Animal Rights FAQ

This is the official Animal Rights FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Site. Feel free to copy and mirror.



#01 What is all this Animal Rights (AR) stuff and why should it concern me?

#02 Is the Animal Rights movement different from the Animal Welfare movement? The Animal Liberation movement?

#03 What exactly are rights and what rights can we give animals?

#04 Isn't AR hypocritical, e.g., because you don't give rights to insects or plants?

#05 What right do AR people have to impose their beliefs on others?

#06 Isn't AR just another facet of political correctness?

#07 Isn't AR just another religion?

#08 Doesn't it demean humans to give rights to animals?

#09 Weren't Hitler and Goebbels in favor of animal rights?

#10 Do you really believe that "a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy"?


#11 There is no correct or incorrect in morals; you have yours and I have mine, right?

#12 The animals are raised to be eaten; so what is wrong with that?

#13 But isn't it true that the animals wouldn't exist if we didn't raise them for slaughter?

#14 Don't the animals we use have a happier life since they are fed and protected?

#15 Is the use of service animals and beasts of burden considered exploitative?

#16 Doesn't the Bible give Humanity dominion over the animals?

#17 Morals are a purely human construction (animals don't understand morals); doesn't that mean it is not rational to apply our morality to animals?

#18 If AR people are so worried about killing, why don't they become fruitarians?

#19 Animals don't care about us; why should we care about them?

#20 A house is on fire and a dog and a baby are inside. Which do you save first?

#21 What if I made use of an animal that was already dead?

#22 Where should one draw the line: animals, insects, bacteria?

#23 If the killing is wrong, shouldn't you stop predators from killing other animals?

#24 Is the AR movement against abortion? If not, isn't that hypocritical?

#25 Doesn't the ethical theory of contractarianism show that animals have no rights?


#26 Surely there are more pressing practical problems than AR, such as homelessness; haven't you got better things to do?

#27 If everyone became vegetarian and gave up keeping pets, what would happen to all the animals?

#28 Grazing animals on land not suited for agriculture increases the food supply; how can that be considered wrong?

#29 If we try to eliminate all animals products, we'll be moving back to the Stone Age; who wants that?

#30 It's virtually impossible to eliminate all animal products from one's consumption; what's the point if you still cause animal death without knowing it?

#31 Wouldn't many customs and traditions, as well as jobs, be lost if we stopped using animals?

#32 The animal product industries are big business; wouldn't the economy be crippled if they all stopped?


#33 Humans are at the pinnacle of evolution; doesn't that give them the right to use animals as they wish?

#34 Humans are at the top of the food chain; aren't they therefore justified in killing and eating anything?

#35 Animals are just machines; why worry about them?

#36 In Nature, animals kill and eat each other; so why should it be wrong for humans?

#37 Natural selection and Darwinism are at work in the world; doesn't that mean it's unrealistic to try to overcome such forces?

#38 Isn't AR opposed to environmental philosophy (as described, for example, in "Deep Ecology")?


#39 What about insects? Do they have rights too?

#40 Do I have to be careful not to walk on ants?

#41 There is some evidence of consciousness in insects; aren't you descending to absurdity to tell people not to kill insects?

#42 Isn't it hypocritical to kill and eat plants?

#43 But how can you prove that plants don't feel pain?

#44 Aren't there studies that show that plants can scream, etc.?

#45 But even if plants don't feel pain, aren't you depriving them of their life? Why isn't that enough to accord moral status to plants?

#46 Isn't it better to eat animals, because that way you kill the least number of living beings?

#47 Nature is a continuum; doesn't that mean you cannot draw a line, and where you draw yours is no better than where I draw mine?


#48 The animals are killed so fast that they don't feel any pain or even know they're being killed; what's wrong with that?

#49 What is factory farming, and what is wrong with it?

#50 But cattle can't be factory-farmed, so I can eat them, right?

#51 But isn't it true that cows won't produce milk (or chickens lay eggs) if they are not content?

#52 Don't hens lay unfertilized eggs that would otherwise be wasted?

#53 But isn't it true that the animals have never known anything better?

#54 Don't farmers know better than city-dwelling people about how to treat animals?

#55 Can't we just eat free-range products?

#56 Anything wrong with honey?

#57 Don't crop harvest techniques and transportation, etc., lead to the death of animals?

#58 Modern agriculture requires us to push animals off land to convert it to crops; isn't this a violation of the animals' rights?

#59 Don't farmers have to kill pests?


#60 What is wrong with leather and how can we do without it?

#61 I can accept that trapping is inhumane, but what about fur ranches?

#62 Anything wrong with wool, silk, down?


#63 Humans are natural hunter/gatherers; aren't you trying to repress natural human behavior?

#64 The world is made up of predators and prey; aren't we just another predator?

#65 Doesn't hunting control wildlife populations that would otherwise get out of hand?

#66 Aren't hunting fees the major source of revenue for wildlife management and habitat restoration?

#67 Isn't hunting OK as long as we eat what we kill?

#68 Fish are dumb like insects; what's wrong with fishing?


#69 Don't zoos contribute to the saving of species from extinction?

#70 Don't animals live longer in zoos than they would in the wild?

#71 How will people see wild animals and learn about them without zoos?

#72 What is wrong with circuses and rodeos?

#73 But isn't it true that animals are well cared for and wouldn't perform if they weren't happy?

#74 What about horse or greyhound racing?


#75 What about keeping pets?

#76 What about spaying and neutering?


#77 What is wrong with experimentation on animals?

#78 Do AR people accept that vivisection has led to valuable medical advances?

#79 How can you justify losing medical advances that would save human lives by stopping vivisection?

#80 Aren't there instances where there are no alternatives to the use of animals?

#81 But what if animals also benefit, e.g., through advance of veterinary science?

#82 Should people refuse medical treatments obtained through vivisection?

#83 Farmers have to kill pests to protect our food supply. Given that, what's wrong with killing a few more rats for medical research?

#84 What about dissection; isn't it necessary for a complete education?

#85 What is wrong with product testing on animals?

#86 How do I know if a product has been tested on animals?


#87 What are the forms of animal rights activism?

#88 Isn't liberation just a token action because there is no way to give homes to all the animals?

#89 Isn't AR activism terrorism because it harasses people, destroys property, and threatens humans with injury or death?

#90 Isn't extreme activism involving breaking the law (e.g., destruction of property) wrong?

#91 Doesn't extreme activism give the AR movement a bad name?


#92 What are appropriate books and periodicals to read for more information on AR issues?

#93 What organizations can I join to support AR?

#94 Can you give a brief Who's Who of the AR movement?

#95 What can I do in my daily life to help animals?


#96 I have read this FAQ and I am not convinced. Humans are humans, animals are animals; is it so difficult to see that?


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