The Difference Between Animal Welfare and Animal Rights

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has taken a formal position defining the difference between the two positions, Animal Rights (AR), and Animal Welfare. In fact, their detailed Policy on Animal Welfare and Animal Rights, states that they cannot endorse the views of AR Groups. Here’s a quote from their policy:

“Animal rights is a philosophical view and personal value characterized by statements by various animal rights groups. Animal welfare and animal rights are not synonymous terms. The AVMA  wholeheartedly endorses and adopts promotion of animal welfare as official policy; however, the AVMA cannot endorse the philosophical views and personal values of animal rights advocates when they are incompatible with the responsible use of animals for human purposes, such as food, fiber, and research conducted for the benefit of both humans and animals.”

Animal Welfare

Heart with animal welfare phrases

There is no better way to express the comparisons between the two philosophies than to understand the Animal Welfare Council when they state the following:

Animal Welfare, defined by the American Veterinary Medical Association, is, in fact, a human responsibility that encompasses all aspects of animal well-being. This includes proper housing, management, disease prevention and treatment, responsible care, humane handling, and, when necessary, humane euthanasia.

  • Animal welfare proponents seek to improve the treatment and well-being of animals most of all.
  • In addition, animal welfare proponents believe that humans can interact with animals in entertainment, industry, sport and recreation, and industry, but that the interaction should include provisions for the proper care and management for all animals involved.
  • Animal Welfare proponents support self-regulation of not only animal sports, but also, rodeo, polo, three-day eventing, FFA competitions, horse racing, field trials and endurance riding.
  • In Addition, animal welfare groups utilize scientific evidence to base animal care and handling guidelines.

Animal Rights

Due to animal rights philosophical view that animals have rights similar or the same as humans, they believe that humans do not have the right to use animals at all. AR proponents wish to ban all use of animals by humans, including pets.

  • First of all, AR proponents support laws and regulations that would prohibit rodeos, horse racing, circuses, and hunting. In addition, lifesaving medical research using animals, and raising of livestock for food are considered bad.  Let’s not forget petting zoos, marine parks, breeding of purebred pets and any use of animals for an industry, entertainment, sport or recreation are targets.
  • Animal rights proponents believe that violence, misinformation, and publicity stunts are valid uses of funding.  Funds donated to their tax-exempt organizations under the guise of helping animals.
  • Arson, vandalism, and assault are common tactics used by underground AR groups to further their cause.  Groups like Animal Liberation Front, routinely use criminal activities to further their cause. They are classified as terrorist by the FBI.
  • The three most well-known animal rights organizations are PETA, HSUS, and the ASPCA. These are not the end. In the book, Animalscam, Appendix 2 lists many more of these groups across the United States.
  • For more information, Humanewatch www.humanewatch.org has recent and quite often updated information on the progress that is made fighting the animal rights movement.

A list of results of the animal research that benefits our cats:

Hookworm
Heartworm
Giardia
Feline Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Feline Leukemia
Rabies
Feline enteritis
Rhinotracheitis
Birth Defects