Animal rights and animal protection have little to do with one another. They frequently intersect, but animal rights is a legal concept, and animal protection a moral one.
One can support animal rights while not caring a whit about animals, and one can be an animal protectionist and scoff at the idea that animals have any rights at all.
Animal rights is the belief that animals should have the same legal protections to life and freedom that humans declare for themselves and which are guaranteed by government.
Animal rights do not exist anywhere in the world, as no government recognizes the rights of animals to be free of human ownership and exploitation. Just as one can be a racist and oppose slavery, one can be ambivalent or even hostile to particular animals while nonetheless believing that they should not be murdered, enslaved or exploited for human benefit.
While the animal movement is generally labeled the Animal Rights Movement, only a handful of people in the movement are actually engaged in the pursuit of animal rights, primarily small groups of lawyers seeking to change the law and small groups of revolutionaries seeking to change governments.
Everyone else is working on animal protection. Promoting veganism, opposing whaling, sealing, hunting, rodeos, horse racing, bullfighting, rescuing cats and dogs, ALF raids, direct action, etc, have nothing to do with animal rights. All are all in service to animal protection.
One can support animal rights and still work within the animal exploitation system seeking to reduce animal suffering. I, for one, believe that the only way the Animal Holocaust will be be impacted is through social revolution. Disrupting the status quo, bringing down capitalism, installing socialism, removing profit from animal agriculture is the only way to reduce the horrors. Even so, I support measures to minimize pain and suffering under the current paradigm.
Some do not. Most notably Gary Francione, the self styled leader of the “abolitionist approach to animal rights.” Not only does Francione’s approach have nothing to do with animal rights, it is subversive of animal protection.
Francione’s whole-loaf-or-none approach is the stumbling block to the compromise and consensus envisaged in democratic theory.
Animal rights, on the other hand, cannot be voted upon or compromised in service to consensus, just as human rights cannot be bartered in political negotiation.
• I am unaware of any other blog with the Armory’s mission of radicalizing the animal movement. I certainly hope I am not alone, and that there are similar sentiments being expressed by comrades unknown to me.
If you know of other blogs dedicated to animal rights and the defeat of capitalism, please comment with a link.
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• Feel free to comment. I encourage open discussion and welcome other opinions. I moderate comments because this blog has been attacked by hunters and right wing trolls. I approve comments that are critical as well as those which agree with me. Comments that I will not tolerate are those that are spam, threatening, disrespectful, or which promote animal abuse and cruelty