Animal rights

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The animal rights movement (sometimes called the animal liberation movement) is a liberal philosophical movement which seeks to obtain a greater level of moral rights for animals; for some activists this extends to protecting animals from unnecessary pain and suffering, whereas more extreme adherents demand that animals be given the same rights that humans have.

Most animal rights activists oppose the practice of using animals as commodities or property.[1] Typically, animal rights activists oppose hunting, animal testing, wearing fur, and the consumption of meat. Many practice a vegetarian or vegan diet. Some activists (especially those who identify themselves as animal liberationists) even disagree with the practice of owning pets and seeing-eye dogs.[2]

Detractors from the animal rights movement argue that since animals do not have the capacity to make moral decisions they can not be given the same rights as humans.[1] Some opponents even argue that the goals of the movement are not animal liberation, but placing restrictions on the lives of other people.[3] It should be noted that many prominent animal rights proponents, including Peter Singer, do not propose that animals have the capacity to make moral decisions. Rather, they argue that because humans have the capacity to make moral decisions, it is up to humans to make the moral decision about whether or not we treat animals in an acceptable manner.[4]

David Gelernter argues:

The moral universe of Judaism and Christianity centers unequivocally on man. Human beings have rights and moral duties—kindness to animals being one. Animals have neither. The duty of kindness to animals is a duty owed not to nature but to God, a morally crucial distinction.[5]

The creationist advocacy group Answers in Genesis has suggested that the real aim of the animal rights is to justify abortion by using moral equivalence as its argument - if human beings are no better than animals, and if we can kill animals when we want (as for food or clothing), why can't we kill unborn humans? [6]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Basic Tenets of the Animal Rights Movement
  3. Center for Consumer Freedom, Animal Rights
  4. Peter Singer, Animal Liberation, 2009
  6. [1]