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date: 21 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The term “animal rights” is used broadly and often inconsistently in discussions of animal ethics. This chapter focuses on seven topics: (1) the pre-nineteenth-century view of animals as things and the emergence of the animal welfare position; (2) the work of Lewis Gompertz and of Henry Salt; (3) the Vegan Society, the Oxford Group, and Peter Singer’s animal liberation theory; (4) Tom Regan’s animal rights theory; (5) the abolitionist animal rights theory; (6) animal rights and the law; and (7) animal rights as a social movement. Herein, “rights” describes the protection of interests irrespective of consequences. The chapter’s position that veganism (not consuming any animal products), is a moral baseline follows from the widely-shared recognition that animals have moral value and are not merely things; veganism is the only rational response to that recognition.

Keywords: animal rights, animals and law, social movement, abolitionist theory, veganism, Oxford Group, Lewis Gompertz, Tom Regan, Henry Salt, Peter Singer

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