What Are the Pros and Cons of Animal Rights?

The primary arguments in favor of animal rights center around the protection of animals and prevention of pain. People against animal rights argue that full rights for animals would prevent humans from even using animals that are treated humanely. This often focuses on the ability to eat meat.

The most ardent animal rights supporters believe that animals should not be confined or used by humans for any purpose. This is distinct from animal welfare, which allows humans to use animals but demands humane treatment.

The animal rights position guarantees that no animals are mistreated or abused. It prevents humans from killing animals for meat, clothing or manufacturing materials. Many people believe that animals are equal to humans in sentience and feeling, so granting them rights is respecting their inherent worth.

The cons of the animal rights argument center on the fact that animal products save lives. Some people cannot live on a vegan diet. Animals are used in medical research and animal products are the basis of some medications.

Working animals such as service dogs and even household pets are considered unethical by some animal rights supporters. Granting animals rights in law would also have a strong economic impact, with many farmers, veterinarians, medical researchers and other workers losing income.

The position of non-interference in animals' lives may also cause additional suffering for wild animals, because habitat encroachment sometimes requires management strategies, such as birth control and extra feed during the winter.