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Animal Rights. What's all that about then?


RootofStar

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There is a lot of confusing about what animal rights means - does it mean violence toward humans, or is it part of the peace movement; does it mean the vegan police will be kicking down your door to check the content of your fridge?; does it a meatless, petless society?

I have begun this thread to help clarify what animal rights means in the 21st century. What would it mean for Ireland?

The leading contemporary exponent of animal rights philosophy is law professor Gary L. Francione who has developed his abolitionist approach to animal rights. Here he talks about what a right is: http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/clarifying-the-meaning-of-a-right/

The Six Principles of the Abolitionist Approach to Animal Rights

1. The abolitionist approach to animal rights maintains that all sentient beings, humans or nonhumans, have one right: the basic right not to be treated as the property of others.

2. Our recognition of the one basic right means that we must abolish, and not merely regulate, institutionalized animal exploitation—because it assumes that animals are the property of humans.

3. Just as we reject racism, sexism, ageism, and heterosexism, we reject speciesism. The species of a sentient being is no more reason to deny the protection of this basic right than race, sex, age, or sexual orientation is a reason to deny membership in the human moral community to other humans.

4. We recognize that we will not abolish overnight the property status of nonhumans, but we will support only those campaigns and positions that explicitly promote the abolitionist agenda. We will not support positions that call for supposedly “improved” regulation of animal exploitation. We reject any campaign that promotes sexism, racism, heterosexism or other forms of discrimination against humans.

5. We recognize that the most important step that any of us can take toward abolition is to adopt the vegan lifestyle and to educate others about veganism. Veganism is the principle of abolition applied to one’s personal life and the consumption of any meat, fowl, fish, or dairy product, or the wearing or use of animal products, is inconsistent with the abolitionist perspective.

6. We recognize the principle of nonviolence as the guiding principle of the animal rights movement. Violence is the problem; it is not any part of the solution.



If possible, I would like this thread to be filled with polite discussion rather than the usual stuff that occurs on P.ie when "animal rights" is talked about. I do understand that I am not in any position to lay down rules but I'd like to think we could have an intelligent debate about the idea of animal rights.

Ros
 


sauntersplash

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1. The abolitionist approach to animal rights maintains that all sentient beings, humans or nonhumans, have one right: the basic right not to be treated as the property of others.
I only got this far I'm afraid. Everyday in everyway it is made clear that every person and animal is the property of others. To see any agent as being independent from obligation, authority and regulation is philosophically naive in the extreme. As is introducing any thinker as the leading authority on a topic.
 

RootofStar

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I only got this far I'm afraid. Everyday in everyway it is made clear that every person and animal is the property of others. To see any agent as being independent from obligation, authority and regulation is philosophically naive in the extreme. As is introducing any thinker as the leading authority on a topic.

Are you suggesting that "being independent from obligation, authority and regulation," which seems to be a valid sociological statement, is the same as being the property of others?

I'm perfectly happy to say that Professor Francione is "a prominent contemporary proponent of animal rights" if that's better for you.


Ros
 

stringjack

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I only got this far I'm afraid. Everyday in everyway it is made clear that every person and animal is the property of others. To see any agent as being independent from obligation, authority and regulation is philosophically naive in the extreme. As is introducing any thinker as the leading authority on a topic.
It should probably read "solely as the property of others." That would bring it in line with Kant's categorical imperative. (but I think the 'solely' is implied by the understanding of 'property' being used).
 

fool

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There is a lot of confusing about what animal rights means - does it mean violence toward humans, or is it part of the peace movement; does it mean the vegan police will be kicking down your door to check the content of your fridge?; does it a meatless, petless society?

I have begun this thread to help clarify what animal rights means in the 21st century. What would it mean for Ireland?
You've made a serious error here in assuming that there's only one valid interpretation of the term "animal rights."
 

RootofStar

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You've made a serious error here in assuming that there's only one valid interpretation of the term "animal rights."

There are several different visions of animal rights - the animal rights philosophers do not agree totally on the subject, as one would expect, and the "animal rights movement" tends to use the term "animal rights" rhetorically, as utilitarian philosopher Peter Singer does and organisations like PeTA and ARAN do.

The rights-based animal rights philosophers most talked about are Tom Regan (The Case for Animal Rights) and Gary Francione (Introduction to Animal Rights). I assume nothing, except that this thread may give me a headache.:)



Ros
 

myksav

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Animal rights? Animal welfare? Two different ways of thinking.

And I think RoS only went heavy in the posting on the mink thread to get above the threshold for posting a thread so as to post this thread. The topic of which has already had threads extant on this forum.
 

RootofStar

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Animal rights? Animal welfare? Two different ways of thinking.

And I think RoS only went heavy in the posting on the mink thread to get above the threshold for posting a thread so as to post this thread. The topic of which has already had threads extant on this forum.

You are a conspiracy theorist, right?


Ros
 

Tombo

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You've made a serious error here in assuming that there's only one valid interpretation of the term "animal rights."
Even worse. An error as been made thinking that you can simply manufacture a contorted meaning for a word already in use and claim yours is the correct usage. :roll:
 

RootofStar

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What happens when a lion kills a gazelle?

"non-speciesism" surely dictates an arrest be made and murder trial be convened.
After all, "rights" have been violated.:roll:

When a lion kills a gazelle, a carnivore gets her dinner. Since so many people keep saying that rights are a human concept - that effectively nonhuman animals are amoral - then no violations occurs.

Since we are not carnivores, since we can understand and act upon ethical principles, that does not apply to us.

In theory, human society is not modelled on lion society, although sometimes we are made to wonder.


5. Question: But nonhuman animals eat other nonhumans in the wild, so isn’t it okay for us to eat them?

Answer: No. First of all, although some animals eat each other in the wild, many do not. Many animals are vegans. Moreover, there is far more cooperation in nature than our imagined “cruelty of nature” would have us believe.

Second, whether animals eat other animals is beside the point. How is it relevant whether animals eat other animals? Some animals are carnivorous and cannot exist without eating meat. We do not fall into that category; we can get along fine without eating meat, and more and more people are taking the position that our health and environment would both benefit from a shift away from a diet of animal products.

Third, animals do all sorts of things that humans do not regard as morally appropriate. For example, dogs copulate and defecate in the street. Does that mean that we should follow their example?

Fourth, it is interesting that when it is convenient for us to do so, we attempt to justify our exploitation of animals by resting on our supposed “superiority.” And when our supposed “superiority” gets in the way of what we want to do, we suddenly portray ourselves as nothing more than another species of wild animal, as entitled as foxes to eat chickens.


From - Frequently Asked Questions, Part Two | Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach


Ros
 
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rootofstar - given that you feel so strongly about animal rights could you possibly furnish what in YOUR OPINION should be done? all i see from you so far is references and quotations!! or should i presume that you want every person on this planet on a vegan diet without leather shoes, without clothes derived from animals and all doing a merry dance around a bonfire, oh sorry we couldnt have fire either in case we harmed any insects living in the wood.
 

RootofStar

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quick question. Why do animal rights protesters never picket outside high street butchers?

Some do - but...

That's a very good question.

I think the answers are...

1. Only in recent years has veganism been established as the moral baseline of the rights-based animal rights movement.

2. This new movement is increasingly critical of single-issue campaigning and, therefore, concentrates on vegan education which is based on a general critique of the ideology of speciesism.

3. More controversially - many people who call themselves animal rights advocates do not actually support rights-based ideas about human-animal relations. Many are animal welfarists (not of the traditional sort, but "progressive" or "new" welfarists). Many do not like the term animal welfare and prefer the label animal rights while rejecting the philosophy of animal rights. Many groups, such as PeTA, follow the animal welfare philosophy of Peter Singer and yet claim to stand for animal rights. (Singer is opposed to rights as the basis of a position and yet is often discribed as the "father of the AR movement"). Some groups are influenced by ecofeminist theories that see rights as patriarchal, and some are anarchists who may see rights as bourgeois in nature.

4. Many animal advocates have believed that they can "move things along" toward animal rights by tackling issues like circuses, hunting, fur, and so on, and they therefore campaign on issues the public and/or politicians are most against (this explains why some Irish campaigners are often focused on the killing of seals in Canada). Again, rights philosopher Gary Francione would call these strategies "new welfarist," seeking out worst cases, etc.

As with many other social movements, the animal advocacy movement has no general agreement in terms of what they want and how best to get it. Tom Regan points out that some animal advocates want bigger cages while others want empty cages or no cages, and there is a difference if groups are focused on treatment or on use.
 

myksav

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You are a conspiracy theorist, right?


Ros
Nah, I leave conspiracy theories to the likes of you. But the coincidence between your 100th+ post and starting this thread is intriguing.
 

RootofStar

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Nah, I leave conspiracy theories to the likes of you. But the coincidence between your 100th+ post and starting this thread is intriguing.

Actually, I did not know the 100 posts rule applied on P.ie - I thought it was a Boards issue.

I was warned a few weeks ago that I was getting off topic on a thread about hare coursing even though I was just answering questions from other posters, so I realised that was happening again on the minks thread.

I really cannot see a problem to be honest.


Ros
 

RootofStar

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Oct 19, 2009
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rootofstar - given that you feel so strongly about animal rights could you possibly furnish what in YOUR OPINION should be done? all i see from you so far is references and quotations!! or should i presume that you want every person on this planet on a vegan diet without leather shoes, without clothes derived from animals and all doing a merry dance around a bonfire, oh sorry we couldnt have fire either in case we harmed any insects living in the wood.

It is even worse than that! Veganism is a philosophy and not a diet. It stands for non-violence. It wants human beings to be less violent in general.

It is not possible to eat meat and dairy, or wear leather, without a great deal of violence being perpetrated against nonhuman animals. In fact, as I'm sure someone is bound to mention, there are issues of harm and killing of animals in the production of crops and plants too.

Even though this killing is not intended, it its something vegans will need to address. However, the best way to do that - and probably the only way - is to have more vegans in society who care about the way food is produced.

Vegans would try not to harm insects but that does not mean they - or any nonhuman animal - can do whatever they like to us or "our stuff." The concept of animal rights, of course, allows for self defence.

There will probably never be a situation in which humans do not kill or harm the interests of other other animals - but veganism would stop us deliberately breeding them in order to exploit them.


Ros
 

RootofStar

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tomybhoy

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Nope......I thought all animal rights loopers had a lot of common ground.
The conditions for joining some of these groups are dodgy to say the least.
 

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