Animal Rights: What are Animal Rights
If you view nothing else on this page please at least watch the videos included towards the end.
To add interest I have interspersed commentary with thought provoking quotations from philosophers, ethicists, scientists and other notable thinkers both past and present. For ease of reading all quotations appear in a purple font
Please note: External links will open into a new window
One day the absurdity of the almost universal human belief in the slavery of other animals will be palpable. We shall then have discovered our souls and become worthier of sharing this planet with them.
Martin Luther King, Jr
This website supports animal rights and advocates a nonviolent approach to achieving rights for animals. We consider that the promotion of a vegan diet and life style, education and peaceful campaigning is the way forward to securing rights for our fellow creatures.
So what are animal rights? What is the difference between the term animal rights and animal welfare? Why should we grant animals rights? These and other questions I hope to address in the article below.
"Suppose that tomorrow a group of beings from another planet were to land on Earth, beings who considered themselves as superior to you as you feel yourself to be to other animals. Would they have the right to treat you as you treat the animals you breed, keep and kill for food? "
What are animal rights?
To begin here is a selection of basic definitions from on-line dictionaries, encyclopædia and other sources:
"The rights to humane treatment claimed on behalf of animals, especially the right not to be exploited for human purposes."
The free Dictionary
"Animal rights, also referred to as animal liberation, is the idea that the most basic interests of animals should be afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of humans."
"The fundamental principle of the modern animal rights movement is that many nonhuman animals have basic interests that deserve recognition, consideration, and protection. In the view of animal rights advocates, these basic interests give the animals that have them both moral and legal rights."
Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/25760/animal-rights
"Animal rights are the rights of animals to be protected from human use and abuse and can take moral, legal and practical forms. People who support animal rights believe that animals are not ours to use as we wish for whatever purpose, be it for food, clothing, experimentation or entertainment. Animal rights supporters also believe that we should consider the best interests of animals regardless of the usage value they may have for us."
Ben Roger Panaman How to Do Animal Rights - And Win the War on Animals
The basis of all animal rights should be the Golden Rule: we should treat them as we would wish them to treat us, were any other species in our dominant position.
...animal rights must not only be an idea but a social movement for the liberation of the world's most oppressed beings, both in terms of numbers and in the severity of their pain.
Click the following link for our statement concerning this website's stance on and personal interpretation of Animal rights:
Animal Rights: Our Statement
There follows a general definition of Animal Rights and the Animal Rights Movement
As often as Herman had witnessed the slaughter of animals and fish, he always had the same thought: in their behaviour toward creatures, all men were Nazis. The smugness with which man could do with other species as he pleased exemplified the most extreme racist theories, the principle that might is right.
Isaac Bashevis Singer
Animal rights is the name given to the ideology that advocates the right to humane treatment that is claimed on behalf of animals by humans on the basis that animals have moral rights not to have their basic interests violated, and that they should have legal entitlement to such rights, most particularly the right not to be harmed and exploited for human use. The term animal rights refers to the concept that animals are entitled to certain fundamental rights; contrary to a common misconception supporters of Animal rights are not interested in making animals and humans equal. Rather, they work for the basic rights of all animals to live their lives free from abuse and pain or premature death at the hands of humans. The idea is that the basic interests of nonhuman animals should be considered in just the same way as are similar interests of humans. Again the aim of animal rights is not that animals should have all the same rights as human beings; there are many rights that are entirely irrelevant to animals, such as freedom of religion and speech, the right to vote, the right to an education and so on. It seems somewhat superfluous to even mention this as it appears obvious but apparently such distinctions are necessary as they appear in many definitions of animal rights.
Advocates of animal rights may approach the issue from different philosophical perspectives but all agree that when the interests of animals are the same as humans, nonhuman animals should be considered in much the same way as humans and therefore regarded as part of the moral community and should therefore not be exploited in any way, such as used for food or clothing, or used in experiments or as entertainment and labour, nor should they be regarded as property.
Supporters of the cause of animal rights consider that nonhuman animals are sentient beings aware of their own existence and what happens to them and as such are entitled to the same fundamental moral and legal rights that are currently accorded only to humans.
The Animal Rights movement, also often referred to as animal liberation, is a pressure group or groups - there are many and varied movements with a variety of approaches campaigning for the rights of animals. Each group has its own perspective and ways of bringing this about, either by peaceful means, for example the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' (PETA)approach is by education and peaceful campaigning, similar stances are held by the Vegetarians International Voice for Animals (VIVA) , or by a more militant approach that is adopted by a small minority. Most animal rights advocates support activism by peaceful means.
The Animal rights movement in general is against any abuse, but particularly any abuse which results in pain and suffering both on a physical and psychological level. Such abuses include farming of any kind, the most exploitative and abusive of which is factory farming. Also, and most obviously, animal experimentation of any kind such as for medical and for the cosmetic industry along with Killing and breeding of animals for their fur or wool - keep in mind that most wool comes from slaughtered sheep - and hunting. Note the use of animals for experimentation is far more widespread than people generally realise and in addition to the cosmetic industry and medical research other examples include, the US military and NASA . At the time of writing NASA are considering using Squirrel monkeys to research the effects of radiation on Astronauts in deep space. This will involve confining the monkeys in isolation in steel cages while researchers observe them as they succumb to the effects of radiation, in short a slow a painful death. Other less obvious abuses are included under the remit of animal rights, namely the imprisonment of animals in zoos, aquariums and circuses. (Concerning zoos and aquariums, the excuse of conservation is in my opinion not a valid reason to keep animals confined in this way, although this reason is often put forward to justify the continuation of zoos which may have otherwise fallen into decline.)
Also considered in the agenda of the animal rights movement is the exploitation of animals for labour or entertainment, most obvious of which that springs to mind are sheep dogs for labour, one animal trained to control another, and horse or dog racing as entertainment.
Some animal rights activists consider the owning of pets as a form of animal abuse and believe that humans do not have the right to own or consider animals as property. Ideally many animal rights advocates would like to see the abandonment of keeping animals as pets. However in the main animal rights supporters consider that the keeping of pets is an entrenched and established practice at the present time and do not advocate the releasing of pets into the wild, but advise against certain companion animals, such as caged animals and recommend that dogs and cats be given as natural a life as is possible and are acquired from a pound or shelter rather than from a puppy mill or pet shop. Please refer to the link below.
PETA Animal Rights Uncompromised PETA on 'Pets'
Most animal rights supporters are at the least vegetarian but anyone who believes in the cause of animal rights in the strictest sense is vegan. However there are most likely many people who will support one area of animal rights while ignoring another, for instance many people may be anti fur and hunting but continue to eat meat. However serious animal rights activists or supporters will most likely consider all the above abuses and instances of exploitation as coming under the heading of animal rights and consider them all as of equal importance.
Below is an extract that provides a good explanation of Animal rights from How to Do Animal Rights - And Win the War on Animals,
Animal Rights Theory
The justification for conferring rights on animals is that animals are in many important ways like humans. Animals are sentient creatures. They feel pleasure and pain, experience emotions, remember, anticipate and learn. What happens to them is important for them, unlike what happens to a rock or a stone. So, if you argue that humans deserve rights, by simple extension you can argue that animals also deserve rights.
Animal interests, however, are not always the same as human interests. Thus the range of rights that animals need are not always the same as the range of rights that humans need. Animals are not in need of equality before the law, freedom of speech, freedom of religion or fair taxation. Nor do animals have an interest in voting or getting a high school education. Hence, it would be meaningless and silly to talk of giving animals the right to these interests. However, this should not prevent us from bestowing relevant or appropriate rights on animals.
Relevant rights for animals can be any benefits appropriate for animals that people wish to bestow on them. Relevant rights for animals can include:
The right to live free in the natural state of their choosing.
The right to express normal behaviour (eg food searching, grooming, nest building).
The right to life (ie not be killed for human food or other human use).
The right to reproduce (ie pass on their genes to the next generation).
The right to chose their own lifestyle (eg not be coerced into experiments or used as entertainment).
The right to live free from human induced harm (eg hunger, thirst, molestation, fear, distress, pain, injury or disease).
If you believe animals have such rights then you would have a doubtful basis for exploiting animals. You would have a moral duty to support those rights and would be morally corrupt if you did not. If animals have these rights, how could you justify, say, eating animals, using them for sport or keeping them in zoos? In practical terms you would have to live your life accordingly, such as become a vegetarian or vegan.
Unfortunately the link to the source of the information above is no longer available but you can read more information about animal rights by clicking the link below.
The Universal Declaration of Animal Rights
The ideology of Animal Rights is well expressed in the Universal Declaration of Animal Rights
There are several versions of the Universal Declaration of Animal rights here are two of them
"Inasmuch as there is ample evidence that many animal species are capable of feeling, we condemn totally the infliction of suffering upon our fellow creatures and the curtailment of their behavioural and other needs save where this is necessary for their own individual benefit.
"We do not accept that a difference in species alone (any more than a difference in race) can justify wanton exploitation or oppression in the name of science or sport, or for use as food, for commercial profit or for other human gain.
Excerpt the universal Declaration of Animal Rights from uncaged
To read the rest of this except and another declaration please click: Animal Rights: Universal Declaration of Animal Rights
To sum up: animal rights proponents accept that animals are sentient conscious beings, aware of themselves and others of their species, others species and their environment. Nonhuman animals have their own interests and human beings should respect the interests of nonhuman animals. Human beings should not treat nonhuman animals as objects and should not consider them as property. Nonhuman animals have the right not to be killed, or harmed or exploited.
Often there is some confusion concerning terminology, most notable of which is the terms animal rights and animal welfare. Many people consider that the two can be used interchangeably when in fact there are considerable and important differences
What is the difference between Animal Welfare and Animal Rights
"Being kind to animals is not enough. Avoiding cruelty is not enough. Housing animals in more comfortable, larger cages is not enough. Whether we exploit animals to eat, to wear, to entertain us, or to learn, the truth of animal rights requires empty cages, not larger cages."
Essentially animal welfare focuses its efforts on the "well being" of animals rather than the total abolition of their exploitation. Put another way Animal rights advocates are campaigning for no cages, while animal welfare supporters are campaigning for bigger cages.
Animal Welfare groups have very different objectives than animal rights groups. While animal rights advocates want animals to be considered as individuals rather than property with an inherent right to life, including the right not to be harmed or exploited, animal welfare groups consider it permissible to use animals for our benefit but while doing so fight for the more humane treatment of animals in general.
The terms Animal Welfare and Animal Rights are often used interchangeably. To newcomers to this issue it can be confusing and when I created this website I had at first used the term animal welfare thinking that it was a synonym for animal rights, not realising that there are fundamental differences. Unlike animal rights the term animal welfare does not take into account the right of an animal to live his or her own life as nature intended, but rather continues with the idea that animals are ours to use as we will albeit with more consideration for their welfare whilst doing so. The position of Animal welfare is that some or all animals, in particular those who are utilised by humans as food, labour and so on and those in human care, such as companion animals, should be treated in such a way that they do not suffer unnecessarily. For example providing confined animals, such as zoo animals and battery hens with larger cages, more space to move. Basically although not categorically opposed to using animals for food, entertainment, experimentation, as labour, and pets the viewpoint of Animal welfare is to prevent unnecessary suffering to animals and provide them with the best quality of life and a humane death.
"As soon as I realized that I didn't need meat to survive or to be in good health, I began to see how forlorn it all is. If only we had a different mentality about the drama of the cowboy and the range and all the rest of it. It's a very romantic notion, an entrenched part of American culture, but I've seen, for example, pigs waiting to be slaughtered, and their hysteria and panic was something I shall never forget."
It has be said that there is in reality no humane way of killing an animal, particularly in the context of the slaughter house, and there is certainly nothing humane about death even if it could be painlessly brought about. All creatures wish to live, the instinct for survival is the most prominent of all instinctive behaviours in both nonhuman and human animals. No animal wants to die. All animals know they are about to die, therefore even if there was some way to bring about a painless death there is no way to prevent the psychological suffering in the slaughter house when animals are faced with death and, here I cannot emphasise this enough: every animal wishes to enjoy his or her life, and like you, simply does not want to die. There can never be anything humane about bringing about the death of any animal for the purpose of satisfying human requirements.
"For the sake of a little flesh we deprive them of sun, of light, of the duration of life to which they are entitled by birth and being."
The excerpts following provide an excellent explanation concerning the differences between Animal Welfare and Animal rights and are extracted from an article by Marc Bekoff : Animal Emotions, Animal Sentience, Animal Welfare, and Animal Rights.
Animal welfare and animal rights are not the same
People who believe that it's permissible to cause animals pain, but not unnecessary pain, argue that if we consider the animals' welfare or well-being their quality of life that's all we need to do. These people are called "welfarists" and they practice "welfarism." Welfarists believe that while humans should not wantonly exploit animals, as long as we make animals' lives comfortable, physically and psychologically, we're respecting their welfare. If animals experience comfort and some of life's pleasures, appear happy, and are free from prolonged or intense pain, fear, hunger and other unpleasant states, they're doing fine. If individuals show normal growth and reproduction, and are free from disease, injury, malnutrition and other types of suffering, they're doing well and we're fulfilling our obligations to them.This welfarist position also assumes that it is all right to use animals to meet human ends as long as certain safeguards are used. They believe that the use of animals in experiments and the slaughtering of animals as food for humans are all right as long as these activities are conducted in a humane way...
Rightists also are concerned with animals' quality of life. However, they argue it's wrong to abuse or exploit animals, to cause animals any pain and suffering, and that animals shouldn't be eaten, held captive in zoos, or used in most (or any) educational or research settings. They believe animals have certain moral and legal rights including the right to life and the right not to be harmed. According to Gary Francione, a professor of law at Rutgers University, to say an animal has a "right" to have an interest protected means the animal is entitled to have that interest protected even if it would benefit us to do otherwise. Rightists believe humans have an obligation to honor that claim for animals just as they do for non-consenting humans who can't protect their own interests. ..
Rightists also stress that animals' lives are inherently valuable; their lives aren't valuable because of their utility to humans. Animals aren't "less valuable" than humans. Also, animals are neither property nor "things," but rather living organisms, subjects of a dignified life, who are worthy of our support, friendship, compassion and respect. Any amount of pain and death is unnecessary and unacceptable...
It is highly recommend that you read the complete article:
Animal welfare groups as you can clearly see if you have read the above information have very different objectives than animal rights groups.
To reiterate: the objective of Animal Rights advocates is for animals to be considered as individuals with the right to their own lives rather than as property for our use, while the ideology of Animal welfare supporters is to promote more humane treatment of animals generally and those used by humans. Animal Welfare groups are often divided in their opinion as to what is permissible.
While this website admires the efforts of animal welfare groups to ease the suffering of nonhuman animals by campaigning for better conditions, we do not support this stance and consider that the only humane way forward is to liberate animals from the negative effects of human influence as expressed in the agenda of the animal rights movement. Reforms in animal welfare although they provide temporary relief to the suffering of non human animals in the short term only increase public complacency in the long term by encouraging the public to feel more comfortable about consuming animal products. Nonetheless in our view signing petitions and other activities for improvement in the condition of exploited animals is encouraged but the main aim must be to liberate animals from exploitation.
The fundamental wrong is the system that allows us to view animals as our resources, here for us - to be eaten, or surgically manipulated, or exploited for sport or money. Once we accept this view of animals - as our resources - the rest is as predictable as it is regrettable. Why worry about their loneliness, their pain, their death? Since animals exist for us, to benefit us in one way or another, what harms them really doesn't matter - or matters only if it starts to bother us, makes us feel a trifle uneasy when we eat our veal escalope, for example. So, yes, let us get veal calves out of solitary confinement, give them more space, a little straw, a few companions. But let us keep our veal escalope.
Tom Regan The case For animal Rights
Why should we Grant Animals Rights?
People often ask the question, should animals have rights? The answer to this question is of course is yes, animals should have rights Why? Why should we grant animal's rights?
Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.
Thomas A. Edison
If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals.
We can answer this question simply by saying we should grant animals rights for the same reasons that we should grant rights to human beings. Therefore the plain and simple answer to this questions is that it is ethical to do so in just that same way as it is ethical to grant rights to human beings, all human beings regardless of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation or any other perceived difference. It is quite simply the right thing to do. It is a part of our moral and civilising progress, the same progress that freed slaves, that brought about the declaration of human rights, and so on. In the words of Albert Schweitzer: We need a boundless ethics which will include animals also.
We grant human beings rights because we are all sentient beings, aware of our environment, our existence, our place in the world. We are aware of both our suffering and our pleasures, and, most importantly, we wish to avoid such suffering and have the freedom to experience pleasure and all the other facets of our existence on whatever level of awareness we occupy. And indeed people, like nonhuman animals, exist on different levels of awareness, our experience of the world is different for each individual. Nonhuman animals are like us, sentient beings aware of their environment and what happens to them in many ways very similar to human beings. Likewise animals experience their existence on various levels of sentience but nonetheless experience life in many ways similar to our own. At the very least like us they feel pain, experience fear and anxiety. However, If you consider closely how animals live you will see that they are in many aspects very similar to ourselves, they interact with their environment in many ways very much as we do and experience emotions much like ours. In the words of J Henry Moore animals:
... eat and sleep, seek pleasure and try to avoid pain, cling valorously to life, experience health and disease, get seasick, suffer hunger and thirst, co-operate with each other, build homes, reproduce themselves, love and provide for their children, feeding, defending, and educating them, contend against enemies, contract habits, remember and forget, learn from experience, have friends and favourites and pastimes, appreciate kindness, commit crimes, dream dreams, cry out in distress, are affected by alcohol, opium, strychnine, and other drugs, see, hear, smell, taste, and feel, are industrious, provident and cleanly, have languages, risk their lives for others, manifest ingenuity, individuality, fidelity, affection, gratitude, heroism, sorrow, sexuality, self-control, fear, love, hate, pride, suspicion, jealousy, joy, reason, resentment, selfishness, curiosity, memory, imagination, remorse all of these things, and scores of others, the same as human beings do.
Henry J Moore : Universal Kinship
Most importantly like us they wish to avoid death and suffering therefore it is morally wrong to inflict suffering upon any creature that is not in that creatures interests, and for his or her interest alone and not ours. For instance the only time a human being should inflict pain is to provide an animal with medical assistance, which at times may bring about pain for a nonhuman animal as it does for humans in the interests of providing treatment.
For an informative commentary on the question why should animals have rights, read the article, Why Animal Rights? from which the following extraction was taken.
You will find a link to the complete article below
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. Many of us bought our beloved "pets" at pet shops, had guinea pigs and kept beautiful birds in cages. We wore wool and silk, ate McDonald's burgers and fished. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: why should animals have rights?
In his book Animal Liberation, Peter Singer states that the basic principle of equality does not require equal or identical treatment – it requires equal consideration. This is an important distinction when talking about animal rights. People often ask if animals should have rights, and quite simply, the answer is "Yes!" Animals deserve to live their lives free from suffering and exploitation.Jeremy Bentham, the founder of the reforming utilitarian school of moral philosophy, stated that when deciding on a being's rights, "The question is not 'Can they reason?' nor 'Can they talk?' but 'Can they suffer?'" In that passage, Bentham points to the capacity for suffering as the vital characteristic that gives a being the right to equal consideration. The capacity for suffering is not just another characteristic like the capacity for language or higher mathematics. All animals have the ability to suffer in the same way and to the same degree that humans do. They feel pain, pleasure, fear, frustration, loneliness and motherly love. Whenever we consider doing something that would interfere with their needs, we are morally obligated to take them into account.
Consider the following:
Animals Are Not Ours to Eat
Animals Are Not Ours to Wear
Animals Are Not Ours to Experiment On
Animals Are Not Ours to Use for Entertainment
Animals Are Not Ours to Abuse in Any Way
For the rest of this article, including the points above which you can read in full, please click the link below which will take you to PETA'S website
Now please watch the following Videos
EARTHLINGS is an award-winning documentary film about the suffering of animals for food, fashion, pets, entertainment and medical research. Considered the most persuasive documentary ever made, EARTHLINGS is nicknamed “the Vegan maker” for its sensitive footage shot at animal shelters, pet stores, puppy mills, factory farms, slaughterhouses, the leather and fur trades, sporting events, circuses and research labs. The film is narrated by Academy Award® nominee Joaquin Phoenix and features music by platinum-selling recording artist Moby. Initially ignored by distributors, today EARTHLINGS is considered the definitive animal rights film by organizations around the world. “Of all the films I have ever made, this is the one that gets people talking the most,” said Phoenix. “For every one person who sees EARTHLINGS, they will tell three.”
Please click the link below to view this film:
Here is a trailer
This is a moving film that will bring tears to the eyes of any person who has even a modicum of compassion. If you are in any doubt concerning the horrendous atrocities human beings perpetrate on our fellow creatures watch this film.
Please be aware the above film contains shockingly disturbing images.
ANIMAL RIGHTS - a universal declaration
Please be aware the above film contains shockingly disturbing images.
ANIMAL RIGHTS - a universal declaration
Finally in conclusion a number of quotations supporting the ideology of Animal rights.
Animal Rights Quotations
We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. The animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren; they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.
Henry Beston, The Outermost House
Henry Beston , June 1, 1888 in Boston – April 15, 1968, was an American writer and naturalist, considered as one of the fathers of the modern environmental movement was best known as the author of The Outermost House, written in 1925. Author Rachel Carson said that Beston was the only author who ever influenced her writing.
Those who wish to pet and baby wild animals "love" them. But those who respect their natures and wish to let them live normal lives, love them more.
Edwin Way Teale, Circle of the Seasons, 1953
Edwin Way Teale ,June 2, 1899 – October 18, 1980, was an American naturalist, photographer, and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer
I am not interested to know whether vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn't.... The pain which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity toward it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further.
Mark Twain, (pen name) real name Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910, was an American author and humorist. Most noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
Life is life's greatest gift. Guard the life of another creature as you would your own because it is your own. On life's scale of values, the smallest is no less precious to the creature who owns it than the largest.
Lloyd Biggle Jr.
Dr. Lloyd Biggle, Jr. ,April 17, 1923 - September 12, 2002, was a musician, author, and internationally known oral historian.
If you look at the course of western history you'll see that we're slowly granting basic rights to everyone. A long time ago only kings had rights. Then rights were extended to property-owning white men. Then all men. Then women. Then children. Then the mentally retarded. Now we're agonizing over the extension of basic rights to homosexuals and animals. We need to finally accept that all sentient creatures are deserving of basic rights. I define basic rights as this --the ability to pursue life without having someone else's will involuntarily forced upon you. Or, as the framers of the constitution put it, the ability to have "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". By what criteria can you justify denying basic rights to any living thing? Realize that by whatever criteria you employ someone could deny basic rights to you if they objected to your species, sexual preferences, color, religion, ideology etc. Would you eat your housecat, or force a mentally retarded child to ingest oven cleaner? If not, then why is it ok to eat cows and test products on sentient animals? I believe that to knowingly commit actions that cause or condone suffering is reprehensible in the extreme. I call upon you to be compassionate and treat others as you want to be treated. If you don't want to be beaten, imprisoned, mutilated, killed or tortured then you shouldn't condone such behavior towards anyone, be they human or not.
Moby is an American musician, singer-songwriter and Social Activist. Real name Richard Melville Hall, he was born born September 11, 1965
If man wants freedom why keep birds and animals in cages? Truly man is the king of beasts, for his brutality exceeds them. We live by the death of others. We are burial places! I have since an early age abjured the use of meat.
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519 was an Italian Renaissance painter, architect, musician, inventor, engineer and sculptor. He also excelled in terms of his integrity and sensitivity to moral issues. One such issue was Da Vinci's moral life which is not widely known to the general public, namely I da Vinci’s refusal to consume meat and his recognition of the cruelty of mistreating animals.
Many people feel drawn to advocate for animals because even though they can feel pain and suffer just as we do, they do not have a way to advocate for their own welfare. In fact, animals are viewed by many as nothing more than property to be treated however the owner wishes. This view has created an inhumane situation for billions of animals that share our world.
Robert Alan is an American Writer, Artist, Social Activist he was
born in Brooklyn, New York 1959
When a man has pity on all living creatures then only is he noble.
More information on this website concerning Buddhism and animal rights:
Why Animals Matter: A Religious and Philosphical Persepctive, Buddhism
More Buddhist Quotations Buddhism
You have to love animals for what they are or leave them alone. The best thing you can do if you love them is leave them alone and see that other people do too.
Pat Derby was a Hollywood animal trainer who with her partner Ed Stewart founded
Performing Animal Welfare Society -- PAWS
Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it's beauty
Albert Einstein born March 11th 1879-1955 Ulm, Germany
was a theoretical physicist, philosopher and author who is widely regarded as one of the most influential and best known scientists and intellectuals of all time. He is often regarded as the father of modern physics
To a man whose mind is free there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of man. For with the latter it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. If any man were to refer to it, he would be thought ridiculous. And that is the unpardonable crime.
Romain Rolland, 29 January 1866 – 30 December 1944, was a French dramatist, novelist, essayist, art historian and mystic who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1915.
I don`t hold animals superior or even equal to humans. The whole case for behaving decently to animals rests on the fact that we are the superior species. We are the species uniquely capable of imagination, rationality, and moral choice - and that is precisely why we are under an obligation to recognize and respect the rights of animals.
Brigid Antonia Brophy, 12 June 1929, in London, England – 7 August 1995, in Louth, Lincolnshire, England was an English novelist, essayist, critic, biographer, and dramatist. She was a feminist and pacifist who expressed controversial opinions on marriage, the Vietnam War, religious education in schools, sex and pornography. She was a vocal campaigner for animal rights and vegetarianism.
The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.
Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he, who is cruel to living creatures, cannot be a good man.
Arthur Schopenhauer ,22 February 1788 – 21 September 1860. was a German philosopher known for his pessimism and philosophical clarity.
Schopenhauer was very concerned about the welfare of animals:
For him, all animals, including humans, are phenomenal manifestations of Will. The word "will" designated, for him, force, power, impulse, energy, and desire; it is the closest word we have that can signify both the real essence of all external things and also our own direct, inner experience. Since everything is basically Will, then humans and animals are fundamentally the same and can recognize themselves in each other. For this reason, he claimed that a good person would have sympathy for animals, who are our fellow sufferers.
Schopenhauer protested against the pronoun "it" when used in reference to animals saying that it resulted in them being treated as though they were inanimate objects.
Life is life - whether in a cat, or dog or man. There is no difference there between a cat or a man. The idea of difference is a human conception for man's own advantage.
Sri Aurobindo (Aurobindo Ghose) ,15 August 1872 – 5 December 1950, was an Indian nationalist and freedom fighter, major Indian English poet, philosopher, and yogi. He joined the movement for India's freedom from British rule and for a duration (1905–10), became one of its most important leaders,before turning to developing his own vision and philosophy of human progress and spiritual evolution.
In an earlier stage of our development most human groups held to a tribal ethic. Members of the tribe were protected, but people of other tribes could be robbed or killed as one pleased. Gradually the circle of protection expanded, but as recently as 150 years ago we did not include blacks. So African human beings could be captured, shipped to America and sold. In Australia white settlers regarded Aborigines as a pest and hunted them down, much as kangaroos are hunted down today. Just as we have progressed beyond the blatantly racist ethic of the era of slavery and colonialism, so we must now progress beyond the speciesist ethic of the era of factory farming, of the use of animals as mere research tools, of whaling, seal hunting, kangaroo slaughter and the destruction of wilderness. We must take the final step in expanding the circle of ethics.
Peter Albert David Singer was born 6 July 1946 , he is is an Australian philosopher. He is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and laureate professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE), University of Melbourne.
Peter Singer is best known for his book Animal Liberation, widely regarded as the touchstone of the animal liberation movement. Not all members of the animal liberation movement share this view.
You will find more quotations: Animal Rights Quotations
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) The animal rights organization USA
Viva! - Vegetarians International Voice for Animals
1) Animal Liberation by Peter Singer, Chapter Two: Tools for Research
2) The PETA Files NASA Engineer Quits Over Monkey Experiment
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