Defining Animal Rights vs. Animal Welfare with David Favre – ASI’s Defining Human-Animal Studies 05

Defining Animal Rights vs. Animal Welfare with David Favre – ASI’s Defining Human-Animal Studies 05


[Music] Good day, my name’s David Faber I’m a
professor of law at Michigan State University and I’d like to talk to you a
little bit about the phrase animal welfare and animal rights and what they
might mean and not mean for the broader population. Animal welfare refers to a
consideration of the well-being of particular animals whether it be in your
home or in the zoo or in the agricultural industry, animal welfare
says what is the present state of well-being for a particular animal and
what can we do to enhance that well-being? It’s more of a science-based
focus than it is anything else whereas the term animal rights denotes both
perhaps an ethical discussion and/or a legal discussion of the status of
animals. So animal rights is going to how should we relate to animals, how do we
talk about them, do they have rights, do they have responsibilities, what should
the law say about it? Whereas animal welfare is what is the status of the
animal and are we happy with that or should we do something to enhance that?
It is, you can use animal rights within the legal system to enhance the welfare
of animals but you don’t have to give animals rights to give them better
welfare. You can pass laws that demand better welfare without giving the
animals rights. So the issue of helping animals can go down
either one of the two paths and that is a major debate within the animal
community is, are we seeking to simply enhance the welfare of animals so they
have better lives or do we want them to have actual legal rights? That is a very
long and complicated discussion to have and can’t be done in this short period
of time, but I hope that gives you a quick introduction to the topic.
Thank you. [Music]

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