The animalrightsmovement is a serious challenge to current agricultural practices. Agriculture's response, in part, depends on how successfully it can mobilize its natural constituency, farmers. However, theories of the mainstream press suggest that the mainstream press generally covers events, rarely reports or adopts the perspective of alternative movements, rarely includes mobilizing information, and suggests that routine social structures can, should, and will contain the movement. Hence, current theory indicates that the mainstream press does not (...) act to mobilize the general public. However, very little research has examined how specialized presses, such as the farm press, respond to movements. The study reported here was based on an analysis of 406 articles from ten farm magazines. The findings suggest that the farm press acted more as an advocacy press than does the mainstream press. Collectively, the farm press articles included as many positions pieces and stories explaining animalrights as an issue as they did event stories. The articles reported, and countered, the positions of the animalrightsmovement; suggested that routine social structures might not contain the animalrightsmovement; called for agriculture to mobilize; and included specific recommendations concerning how agriculture should mobilize. (shrink)
Post-citizenship movements include persons who are well integrated into the economic and educational structures of their society, advocate goals that offer little or no benefit to movement members, and pursue cultural changes in addition to more traditional social movement goals. This survey of 105 attendees at the AnimalRights 2000 conference, described by organizers as the largest event of its kind, supported viewing the animalrightsmovement as a post-citizenship movement. While confirming (...) the high level of economic and education integration, as well as the moral motivation of participants, this study also showed a threefold increase in veganism over an earlier survey, supporting the importance of Jasper's cultural dimension of the post-citizenship model. (shrink)
This article discusses critical comparisons between the human and nonhuman abolitionist movements in the United States. The modern nonhuman abolitionist movement is, in some ways, an extension of the anti-slavery movement of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the ongoing human Civil Rightsmovement. As such, there is considerable overlap between the two movements, specifically in the need to simultaneously address property status and oppressive ideology. Despite intentional appropriation of terminology and numerous similarities in mobilization efforts, (...) there has been disappointingly little academic discussion on this relationship. There are significant contentions regarding mobilization and goal attainment in the human abolitionist movement that speak to modern collective action on behalf of other animals. This article will explore the human abolitionist movement and discuss possible applications of movement organization, tactical repertoires, and goal attainment to the current nonhuman animalrightsmovement. Specifically, the utility of violence and legislative activism in the antislavery movement are discussed as potentially problematic approaches to abolishing nonhuman animal exploitation. Alternatively, the nonhuman animalrights focus on consumer resistance and nonviolence represent an important divergence in abolitionist mobilization. (shrink)
More than twenty years after its original publication, The Case for AnimalRights is an acknowledged classic of moral philosophy, and its author is recognized as the intellectual leader of the animalrightsmovement. In a new and fully considered preface, Regan responds to his critics and defends the book's revolutionary position.
Fifteen years ago, Peter Singer published Animal Liberation: A New Ethics for Our Treatment of Animals. In it, he proposed to end “the tyranny of humans over nonhuman animals” by “thinking through, carefully, and consistently, the question of how we ought to treat animals” (p. ix). On this anniversary of the book's publication, a critical analysis shows that the logic he presents, though popularly appealing, is philosophically flawed. Though influential in slowing and in some cases stopping biomedical research involving (...) animals, the animalrightsmovement in the United States has yet to offer a clear and compelling argument for the equlity of species. (shrink)
Previous research has alluded to the predominance of atheism in participant pools of the Nonhuman Animalrightsmovement, as well as the correlation between atheism and support for anti-speciesism, but no study to date has independently examined this demographic. This article presents a profile of 210 atheists and agnostics, derived from a larger survey of 287 American vegans conducted in early 2017. Results demonstrate that atheists constitute one of the movement's largest demographics, and that atheist and (...) agnostic vegans are more likely to adopt veganism out of concern for other animals. While these vegans did not register a higher level of social movement participation than religious vegans, they were more intersectionally oriented and more likely to politically identify with the far left. Given the Nonhuman Animalrightsmovement's overall failure to target atheists, these findings suggest a strategic oversight in overlooking the movement's potentially most receptive demographic. (shrink)
More than twenty years after its original publication, _The Case for AnimalRights _is an acknowledged classic of moral philosophy, and its author is recognized as the intellectual leader of the animalrightsmovement. In a new and fully considered preface, Regan responds to his critics and defends the book's revolutionary position.
Gary L. Francione is a law professor and leading philosopher of animalrights theory. Robert Garner is a political theorist specializing in the philosophy and politics of animal protection. Francione maintains that we have no moral justification for using nonhumans and argues that because animals are propertyor economic commoditieslaws or industry practices requiring "humane" treatment will, as a general matter, fail to provide any meaningful level of protection. Garner favors a version of animalrights that (...) focuses on eliminating animal suffering and adopts a protectionist approach, maintaining that although the traditional animal-welfare ethic is philosophically flawed, it can contribute strategically to the achievement of animal-rights ends. As they spar, Francione and Garner deconstruct the animal protection movement in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, and elsewhere, discussing the practices of such organizations as PETA, which joins with McDonald's and other animal users to "improve" the slaughter of animals. They also examine American and European laws and campaigns from both the rights and welfare perspectives, identifying weaknesses and strengths that give shape to future legislation and action. (shrink)
Purebred dog rescuers are doing their part to reduce the problems of homeless pets and pet overpopulation. The volunteers studied are doing the daily and invisible work of saving dogs. Because of their perception of the animalrightsmovement, however, they do not consider themselves part of the animal welfare or animalrightsmovement, nor do they care to be. Dog rescue organizations agree with academics and activist organizations on the cause of the (...) problem of homeless pets and pet overpopulation, but they differ on the theoretical, political, and ideological solutions to the problem. This paper focuses on the disagreements between rescue workers, activists, and academics and asks whether there is a place for rescue workers within the larger animal protection movement. (shrink)
General information -- The animals themselves -- Philosophical arguments -- Laws -- Political realities -- Social realities -- Education and the arts -- Contemporary sciences -- Major figures and organizations in the animalrightsmovement -- The future of animalrights.
In the past decade, philosopher Bernard Rollin points out, we have "witnessed a major revolution in social concern with animal welfare and the moral status of animals." Adopting the stance of a moderate, Harold Guither attempts to provide an unbiased examination of the paths and goals of the members of the animalrightsmovement and of its detractors. Given the level of confusion, suspicion, misunderstanding, and mistrust between the two sides, Guither admits the difficulty in locating, (...) much less staying in, the middle of the road. The philosophical conflict, however, is fairly clear: those who resist reform, fearing that radical change in the treatment of animals will infringe on their business and property rights, versus the new activists who espouse a different set of moral and ethical obligations toward animals. From his position as a moderate, Guither presents a brief history of animal protection and the emergence of animalrights, describes the scope of the movement, and identifies major players such as Paul and Linda McCartney and organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that are actively involved in the movement. He concentrates on what is actually happening in the 1990s, discussing in detail the possible consequences of the current debate for those who own, use, or enjoy animals in entertainment and leisure pursuits. A reference work for students in animal sciences and veterinary medicine, the book also poses questions for philosophers, sociologists, and public policymakers as well as animal owners, animal and biomedical researchers, and manufacturers and distributors of animal equipment and supplies. (shrink)
The publication of 'AnimalRights and Souls in the 18th Century' will be welcomed by everyone interested in the development of the modern animal liberation movement, as well as by those who simply want to savour the work of enlightenment thinkers pushing back the boundaries of both science and ethics. At last these long out-of-print texts are again available to be read and enjoyed - and what texts they are! Gems like Bougeant's witty reductio of the (...) Christian view of animals are included together with path-breaking works of ethics such as Primatt's A Dissertation on the Duty of Mercy and Sin of Cruelty to Brute Animals . There are works I have never seen before, including the remarkable Cry of Nature by the Scottish revolutionary Jacobin, John Oswald. In this set, everyone will find something novel, delightful and truly enlightening. - Peter Singer The discussion of animalrights and the moral status of animals, so prevalent in the late twentieth century, has its roots in the mid to late eighteenth century. Some of the themes we consider of recent invention - the legal standing of animals, the ethical status of vegetarians, cruelty towards animals, ultimately resulting in cruelty to humans - are of long standing. But in the eighteenth-century literature they are interconnected with theological issues surrounding animal souls, the birth of the life sciences, the great chain of being and other peculiarly eighteenth-century problems. This collection explores the exciting early discussions of moral theories concerning animals, placing them within their historical and social context. It reveals that issues such as vivisection, animal souls and vegetarianism were very much live philosophical subjects 200 years ago. The six volumes reprinted here includes complete works and edited extracts from such key eighteenth-century thinkers as Oswald, Primatt, Smellie, Monboddo and Jenyns. Many of the materials are extremely rare and never previously reprinted. The collection, edited with a new introduction and bio-bibliography by Aaron V. Garrett provides valuable original source material to supplement contemporary discussions of animalrights. --18th-century material on the theme of animalrights and practical ethics --an important supplement to contemporary animalrights discussions --provides a broader account of early discussions of the 'science of human nature' through animals --widens our understanding of 18th-century ethics through an important area of practical ethics --includes many scarce texts, most of which have never been reprinted before. (shrink)
Recently, many pro- animal thinkers have expressed critical views on the animalrightsmovement. In particular, the movement has been criticized for being philosophically uninformed, politically regressive, and practically unpersuasive. This paper investigates these criticisms and seeks to map out the philosophy behind the grassroots animalrightsmovement, specifically. It concludes that the criticism presented by animal studies scholars is often misplaced due to a lack of understanding of the philosophical notions (...) within the movement, but that the critics are right to argue that the movement needs to place more emphasis on persuasion. (shrink)
In two studies, we used the Ethics Position Questionnaire (EPQ) to investigate the relationship between individual differences in moral philosophy, involvement in the animalrightsmovement, and attitudes toward the treatment of animals. In the first, 600 animalrights activists attending a national demonstration and 266 nonactivist college students were given the EPQ. Analysis of the returns from 157 activists and 198 students indicated that the activists were more likely than the students to hold an (...) "absolutist" moral orientation (high idealism, low relativism). In the second study, 169 students were given the EPQ with a scale designed to measure attitudes toward the treatment of animals. Multiple regression showed that gender and the EPQ dimension of idealism were related to attitudes toward animal use. (shrink)
In replying to my review of The Case for AnimalRights in The New York Review of Books, Tom Regan notes that whereas I use the term ‘the animal liberation movement’ to refer to the many people and organizations around the world advocating a complete change in the moral status of animals, he prefers the label ‘animalrightsmovement’. There is, he says, ‘more than a verbal difference here’. For immediate practical purposes the (...) difference may not matter very much—Regan and I are plainly at one in our attempts to eliminate the atrocities now inflicted on animals in factory farms, laboratories and in the wild. I am even prepared to speak of ‘animalrights’—just as I am prepared to speak of ‘human rights’—as a shorthand reference to the way in which the needs and desires of animals give rise to moral obligations on our part. But the philosophical difference between those who, like Regan, ground their case for animals on claims about rights, and those who, like me, do not, is fundamental. In the long run it may also have practical implications. This essay explains why I do not, philosophically, accept the animalrights approach. (shrink)
Alternative food systems have arisen to address societal concerns with the treatment of Nonhuman Animals in food production. This paper presents an abolitionist Nonhuman Animalrights approach and critiques these alternative systems as problematic in regards to goals of considering the rights or welfare of Nonhuman Animals. It is proposed that the trend in social movement professionalization within the structure of a non-profit industrial complex will ultimately favor compromises like “humane” products over more radical abolitionist solutions (...) to the detriment of Nonhuman Animals. This paper also discusses potential compromises for alternative food systems that acknowledge equal consideration for Nonhuman Animals, focusing on grassroots veganism as a necessary component for consistency and effectiveness. (shrink)
This qualitative study examines the childhood experiences of adult animalrights activists regarding their feelings about, and interactions with, nonhuman animals. Central to children's experiences with animals is the act of eating them, a ritual both normalized and encouraged by the dominant culture and agents of socialization. Yet, despite the massive power of socialization, sometimes children resist the dominant norms of consumption regarding animals. In addition to engaging in acts of resistance, some children, as suggested in the biographical (...) narratives of adult vegan animal activists, also possess a predisposition to respond to the perceived suffering of animals. This predisposition is a variant of the trait empathy but is specifically animal-oriented. In open-ended interviews with 30 vegan animal activists about their paths into the movement, this study examined these childhood experiences and the predisposition that may help set the stage for later adoption of a vegan, animal-rights lifestyle. (shrink)
Provisions for animalrights have been included in the national constitutions of Switzerland and Germany . Protective constitutional inclusion is a major social movement success, and in view of the other movements also seeking increased political visibility and responsiveness, it is worth asking how and why nonhuman animals were allowed into this realm of political importance. This research seeks to explain how animal activists achieved this significant goal in two industrialized democracies. Using an approach drawn from (...) the mainstream canon on social movements, this comparative study attempts to show how cultural factors, institutional selectivity, and the influence of spontaneous events, along with the tactic of “frame-bridging,” determined the success of both movements. (shrink)
l examine Singer’s analogy between human liberation movements and animal liberation movements. Two lines of criticism of animal liberation are rejected: (1) that animal-liberation is not as serious as human liberation since humans have interests which override those of animals; (2) that the concept of animal liberation blurs distinctions between what is appropriate for humans and what is appropriate foranimals. As an alternative I otfer a distinction between reform movements and liberation movements, arguing that while Singer (...) meets the criterion for the former, a higher degree of autonomy and communicative competence is necessary for the latter. In the final section, objections to the possibility of an autonomous animal liberation movement are met by rejecting assumptions concerning the illogicality of interspecies communication. (shrink)
In order to understand the animalrightsmovement as it exists today in American society, it is necessary to explore the ways in which the beliefs of those who support the movement differ from the beliefs of their adversaries. Societal views generally determine the perceived differences and similarities between people and animals, and the issues surrounding these differences are fundamental to the animalrights controversy.
I argue that animals have rights in the sense of having valid claims, which might turn out to be actual rights as society advances and new scientific-technological developments facilitate finding alternative ways of satisfying our vital interests without using animals. Animals have a right to life, to liberty in the sense of freedom of movement and communication, to subsistence, to relief from suffering, and to security against attacks on their physical existence. Animals’ interest in living, freedom, subsistence, (...) and security are of vital importance to them, and they do not belong to us; they are not the things we have already possessed by virtue of our own nature. (shrink)
Jasper and Poulsen have long argued that moral shocks are critical for recruitment in the nonhuman animalrightsmovement. Building on this, Decoux argues that the abolitionist faction of the nonhuman animalrightsmovement fails to recruit members because it does not effectively utilize descriptions of suffering. However, the effectiveness of moral shocks and subsequent emotional reactions has been questioned. This article reviews the literature surrounding the use of moral shocks in social movements. Based (...) on this review, it is suggested that the exploitation of emotional reactions to depictions of suffering can sometimes prove beneficial to recruitment, but successful use is contextually rooted in preexisting frameworks, ideology, and identity. It is concluded that a reliance on images and narratives might be misconstrued in a society dominated by nonhuman animal welfare ideology. (shrink)
The last 20 years have witnessed the dramatic growth of the animalrightsmovement and a concurrent increase in its social scientific scrutiny. One of the most notable and consistent findings to emerge from this body of research has been the central role of women in the movement. This paper uses General Social Survey data to examine the influence of views of the relationship of humanity to nature on this gender difference. Holding a Romantic view of (...) nature is associated with higher levels of support for extending moral rights to animals and lower levels of support for animal-based testing. A Darwinian view is associated with greater support for testing on animals but is unrelated to views on moral rights for animals. In general, views of nature affect animalrights advocacy to a greater extent among males than females. (shrink)
Since its original publication in 1975, this groundbreaking work has awakened millions of people to the existence of "speciesism"âour systematic disregard of nonhuman animalsâinspiring a worldwide movement to transform our attitudes to animals and eliminate the cruelty we inflict on them. In Animal Liberation, author Peter Singer exposes the chilling realities of today’s "factory farms" and product-testing proceduresâdestroying the spurious justifications behind them, and offering alternatives to what has become a profound environmental and social as well as moral (...) issue. An important and persuasive appeal to conscience, fairness, decency, and justice, it is essential reading for the supporter and the skeptic alike. (shrink)
Animalrights organizations in the United States are predominantly female and middle class. What are the implications of the composition of these groups for animalrights activists' abilities to achieve their goals? In this article, the author examines the role of class and gender in the outcomes of an anti-hunting campaign and an anti-circus campaign waged by one animalrights organization in the Seattle area. The article shows that hunters make classed and gendered attributions (...) about the activists, whereas circus patrons do not view activists in terms of these statuses and end up taking their demands more seriously. It is suggested that an “identity interaction” between the activists' class and gender identity and that of their targets helps to explain these different reactions. The analysis also highlights the role of emotion in social movements, especially the ways in which targets perceive and react to activists' emotional displays. (shrink)
This article reports original research conducted among animalrights activists and elites in Switzerland and the United States, and the finding that activism functioned in activists' and elites' lives like religious belief. The study used reference sampling to select Swiss and American informants. Various articles and activists have identified both latent and manifest quasi-religious components in the contemporary movement. Hence, the research followed upon these data and anecdotes and tested the role of activism in adherents' lives. Using (...) extensive interviews, the research discovered that activists and elites conform to the five necessary components of Yinger's definition of functional religion: intense and memorable conversion experiences, newfound communities of meaning, normative creeds, elaborate and well-defined codes of behavior, and cult formation. The article elaborates on that schema in the context of animalrights belief, elucidates the deeply meaningful role of activism within a filigree of meaning, and concludes that the movement is facing schismatic forces not dissimilar to redemptive and religious movements. (shrink)
The present study of the psychology of animalrights activists utilizes a qualitative analytic method based on two forms of data: a set of questionnaire protocols completed by grassroots activists and of autobiographical accounts by movement leaders. The resultant account keys on the following descriptives: an attitude of caring, suffering as an habitual object of perception, and the aggressive and skillful uncovering and investigation of instances of suffering. In a final section, the investigator discusses tensions and conflicts (...) arising from these three themes and various ways of attempting to resolve them. (shrink)
Mail-in surveys were distributed to animal activists attending the 1996 March for the Animals. Age and genderdemographic characteristics of the 209 activists who participated in the study were similar to those of the 1990 March for the Animals demonstrators. Most goals of the animalrightsmovement were judged to be moderately to critically important, although beliefs about their chances of being realized varied considerably. Movement tactics judged to be least effective included the liberation of laboratory (...) animals and the harassment of researchers. Education was seen as being a particularly important instrument of future social change. Demonstrators' scores on the Life Orientation Test - a measure of dispositional optimism - were significantly greater than scores of comparison groups of college students and of patients awaiting coronary bypass surgery. There was a significant positive relationship between levels of optimism and activists' perceptions of the achievement of movement objectives. (shrink)
l examine Singer’s analogy between human liberation movements and animal liberation movements. Two lines of criticism of animal liberation are rejected: that animal-liberation is not as serious as human liberation since humans have interests which override those of animals; that the concept of animal liberation blurs distinctions between what is appropriate for humans and what is appropriate foranimals. As an alternative I otfer a distinction between reform movements and liberation movements, arguing that while Singer meets the (...) criterion for the former, a higher degree of autonomy and communicative competence is necessary for the latter. In the final section, objections to the possibility of an autonomous animal liberation movement are met by rejecting assumptions concerning the illogicality of interspecies communication. (shrink)
This discussion focuses on the rationales employed by animalrights activists to explain their involvement in, and support of, protest tactics that are controversial both inside and outside the animalrightsmovement. The paper centers on the use of residential picketing in a campaign against a private, multinational animal testing firm. Using ethnographic data and semistructured interviews with activists, the discussion demonstrates that these activists are aware of the marginality of their tactics. Despite some (...) ambivalence, however, activists accept full responsibility for their actions and justify their behavior by utilizing supportive rationales that stress the perceived efficacy of home demos. Specifically, they appeal to the immediate and long-term psychological and direct and indirect material impacts on protest targets. These narratives are explored as constructions that are shaped and disseminated within the context of the state’s preoccupation with “ecoterrorism” and the movement’s internal debates regarding acceptable protest tactics. (shrink)
This article reports original research conducted among animalrights activists and elites in Switzerland and the United States, and the finding that activism functioned in activists' and elites' lives like religious belief. The study used reference sampling to select Swiss and American informants.Various articles and activists have identified both latent and manifest quasi-religious components in the contemporary movement Hence, the research followed upon these data and anecdotes and tested the role of activism in adherents' lives. Using extensive (...) interviews, the research discovered that activists and elites conform to the five necessary components of Yinger's definition of functional religion: intense and memorable conversion experiences, newfound communities of meaning, normative creeds, elaborate and well-defined codes of behavior, and cult formation. The article elaborates on that schema in the context of animalrights belief, elucidates the deeply meaningful role of activism within a filigree of meaning, and concludes that the movement is facing schismatic forces not dissimilar to redemptive and religious movements. (shrink)