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Animal Rights

About Animal Rights

A pit bull dog stands up in the holding cageThe issue of animal rights revolves around the question of whether animals should be given the same protections as humans. Ingrid Newkirk, cofounder of the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), claims that animals are more like people than objects. She famously declared in 1989, “There is no rational basis separating out the human animal. A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.” On the other hand, many people—including some who actively oppose cruelty to animals—believe that animals lack the mental and spiritual qualities of humans and that it is appropriate for humans to make use of animals as they do other resources. (Opposing Viewpoints)

Narrow the Topic

  • Do animals have rights?
  • Is animal experimentation justified?
  • Should animals be allowed to experience pain for medical research?
  • Should animals be used for food?
  • Is animal experimentation bad science?
  • Should the fur industry be shut down?
  • How should substances which may be harmful to human health, be tested?
  • What is acceptable pain?
  • What obligations do humans have to animals?
  • Are there alternatives to using animals for research?
  • Would the advances in treatments for diseases have been possible without using animals?
  • Should technologies replace animal dissection in science classes?