Animal Rights Theories

Animal Liberation Tasmania is an animal rights group. Animal rights differs to that of animal welfare, though their goals may often align.

A simple analogy to explain the difference is the battery cage: animal welfarists work to improve conditions for hens. Animal rights activists believe hens should never be kept in cages and work to end the human use of animals altogether.

Animal welfare

Animal welfarists believe in using animals for food, clothing, science, entertainment, service and other purposes. They work to improve the welfare of animals used by humans, as long as those improvements are not detrimental to industry. They often act with little self awareness, for example hosting a sausage sizzle to raise money for companion animal services.

Animal rights

Animal rights is not something abstract like animals having the right to vote. It is a compassionate, reasonable view that animals have the right to their own lives, free from use, cruelty and interference from humans. We believe animals should never be used for human purposes.

Many animal rights activists use the word ‘speciesism’ to describe the mainstream belief system that humans have inherently more value than animals, and therefore animals are ours to do with as we please. Given that humans and animals have equal capacity to feel pleasure and pain, animal rights advocates believe humans and animals are morally equivalent.

Australian animal groups

Most large animal groups in Australia are animal welfarists, who work for incremental improvements within the existing structure of humans using animals for their own purposes.


Non-violent Direct Action