Animal Welfare vs Animal Rights

Livestock, Companion Animals, Animal Rights, and Animal Welfare… what does it all mean? I’ll break it all down for you and try to keep it simple. But I must warn you, these definitions are not immune from debate.

First, their are laws protecting animals, so it’s important to understand the difference between livestock and companion animals or pets.

Livestock is usually defined in reference to horses, mares, mules, jacks, jennies, colts, cows, calves, yearlings, bulls, oxen, sheep, goats, lambs, kids, hogs, shoats and pigs.

Note: Chickens may or may not be considered livestock. It depends on the laws where you live, and what their purpose is. They are usually classified as poultry, in some areas they are considered livestock if they are used for profit.

Companion animal or pet means any dog, cat, or other domesticated animal normally maintained in or near the household of the owner or person who cares for such other domesticated animals.

Example of controversy among activists: Horses that are domesticated. Companion or livestock?   This is an on-going battleground.

Animal Welfare and Animal Rights, What it Means…

Many animal rights and animal welfare advocates make a clear distinction between both.

Most animal welfarists argue that the animal rights view goes too far, and do not advocate the elimination of all animal use or companionship. Animal rights advocates, argue that the animal welfare position (advocating for the betterment of the condition of animals, but without abolishing animal use) is logically inconsistent and ethically unacceptable.

However, there are some animal rights groups, such as PETA, who support animal welfare measures in the short term to alleviate animal suffering until all animal use is ended.

Below is another basic definitions, but again leave much room for controversy…  most believe in both to some extent, others to the extreme.

Animal Rights

A commonly held view is that animals have rights in much the same way as people do. There is no legal support for that view, other than that embodied in legislation dealing with matters of abuse.

Animal Welfare

The avoidance of abuse and exploitation of animals by humans by maintaining appropriate standards of accommodation, feeding and general care, the prevention and treatment of disease and the assurance of freedom from harassment, and unnecessary discomfort and pain. A code of practice, aimed at owners and custodians, is necessary for each animal species. A more complex problem, which is still to be resolved, is that of infringement of animal rights in law.
Proper application of the principles of animal welfare includes the continuous surveillance of the environment that human beings provide for animals that are in their care, and the promotion of what are considered by the community to be adequate rewards to the animals for the contribution that they make to the physical and psychological well-being of humans.

I believe The Five Basic Freedoms of animals, they are simple, humane, and to me… all we need to know about the ethical treatment of animals.  Plain & Simple.

Freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition.
Freedom from discomfort due to environment
Freedom from pain, injury and disease
Freedom to express normal behavior for the species
Freedom from fear and distress

amy elizabeth, TBN Ranch

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9 Responses to Animal Welfare vs Animal Rights

  1. Jo Bryant says:

    well said Amy. I just went out collecting today for an animal welfare group here in NZ. They are trying to get rid of battery farming…I hate that type of farming. It is cruelty. Sadly many people just care about money and not the right of an animal to live a strees free life.

  2. Great post! 🙂 Those five basic freedoms are absolutely perfect.

  3. Bravo – you cut to the chase with those five basic freedoms. Campfireshadows has a point too – we must never forget what happens when you feed animal protein to non-protein eaters – mad cow disease was hopefully the wake up call there.

  4. I agree with you 5 points! Well condensed my friend. My only addition would be freedom from; Modified food substance or additives not related to the health of the animal. This would include feeding animals substances foreign to their natural diet. Such as high sugar bakery products to pigs, corn, fermented corn silage to milk cows and meat by products given to bovine.I’m sure there are more but this is an example of dietary cruelty.

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