How to Do Animal Rights - And Win the War on Animals
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How to Do Animal Rights -
And Win the War on Animals


What's This Free Online Book About?
The Author

Chapter 1.  Introduction to Doing Animal Rights

1. The Broad Setting

The Big Problem
Being Active
The Best Animal Rights Attitude
The Expanding Circle
The Great Leap

2. Mass Extinction

The Sixth Extinction
The Mega Devastators

3. The Animal Holocaust

What is the Animal Holocaust?
Incredible Killing
Not Ours to Abuse
The Most Effective Thing You Can Do

How to Do Animal Rights - & Win the War on Animals

Chapter 2.  Know Your Animal Ethics & Animal Rights

1. Animal Ethics
Importance of Animal Ethics
Some History
How to Proceed?
Ethical Theories
Ethical Theories Compared
Choosing an Ethical Theory
Do Philosophical Ideas Work?

2. Animal Rights
What are Animal Rights?
Background to Animal Rights
Major Dates for Rights
Animal Rights Theory
Fundamental Animal Rights Positions
Variations on Animal Rights
Are Rights a Cure-all?
Arguments For & Against Animal Rights

3. Comparing Animal Philosophies
Animal Ethics vs Animal Rights
Animal Rights vs Animal Welfare
Animal Rights vs Conservation
Deep Ecology

4. Universal Declaration of Animal Rights
UN Universal Declaration
Declaration of Animal Welfare
Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare

How to Do Animal Rights - & Win the War on AnimalsHow to Do Animal Rights - & Win the War on AnimalsHow to Do Animal Rights - & Win the War on Animals

Chapter 3.  Campaigning Methods for Animal Rights

1. Campaigning
Your Right to Campaign
Where to Begin?
Keeping Going
10 Essential Campaigning Tips
More Tips

2. Civil Disobedience
What is Civil Disobedience?
Civil Disobedience & Animal Rights
Hunt Sabotage
Arguments For & Against Civil Disobedience

3. Direct Action
What is Direct Action?
Examples of Animal Rights Direct Action
Individual vs Mass Direct Action
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
The Battle of Brightlingsea
Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty
Inset: Background to Brightlingsea
Comparing Direct Actions
Direct Action vs Civil Disobedience
Efficacy of Direct Action
Ethical Code of Practice

4. Action Planning
What is an Action Plan?
Why an Action Plan?
Who Should Produce the Action Plan?
Before You Begin
Operations & Administrations
Creating Your Action Plan
You Should Be Smart
You Should Also SWOT
Make It Happen
A Simple Action Plan

5. Lobbying
What is Lobbying?
Who Can Lobby?
What & Whom to Lobby
Start Lobbying
How to Lobby
Lobbying Techniques

6. Picketing
What is Picketing?
AR Picketing is Like Industrial Picketing
How to Picket
Hitting Back

7. Starting a Group
Anyone Can Start a Group
What to Do?
Name & Logo
Finding Members
A Constitution?
The Group Committee
Group Success or Failure

8. Leafleting
Why Leafleting?
Posters & Placards

9. News Media
Why the News Media?
Make it Newsworthy
Media Tips
A Feature Article?
The Letters Page
News Release
The Radio
Radio Tips

10. Internet
Why the Internet?
The Web
Create Your Own Web Site / Blog
Designing Your Web Site
Capturing Viewers
Discussion Boards

How to Do Animal Rights - & Win the War on Animals

Chapter 4.  Activities for Animal Rights

 1. Undercover Investigator

 2. Video Activist

 3. Animal Friendly Traveller

 4. Animal Preacher

 5. Animal Rescuer

 6. Investigative Reporter

 7. Media Watcher

 8. Philosopher

 9. Flyer

10. Personal Activist

11. Animal Lawyer

12. Politician

13. Prisoner Supporter

14. Public & School Speaker

15. Aerial Snooper

16. Scientific Investigator

17. Solo Information Worker

18. Street Theatre Actor

19. Teacher

20. Voluntary Worker Abroad

How to Do Animal Rights - & Win the War on Animals

Chapter 5.  The Law & Animal Rights

1. Terrorism
A Definition of Terrorism
Background to Terrorism
But What Really is Terrorism?
Animal Extremism & Terrorism
Does AR Extremism Work in Practice?

2. Violence or Nonviolence?
Scope of AR Extremism
Can We Justify Violence?
Kinds of Violence
Views For & Against Violence
Is Violence Efficacious?

3. The Law - US & Britain
United States
FBI vs Extremists
Extremist Tactics
Establishment Fights Back

4. Police Arrest
Ben Prepared
In the Street & At Your Door
At the Police Station
Your Tactics
Know Your Rights
Remaining Silent
Having a Lawyer Present
Suing the Police

How to Do Animal Rights - & Win the War on Animals

Chapter 6.  Assorted Animal Rights Activists

1.  Steven Best

2.  John Lawrence

3.  Andrew Linzey

4.  Richard Martin

5.  The McLibel Two

6.  Ingrid Newkirk

7.  Jill Phipps

8.  Henry Salt

9.  Henry Spira

10. Three Philosophers

How to Do Animal Rights - & Win the War on Animals

Chapter 7.  Numbers of Animal Raised & Killed

1.  Summary

2.  Chickens

3.  Pigs

4.  Beef Cattle

5.  Fish

6.  Meat Consumption

7.  Fur-bearers

8.  Experimental Animals

How to Do Animal Rights - & Win the War on Animals

Chapter 8.  Extras!

1.  Mutilations of Farm Animals

2.  The Five Freedoms

3.  Painism

4.  The Forgotten Fur

5.  The Golden Rule

6.  Human Overpopulation

7.  Climate Change

8.  Think Like an Animal

Appendix - World Scientists' Warning to Humanity



How to Do Animal Rights -
And Win the War on Animals

Chapter 2

Know Your Animal Ethics & Animal Rights

3. Comparing Animal Philosophies

Animal Ethics vs Animal Rights

Having discussed animal ethics and animal rights on the previous two pages, how do they compare with each other? The Table below summarises some main points.

Comparison of Animal Ethics & Animal Rights

Animal Ethics
Animal Rights
Includes animal rights but has broader scope, eg overlaps with environmental ethics and utilitarianism. Concentrates only on rights, a sub-set of animal ethics.
Asks how we should treat animals and provides a number of approaches. Asserts that using animals for human gain is morally wrong.
Does not offer any particular moral viewpoint about animals. Is a doctrine about how we should treat animals.
Tries to resolve moral animal-human issues using a number of schemes. Asserts that we have a duty to give animals rights and we should respect those rights.
Applies to all animals.

Concentrates on sentient animals.

Thus, animal ethics is a broad theoretical pursuit, like studying music theory, whereas animal rights is a practice, like playing a specific musical instrument.

Animal Rights vs Animal Welfare

Animal rights overlaps with animal welfare and conservation. But although all three share many similarities there are significant differences that set them apart from each other and make them conflicting philosophies, as this Table and the following one indicate.

Comparison of Animal Rights & Animal Welfare

The Rights Position
The Animal Welfare Position
Morality Using animals is morally wrong. Using animals is morally right.
Benefits We should not use animals to benefit ourselves. We can use animals to benefit ourselves.
Interests We should not invariably overrule the interests of animals with human interests. Our interests are always more important than the interests of animals.
Pain We should not inflict pain or death on animals. We should not cause animals 'unnecessary' pain or death.
Humane Treatment We should always treat animals humanely and eliminate the human made causes of animal suffering.

We should treat animals as humanely as convenient to us.

Animal rightists often disparage of animal welfare. As the radical animal rights academic and activist Steven Best (see Chapter 6) says, "Animal 'welfare' laws do little but regulate the details of exploitation." (1)

A major rift between animal rights and animal welfare is that one is subjective and the other is objective. We cannot measure animal rights impartially or scientifically. It is a concept and a personal moral choice. It resembles the conviction of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724 - 1804) that we should not harm humans even in the interests of the majority. Animal rights takes Kant's view (a Duty Ethics concept, see Chapter 2: Animal Ethics) a step further and applies it to animals. Animal welfare, on the other hand, has the advantage that we can measure it objectively and manipulate it scientifically. For instance, to find which kind of bedding chickens prefer, we can count the number of chickens who seek to live on a straw floor or a wire mesh floor. Then we might provide the chickens with their choice, economic and other constraints permitting.

Animal welfare has a variation called new welfarism, in outlook between animal welfare and animal rights. Like animal rightists, new welfarists support abolishing the causes of animal suffering; however, new welfarists argue that it will take a long time to achieve this and meanwhile we must do all we can to support the welfare of animals to lessen their suffering. Thus, for instance, new welfarists want to phase out fur farms and animal experiments but in the short-term they try to improve conditions for these animals. Critics of new welfarism say this route supports animal exploitation and therefore is a useless philosophy and the ultimate act of betrayal for animals. New welfarists counter by claiming that their outlook is more achievable, and therefore is of more immediate benefit to exploited animals, than the perhaps impossible goals of animal rights, such as demanding complete closure of anti-animal industries and changing the deep seated habits of billions of people.

Animal Rights vs Conservation

Animal rights and nature conservation both became popular among the public in the late 1970's. Both standpoints oppose human-centredness and believe that wild animals have intrinsic value (although this is not an attitude of all conservationists). Animal rightists and nature conservationists both support conserving nature, although for different reasons. Conservationists support nature for the sake of greater conservation whereas animal rightists support nature for the sake of the animals who live in it. The differences between both outlooks, however, are deep, as illustrated by this Table:

Comparison of Animal Rights & Conservation

Animal Rights
Focuses on the individual animal as well as on animals in general. Focuses on levels above the individual (populations, species, ecosystems and the biosphere) except when just a few individuals are the only survivors of their population or species.
Refers usually to sentient animals and not to plants or the physical environment. Encompasses all creatures (plants etc) and includes the physical part of nature (eg air and water).
Is concerned with animals in areas of human activity (eg agriculture, laboratories, fur trade and circuses). Is not usually concerned with animals in these areas of human activity unless they intrude on conservation matters, such as when wild animals are taken from endangered populations.
Animal rightists try to minimise suffering of animals, especially when humans cause it. Pain and death to conservationists are a part of life that individuals must endure, and conservationists would prefer individuals to suffer so long as their populations or species survive.

Deep Ecology

There is another philosophy that has a considerable bearing on our behaviour to animals. It contrasts with animal rights and helps to see it in perspective. Deep Ecology is concerned with fundamental philosophical, practical and personal questions about the ways humans relate to their environment. It relates to animals because of course animals live in nature and are part of our environment. Deep Ecology opposes the exploitation and destruction of the natural world by materialism and consumerism. It says we should minimise our impact on the world and it appeals for a change in the way we think about the world. Deep Ecology predicts that if we do not shift our basic values and customs we will destroy the diversity and beauty of the world's life and its ability to support humanity.

The ideas of Deep Ecology came about against the background of the nascent Environmentalism of the 1960's. Deep Ecology is primarily associated with Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess (1912 - ). The Deep in Deep Ecology refers to a fundamental or wise questioning of attitudes to nature. Deep Ecology questions the root causes of the degeneration of the variety and richness of the world. It calls for a more enlightened approach for humanity to live within the bounds of Nature rather than to depend on technological fixes as remedies for our exploitation / destruction of nature.

Naess coined the term Deep Ecology in 1973 in contrast to shallow ecology, a lesser form of environmentalism and typical of present society. The nature of shallow ecology has a utilitarian and anthropocentric attitude, based on materialism and consumerism. Shallow ecology focuses on using the world's natural resources for unlimited human growth and comes up with technological solutions to offset environmental problems thus made. For example, shallow ecology promotes recycling of commercial and industrial waste instead of preventing the generation of waste in the first place. Again, shallow ecology supports placing ever increasing demands on the land to produce more food instead of improving human birth control to reduce human numbers.

The Eight Tenets of Deep Ecology

Eight tenets, composed by Naess and colleagues, form the basis of Deep Ecology thought. These points are intended to be agreeable to people from any philosophical, political or religious background. The eight tenets of Deep Ecology, paraphrased and contrasted with shallow ecology, are shown on this Table:

The Eight Tenets of Deep Ecology -
paraphrased and contrasted with Shallow Ecology

Deep Ecology
Shallow Ecology
1. All creatures on Earth have intrinsic value. 1. All creatures on Earth have value only for their usefulness to humans.
2. The whole diversity of living beings, simple as well as complex, contributes to life's richness. 2. Complex creatures (ie humans) are more important than simpler ones.
3. Humans should only use other beings to satisfy their basic needs. 3. Humans should use all resources for their material and economic advantage.
4. The health of non-humans depends on decreasing the number of humans. 4. The human population can increase without restraint.
5. Human interference with the world is excessive and worsening. 5. Technological progress will solve all problems.
6. Human policy (economics, technology and ideology) must change radically. 6. Materialism and consumerism should govern human society.
7. Quality of life is more important than standard of living. 7. The standard of living should keep rising.
8. Every human who believes in these points must work for change. 8. Leave environmental problems for the experts to solve.

The philosophy of Deep Ecology is supported by some sections of political parties and is used as a philosophical basis for change by environmental activists opposing the human destruction of nature. As a guide for personal growth, Deep Ecology invites each individual to intermesh with and identify with all living creatures. But we are not just saving other species and ecosystems, we are really saving ourselves, because nature is the part of us extending beyond our skin. Deep Ecology says that humans are not isolated objects but are part of the whole.

A criticism of Deep Ecology from the animal rights viewpoint is that it maintains we can use animals to satisfy our basic needs (Tenet 3). 'Deep' animal rights philosophy forbids the use of animals. We would use up a vast number of animals if all the billions of humans put to use an animal even just occasionally. Another problem with Deep Ecology is that it relies on the idea of intrinsic value (Tenet 1) - that animals have a value independent of humanity. However, if you do not believe in the notion of intrinsic value you could still support Deep Ecology and pursue animal liberation (as opposed to animal rights) by adopting a utilitarian philosophy (see Are Rights a Cure-all? in Chapter 2: Animal Rights).


Can you be an exclusive animal rightist, welfarist, conservationist or deep ecologist? Actually, being exclusively one or the other may be the most difficult course. Another approach is to see these philosophies not as necessarily mutually exclusive but as reinforcing one another. We can surely be benignly flexible and adopt the best ideas and activities from each of them depending on the particular circumstances we encounter. Certainly, knowledge about each of them and their antitheses helps us understand the outlook of other people.


(1) Best, Steven & Nocella, Anthony J (eds). Terrorist or Freedom Fighter? Lantern Books: New York. 2002:12.

How to Do Animal Rights -
And Win the War on Animals.
First published on the Web: April 2008.
© Roger Panaman, April 2008. All rights reserved.