Exploring Animal Rights

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Animal rights.

It’s a term that can both light fires under its most fervent supporters and chill non-believers to the bone. It can encourage, entice, enrage and incite feelings from deep within a person’s core, causing seemingly insane outbursts and cleverly planned attacks, protests and petitions.

But what does it mean to you?

That’s exactly what I posed to my social networks when I asked the following questions:

Via Twitter:             Working on a story & need your help – What does #AnimalRights mean to you? Help me out & reply with your answer & brief explanation!

Via Facebook: Hi friends! Working on a story for class and could use your input – When I say Animal Rights, what does that mean to you? Do you think PETA is awesome or too extreme? Are you vegetarian or vegan – if so, why?

Feel free to respond in the comments & let me know – all answers welcome! Thanks in advance!

The answers I received were very insightful and well-considered, and will serve as the basis for a three-part series titled Exploring Animal Rights, in which we’ll discuss the general concepts, various aspects of animal rights as well as the extremes of animal rights activism.

Do you have thoughts? What does Animal Rights mean to you?

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4 responses »

  1. Animal rights means to me to fight for the animals that cannot fight for themselves. It is horrible what an animal has to go through and I know they were not put on this earth to suffer the way they do just so we can eat and have clothing. This is 2012, there is no need to use animals the way we do anymore. There are so many alternatives out there that we should be sparing their lives and letting them live there natural lives in their natural settings and leaving them alone.

  2. Animal rights is an extreme position–and it’s a good thing, too. I would not be too concerned about the question of PETA being extreme; any organization, or any individual advocating animal rights is bound to an extreme position. The word extreme applies only because the vast majority of human animals refuse to relinquish its dominance over others. Yet, extreme does not seem to apply one bit when when Peter Singer and others explain the case for non-human animals.Thank you for keeping this important question front and center.

  3. To me the animal rights movement is seeking to broaden the circle of compassion to all beings on Earth. It is easy for us as humans to care for our same species, and maybe even other species like our family dog. But what about the animals who we as a society use for food, clothing, entertainment, and research? These animals have the same ability as us to experience pain and fear, and usually the same (if not even higher) mental capacity as our family dog. The AR movement may seem extreme, but that is only because of the traditionally ingrained practices of dominating and manipulating animals for our own selfish purposes that has been a part of human society for thousands of years. Other movements that sought to liberate those who are oppressed have been seen as extreme, for example the Civil Rights Movement and the Suffrage Movement, so the label of “extreme” shouldn’t be seen as a completely negative term.

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