What Is the Difference between Animal Rights and Welfare?

To many people, there’s hardly any difference between animal rights and animal welfare; as long as they both advocate for happy animal lives, then that’s it. However, a closer look into both reveals some striking similarities as well as extremely divergent differences. Below are some interesting points you should consider pondering about in order to understand just what is the difference between an animal rights advocate and animal welfare advocate;

  • Basically, animal rights activist advocate believe that animals do not belong to us, whether for food, entertainment, friendship, clothing, scientific experimenting, and so on so forth. Animal welfare activists on the other hand say that the above practices with animals are OK, as long as everything is done in a humane way.
  • Secondly, it is worth understanding that animal welfare advocates often deal with ensuring that homeless, injured or abused animals find shelter and comfort. This includes offering shelter to animals left homeless in the streets, abused animals like those used in dog fights, or stray cats.

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  • An animal rights activist believes that animals have inherent rights that are similar to those of human beings; as such, these rights cannot be sacrificed or compromised simply because we as humans are benefiting.
  • Animal welfare advocates are of the opinion that animals can be used to perform in circuses and shows, as long as they are not suffering or being mistreated. An animal right activist on the other hand frowns at such a thought, deeming the mere presence of an animal in a public gathering as a gross violation of its privacy and as an emotional torture.
  • Some have summed up the differences between an animal right activist and animal welfare activist this way; both mean well for animals, but the former are extremists while the former are moderates.
  • Some animal right advocates have gone as far as stating that animals deserve equal respect. According the words of a renowned animal rights activist, “There is no rational basis for saying that a human being has special rights. A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. They’re all mammals.”
  • All in all, what’s important to understand is that while the two may have some differences in the philosophies that guide them, both do a great job of ensuring that animals get the respect and dignity they deserve.

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