The Animal Rights Debate

The Animal Rights Debate: Abolition or Regulation?

Gary L. Francione
Robert Garner
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  • Book Info
    The Animal Rights Debate
    Book Description:

    Gary L. Francione is a law professor and leading philosopher of animal rights theory. Robert Garner is a political theorist specializing in the philosophy and politics of animal protection. Francione maintains that we have no moral justification for using nonhumans and argues that because animals are property-or economic commodities-laws or industry practices requiring "humane" treatment will, as a general matter, fail to provide any meaningful level of protection. Garner favors a version of animal rights that focuses on eliminating animal suffering and adopts a protectionist approach, maintaining that although the traditional animal-welfare ethic is philosophically flawed, it can contribute strategically to the achievement of animal-rights ends.

    As they spar, Francione and Garner deconstruct the animal protection movement in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, and elsewhere, discussing the practices of such organizations as PETA, which joins with McDonald's and other animal users to "improve" the slaughter of animals. They also examine American and European laws and campaigns from both the rights and welfare perspectives, identifying weaknesses and strengths that give shape to future legislation and action.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-52669-2
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Introduction: What This Book Is and Is Not About
    (pp. ix-xiv)
    Gary L. Francione and Robert Garner

    This book does not involve a debate about whether humans should regard nonhuman animals as members of the moral community deserving of at least some legal protection or, instead, as mere things to which humans do not have any direct moral obligations. On this point, there is not much to debate. Most people accept that animals are at least partial members of the moral community and that we may use animals for human purposes; they believe it is morally wrong to inflict “unnecessary” harm on animals or to treat them in ways that are not considered “humane.” This position is...

  4. 1 The Abolition of Animal Exploitation
    (pp. 1-102)
    Gary L. Francione

    Throughout this chapter, I refer to the position I defend as both the “animal rights” position and the “abolitionist” position.This alternative usage reflects two concerns. First, it is my view that rights theory, properly understood, requires the abolition of animal use, and it is thereby distinguished from the welfarist position, which focuses on the regulation of animal exploitation.¹ For the most part, when I refer to animal rights, I am really referring to one right: the right not to be treated as the property of humans. The recognition of this one right would require that we (1) stop our institutionalized...

  5. 2 A Defense of a Broad Animal Protectionism
    (pp. 103-174)
    Robert Garner

    It is important to point out at the outset that I am not criticizing animal rights in this book. As I discuss in this chapter, a great deal of the ethics of animal rights is convincing. Rather, I want to challenge a particular version of animal rights that is held, in one form or another, by a section within the grassroots of the animal rights movement and that has been articulated skillfully and eloquently by Gary Francione in the first part of this book and elsewhere (1995, 1996; see also Dunayer 2004). This version of animal rights can be described...

  6. 3 A Discussion Between Francione and Garner
    (pp. 175-270)

    In this section, we discuss some of the issues raised by our respective essays. The discussion is divided to reflect the three major areas of disagreement between us.

    First, Francione maintains that animals have an interest in continued existence and a right not to be treated as property and that we cannot justify animal use, however “humanely” we treat animals. According to Francione, although there may be differences between humans and nonhumans, just as there are differences among humans, all sentient beings are equal for the purpose of not being treated exclusively as a means to the ends of others....

  7. Index of Proper Names and Organizations
    (pp. 271-274)