Animal rights is the philosophy that non-human animals are entitled to have the most fundamental rights that protect them from exploitation and abuse by humans. In a broad sense, animal rights are concerned with the relations between human and non-human animals, and ways to improve them.
Animal rights does not seek to give non-human animals the same rights humans have and make animals part of human society. Actually is quite the opposite, as the main goal is the autonomy of non-human animals so they can live their lives as they want in freedom, rather than asking humans to care for non-human animals and protect them from all dangers that exist in the nature.
Animal rights are based on the premise that non-human animals are sentient beings that have their own interests, and we, humans, should respect them. Out of this respect we must not kill, abuse, mutilate, dominate over or in any other way harm animals. In other words, we should treat the interests of non-human animals in the same way as we treat the same interests of humans.
Veganism is considered by many as the first and the most important step that everyone should take in order to show their support for animal rights.
There are many issues that animal rights are concerned with:
- Animal husbandry and the use of animals for food (meat, dairy, eggs), clothing (fur, wool), etc.
- Animal testing in medical sciences or chemical industries.
- The use of animals for entertainment, as in circuses, sport, zoos, etc.
- Hunting, fishing.