Animal rights is a movement primarily dating back to the late 1800's.
Much like the civil rights movement, or the women’s liberation movement, the animal rights movement is a movement working towards the social recognition of the rights of all sentient creatures to live free from unnecessary human imposed suffering.
This often means that animal rights activists practice vegetarianism or veganism, NOT for ignorant reasons such as "humans shouldn't kill anything but all other animals can kill whatever they want to"...but rather, many animal rights activists realize that we, humans, are "omnivores" (this is a big word for some of you rednecks but bear with us) and as such, it is not *NECESSARY* to consume animal products. Since the consumption of animal products notoriously involves the immense suffering of the animals from which the products are derived, and since we are "omnivores", many animal rights activists are vegetarian or vegan.
The Animal Rights movement, again, like the Civil Rights and Women’s Liberation movement, is frequently criticized by ignorant and insecure individuals who are deathly afraid of any form of social change, or any “new fangled ideas” that might challenge their way of life (such as encouraging them to not wear fur, or not kick their dog). Animal Rights activists know that it might be hard for you to stop kicking your dog....but that still doesn’t make it OK to do it. You might not even WANT to stop kicking your dog...but...that still doesn’t make it OK for you to do it. Because quite frankly, your dog is a living creature that can feel pleasure and pain, and has a right to live free of unnecessary pain just like people do. That is why we have laws that uphold animal rights. For example, if you decide to violate your dog’s right to live free from unnecessary suffering and you kick him, you forfeit your right to live outside of a jail cell. If you believe that people should not kick their dog, then you believe in a bit of animal rights too.
Animal Rights: Albert Einstein was into it. Gandhi was into it. Abraham Lincoln was into it. Immanuel Kant was into it. Mark Twain was into it. Leonardo Da Vinci was into it. Dr. Albert Schweitzer was into it. Peter Singer wrote the book on it. Hell...even Moby is into it.
But red-necks and dog-kickers know better....and they are against it.
Too bad for them though...because social movements never go away...they only get stronger. Welcome to Animal Rights.
Sally: "Billy-bob stop kicking the dog!"
Billy-bob: "What-r-yall into? Animal rights? Are yous gonna
go kill a scientist and break stuff? Why yous
probaly a-thinkin' that we should all just eat
sticks an' mud ain-cha?"
Sally: "Wholly crap your ignorant Billy-bob."
Billy-bob: "Whuts an ignore ant? Does them bite?"
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
US anthropologist (1901 - 1978)
"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men."
"And don't forget the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"