Animal Welfare and Animal Rights
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. 1988 May; 13(2): 159-175.
Animal liberationists tend to divide into two mutually antagonistic camps: animal welfarists, who share a utilitarian moral outlook, and animal rightists, who presuppose a structure of basic rights. However, the gap between these groups tends to be exaggerated by their allegiance to oversimplified versions of their favored moral frameworks. For their part, animal rightists should acknowledge that rights, however basic, are also defensible by appeals to consequences. Contrariwise, animal welfarists should recognize that rights, however derivative, are capable of constraining appeals to consequences. If both sides move to more defensible theoretical positions, their remaining differences on that level may be compatible with a broad area of convergence on practical issues.
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