We’ve noted for some time that there is a fundamental difference between animal welfare, which is the well-being of animals, and animal rights, a radical ideology that proposes that society instill legal “rights” upon animals and ultimately ban the use of animals. Animal welfare requires science-based, sometimes difficult choices, as we told readers of the Bucks County Courier Times:
“Egg-laying hens are generally housed in cages, which ruffles some people’s feathers. Aren’t birds better off running around outside, they ask?”
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) notes that hens in cages have lower mortality rates. Moreover, cage-free and free-range environments expose birds to more disease vectors, predation risks, and cannibalistic behavior (the phrase “pecking order” has a basis in fact).
The other view, animal rights, sees animals as equals if not superiors of people, otherwise known as “human animals” in the movement lingo. Animal rights groups have even invented a word, “speciesism,” linking failing to adopt the animal rights view with nefarious “isms” such as racism. Movement bigwigs from former PETA VP Bruce Friedrich to Humane Society of the U.S. have espoused it. PETA even wants this concept taught in schools.
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