Saturday, August 7, 2010
'Animal rights' defined
What is meant by "animal rights”?
The following statements (with italics added) are excerpted from a book* by Lee Hall, lawyer, teacher, advocate and legal director with Friends of Animals.(Hall is pictured here at a demonstration against horse-drawn carriages in Philadelphia earlier this year.)
"Animal rights is the development of respect for the interests of conscious beings in living on their terms rather than under human dominion. . . . is not a list of things we give, but an attitude of respect. . . . Animal rights, as distinguished from the extension of humane welfare provisions, is fundamentally an issue of justice. The more justice prevails, the less charity is needed. Thus, the guiding principle here isn’t to help them, but to aspire not to interfere. At essence, it would mean their privacy from our intrusions. . . . It is, at essence, the repudiation of violence, of seeing others as instruments to our ends, of taking advantage. . . ."
* Capers in the Churchyard: Animal Rights Advocacy in the Age of Terror (Nectar Bat Press, c. 2006)