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Animal rights

Animal rights is the idea in which some, or all, non-human animals are entitled to the possession of their own lives and that their most basic interests—such as the need to avoid suffering—should be afforded the same consideration as similar interests of human beings. Advocates oppose the assignment of moral value and fundamental protections on the basis of species membership alone—an idea known since 1970 as speciesism, when the term was coined by Richard D. Ryder—arguing that it is a prejudice as irrational as any other. They maintain that animals should no longer be viewed as property or used as food, clothing, research subjects, entertainment, or beasts of burden.That a central goal of animal rights is to eliminate the property status of animals, see Sunstein (2004), p. 11ff.

  • For speciesism and fundamental protections, see Waldau (2011).
  • For food, clothing, research subjects or entertainment, see Francione (1995), p. 17.

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The hypocrisy of animal rights and China's dog meat festival

One man named Zhong stated,"Eating dog meat is a regular thing for me. Dog rearing is the same as rearing pigs or chickens, there is no difference." Perhaps years ago there was no difference. However, societal values have changed and more young Chinese people see dogs as "man's best friend". These views are hypocritical. Many commenters on articles about this issue have displayed outrage over the mistreatment of dogs, but cannot the same be said about the chickens, cows, and pigs in the United States? Again, societal perceptions. Most don't see chickens, cows, and pigs as the same sentient beings as they do dogs. While this is certainly not fair, it's not as easy to get rid of our value system as it is to fight for animal rights.

Contributed by Lucy Zhang

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