I recently read an article on examiner.com entitled "Animal Rights Defined." The piece was written by Amanda Evrard, an animal rights examiner in San Antonio, TX. Read what she has to say about animal rights and then let me know what your definition of animal rights is.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
Basically, I believe that animals should have legal rights in the same way a human child has rights. Animals, like minors, are legally unable to give consent or make decisions, but they may have a legal guardian and there may be laws to protect them, since they are not able to protect themselves. There are many laws relating to animal rights in this country, and these legal rights will often be addressed in my articles.
Where is the confusion? As usual, the root of the problem is in politics. Many people and groups who are abolitionists have identified themselves as animal rights activists. Abolitionist is a term for someone who believes that animals should not be owned as pets or as livestock. They believe that any use of animals is exploitation, and that animals should not be used for clothing, food or companionship.
For the record, I am a proud pet owner, and I am not vegan or even vegetarian. In fact, I was raised on a beef cattle ranch in Southern Oregon with parents who gardened and often hunted for the food we ate. I feel strongly that people are omnivorous beings, and it is our duty to respect and care for the animals that give up their lives so that we may eat.