FAQ’s Related to Animal Rights

Even if other animals do have moral rights and should be protected, there are more important things that need our attention — world hunger and child abuse, for example, apartheid, drugs, violence to women, and the plight of the homeless. After we take care of these problems, then we can worry about animal rights.

The animal rights movement stands as part of, not apart from, the human rights movement. The same philosophy that insists upon and defends the rights of non-human animals also insists upon and defends the rights of human beings. At a practical level, moreover, the choice thoughtful people face is not between helping humans and helping…

If we respect the rights of animals and do not eat or exploit them in other ways, then what are we supposed to do with all of them? In a very short time they will be running through our streets and homes.

Somewhere between 4-5 billion animals are raised and slaughtered for food every year, just in the United States. The reason for this astonishingly high number is simple: there are consumers who eat very large amounts of animal flesh. The supply of animals meets the demand of buyers. When the philosophy of animal rights triumphs, however,…

But surely there are some animals that can experience pain but lack a unified psychological identity. Since these animals do not have a right to be treated with respect, the philosophy of animal rights implies that we can treat them in any way we choose.

It is true that some animals, like shrimp and clams, may be capable of experiencing pain yet lack most other psychological capacities. If this is true, then they will lack some of the rights that other animals possess. However, there can be no moral justification for causing anyone pain — if it is unnecessary to…

You are saying that every human and every other animal has the same rights which is absurd. Chickens cannot have the right to vote, nor can pigs have a right to higher education.

We are not saying that humans and other animals always have the same rights. Not even all human beings have the same rights. For example, people with serious mental disadvantages do not have a right to higher education. What we are saying is that these and other humans share a basic moral right with other…