Online Readings

What is all this animal rights stuff and why should it concern me?

The fundamental principle of the animal rights movement is that nonhuman animals deserve to live according to their own natures, free from harm, abuse, and exploitation. This goes further than just saying that we should treat animals well while we exploit them, or before we kill and eat them. It says animals deserve to be free from human cruelty and exploitation, just as humans possess this right. The withholding of this right from the nonhuman animals based on their species membership is referred to as "speciesism".

Animal rights activists try to extend the human circle of respect and compassion beyond our species to include other animals, who are also capable of feeling pain, fear, hunger, thirst, loneliness, and kinship. When we try to do this, many of us come to the conclusion that we can no longer support factory farming, vivisection, and the exploitation of animals for entertainment.
--Excerpted from Animal Rights Frequently Asked Questions.

In a world filled with human rights abuses and environmental destruction, is animal exploitation really a top-priority issue? Read these essays to learn why animal liberation is a serious moral concern and about how animal liberation intersects with social justice and environmental issues.


Introduction
Serious Moral Concern Is Not Species-limited by Nedim C. Buyukmihci, V.M.D

Animal Liberation Philosophy: Overviews
Philosophy of Animal Rights (Singer, Adams, Regan, Sapontzis, Rachels explained)

Ecofeminist Perspectives 
Vegetarianism and Ecofeminism: Toppling Patriarchy with a Fork by Marti Kheel
From Heroic to Holistic Ethics: The Ecofeminist Challenge by Marti Kheel
Communicating Care: An Ecofeminist Perspective by Marti Kheel
The Killing Game: An Ecofeminist Critique of Hunting by Marti Kheel
From Healing Herbs to Deadly Drugs: Western Medicine's War Against the Natural World by Marti Kheel

Painism
The Ethics of Painism: The Argument Against Painful Experiments by Richard D. Ryder 

 Rights Views 
Animal Rights and Animal Welfare by Gary L. Francione 
Animal Rights and Animal Welfare: Five Frequently Asked Questions by Gary L. Francione
Animal Rights Theory and Utilitarianism: Relative Normative Guidance by Gary L. Francione  
 The Case for Animal Rights by Tom Regan
Claims of Rights are Often Wrong by Matthew M. Ball

 Utilitarian Views
All Animals Are Equal by Peter Singer  
The Animal Liberation Movement by Peter Singer 
Peter Singer FAQ -- Animal Liberation
 
Root Causes of Animal, Human, and Environmental Exploitation


Science and Animal Suffering
Animal Suffering: An Invertebrate Perspective by Jennifer Mather

Do Animals Feel Pain? by Peter Singer 
The Scientific Basis for Assessing Suffering in Animals by Marian Stamp Dawkins

Social Justice and Animal Liberation
The American Left Should Support Animal Rights: A Manifesto by Gary Francione, Anna Charlton, and Sue Coe

Conservation/Environmentalism and Animal Liberation
Think Like a Chicken (animal rights/ecofeminist critique of deep ecology) by Karen Davis
 

Further Readings in Animal Liberation Philosophy

Animal Advocacy and Abortion by Larry Rosenfeld 
Animal Suffering by Donald Graft 
Beyond Might Makes Right by Matthew Ball and Jack Norris
Gaps in the Mind by Richard Dawkins 
Ill-Gotten Gains by Tom Regan
Keeping Species on Ice by Mary Midgley
Peace on Earth by C. David Coates
Xenografts and Animal Rights by Gary L. Francione
The Origins of Speciesism by Hugh Lafollette