Human beings are technically animals themselves and have afforded themselves rights to preserve their own safety and security.
‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.’
—Article 1 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
The animal rights movement is concerned with giving rights to and protecting the rights of non-human animals and promotes the idea that non-human animals should be entitled to live their lives without harassment, that their most basic interests – such as to be free from pain and suffering – should be protected and that they should not be viewed as property, or used as food, clothing, draft animals or as the subjects of research.
“The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.”
Arthur Schopenhauer, The Basis of Morality
“To be ‘for animals’ is not to be ‘against humanity.’ To require others to treat animals justly, as their rights require, is not to ask for anything more nor less in their case than in the case of any human to whom just treatment is due. The animal rights movement is a part of, not opposed to, the human rights movement. Attempts to dismiss it as anti human are mere rhetoric.”