limited only to these two types of betting games. What about cockfights? Aren’t roosters also animals that should also be covered by law? Why is cockfighting not mentioned when it is very common here in our country?

“SECOND. 6. It is unlawful for any person to torture any animal, to neglect to provide adequate care, to provide shelter or to abuse any animal or to subject any dog ​​or horse to dog or horse fighting, to kill or cause or cause torture, or deprived of adequate care, sustenance or shelter, or abused or used in research or experiments not expressly authorized by the Animal Welfare Committee. Republic 8485 otherwise known as the “Animal Welfare Act of 1998” as amended by Republic Act 10631, PHILIPPINE CONGRESS, THIRD REGULAR SESSION, October 3, 2013)

My mom and I are writing an article about the loopholes in animal welfare law. We hope lawmakers will take notice and acknowledge our comments on this. I hope one day I will be able to make a difference on the issue of animal rights and urge others to push for amendments to the Animal Welfare Act that are indeed in favor of animals.

But defending animal rights is not enough for me. That’s why I want to go into veterinary medicine. I also want to save animal lives medically.

I know Veterinary Medicine is now a five year program offered by an accredited college or university. I want to contribute to the demand of veterinarians here in the Philippines. According to the Ministry of Labor and Employment, there could be a shortage of veterinarians in the country since many choose to go abroad because the salary is much higher than what the local job offers (veterinarian , Local Employment Bureau-Department of Labor and Employment of the Philippines, 2011). Even though the financial prospects abroad are better, I chose to stay here because of my advocacy.

I choose a career path involved in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and control of animal diseases, including terrestrial and aquatic animals.

A vet is what I’ve always wanted to be since I can remember. When I was barely three years old, my mother told me that there was an “animal doctor”. Right then, I knew that was what I wanted to be: an animal doctor.

My goal when I finally become a veterinarian is to be the first to create both the most comprehensive hospital and animal shelter. I want to build a fully functional shelter hospital with all the necessary equipment to prevent diseases, diagnose and treat animals.

And, since I also want to become an animator or a digital artist, I plan to take a course in animation after taking veterinary medicine.

(Left) Yumi’s pets: smiling Doogie (front), her mother Coco (brown), Tagpi, Puti, Milky and Pandacoco in the back. ; (Right) Yumi with Milky (right), Puti (left) and Tagpi lying on the grass and playing with the Pandacoco puppy.

My mom and I actually started an animal shelter and I hope our little shelter will have better facilities when I finish school. But we continue to help animals in need even now, despite the limitations. I rely on what my mother tells me about time and opportunities. She said, “Do what you can and with what you have now because time won’t wait for you.”

About the Author: Yumi Burgos is the only child of Mariana and Jonas Burgos. Now 17, she is an artist who has won numerous national and international art competitions. She actively defends human rights and animal rights.

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