Animal Rights: A Reference Handbook

Animal Rights: A Reference Handbook

Animal Rights: A Reference Handbook

Animal Rights: A Reference Handbook


This revised edition helps readers understand and develop their own opinions on the fundamental issues, enduring controversies, and critical developments associated with animal rights.


The controversy surrounding the concept of animal rights is divisive and potentially volatile. It divides society into three unequally sized groups: the animal activists, some of whom believe that all human use of other animals should stop immediately; society in general, which may or may not be aware of the controversy and which may or may not have formed an opinion; and the people who work with animals. The first and last of these groups are discussed in chapter 1. Chapter 2 provides an overview of the problems and controversies involved in these issues, while chapter 3 discusses private and governmental solutions. Chapter 4 provides a timeline of key events and chapter 5 provides biographies of both historical and contemporary individuals involved in the controversy. Chapter 7 presents an annotated list of animal rights/welfare organizations, and chapter 8 contains an annotated list of key books and other media that discuss animal rights/welfare.

In case law, an animal is defined as a nonhuman being that is endowed with the power of voluntary movement (see Bernardine v City of New York, 44 N.Y.S.2d 881).

It is important to distinguish between animal welfare and animal rights.

Animals as Property

Many people have strong emotional attachments to companion animals such as dogs and cats. These people often think of and treat their pets as members of the family. However, both common law (court decisions) and state and local statutory law treat these animals, as well as agricultural animals, as property, with no more . . .

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