Animal Rights Vs. Animal Welfare
Animal Welfare: belief that animals should be treated humanely. This includes proper housing, nutrition, disease prevention and treatment, responsible care, proper handling, and humane euthanasia or slaughter. Includes the belief that animals can be used for human purposes but that they should be treated so that discomfort is kept to a minimum. Animal Rights: belief that animals should not be exploited. People belief that animals should not be used for food, clothing, entertainment, medical research, or product testing. This includes the use of animals in rodeos, zoos, circuses, and even as pets. They believe it is ethically, morally, and inherently wrong to use animals for human purposes under any condition. Animals should not be used in experiments in which diseases and various therapy methods are studied.
Background Info • The modern animal rights movement (which began in the early 1970s) is composed largely of people from urban areas who are vegetarians. • In 1990, animal rights groups staged a “March for the Animals” rally in Washington, D.C. • America has the distinction of having the first laws on the books to protect farm animals from cruel treatment. Passed by the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1641. • The 1st anticruelty law was passed by the NY legislature in 1828. • In 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was formed in NY. • In 1906, the Animal Transportation Act was passed to protect animals traveling long distances by rail.
In 1958, the Humane Slaughter Act was passed and later amended in the 1970s to include the humane handling of animals prior to and during slaughter. • In 1966, Congress enacted the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act (AWA), which regulated laboratories that use animals in research. • The Horse Protection Act was passed in 1970 and amended in 1976 to protect horses and regulate horse show businesses. • In 1992, the Animal Enterprise Protection Act was passed to protect facilities (like farms, zoos, aquariums, circuses, rodeos, fairs) from intruders vandalizing such places or releasing animals from there.
Do Animals Have Rights? Specieism: the term animal rights activists use for the belief that any use of animals by humans reflects a bias that humans are superior to animals. Animal rights activists believe that animals have the same rights as humans. Animal rights activists contend that one cannot ignore the rights of animals while advocating the rights of humans, because humans are animals. Animal welfare is the stand that animals should be treated humanely and without cruelty. Animals should have proper housing, management, nutrition, disease prevention and treatment, responsible care, and handling. Animal welfare activists believe that animals can be used in research as long as all measures are taken to ensure that the animals are cared for humanely.
Should Animals Be Used for Food? Animal rights activists argue that modern farming is inhumane and that eating meat is unhealthy. They contend that modern farming is controlled by large corporations that care only about profits and not about the welfare of animals. Farmers have led the way in animal welfare. It has always been in their best interest to care for animals humanely and to see that they are well-fed and free of diseases. Farming in the US is not controlled by large corporations. Of the 2.2 million farms in the US, 97% are family owned and operated; only 7,000 are non-family-controlled corporations. No studies can substantiate that a vegetarian diet is healthier than a diet that includes meat, milk, and eggs.
Should Animals Be Used for Experimentation? Animals are used in three areas of experimentation: - research in biomedical & behavior sciences - testing of products for their safety - education where animals are used for demonstrations & dissections Animal rights activists believe that animal experimentation is unethical and unnecessary and that alternatives to animal experimentation should be used. Animals should be used only when no other alternatives exist. Many people believe that animal experimentation and research hold the key to successful cure of AIDS, cancer, and heart disease.
Should Hunting & Trapping Be Allowed? Animal rights activists believe that regulated recreational hunting and trapping is inhumane and unnatural. They also believe that hunters and trappers kill merely to inflict suffering. They would also like to see a stop to the use of hunting dogs. Animal rights activists also claim that hunting and trapping does not prevent overpopulation, that hunting for food is unnecessary, and that hunting should be banned completely. Hunting advocates note that they are the prime revenue sources for preserving non-endangered wildlife. Hunters make up about 7% of our population. Hunters have been largely responsible for initiating wildlife laws and their enforcement as well as the establishment of parks and wildlife reserves. Hunting programs are designed to harvest only the surplus animals.
More than 7,000 groups are involved in animal protection; 400 of these are considered animal rights groups. Many of the groups do not consider themselves as animal rights or animal welfare groups but are dedicated to the preservation of a specific species of animal and its habitat.