I somewhat recently learned the difference between animal rights and animal welfare.  I was going to write a well researched, well thought out post on the difference, but after spending several hours on it I was so disturbed by the many photos of animal abuse that I deleted the post.  My husband suggested writing it as an opinion piece and skipping all the research, so here it is.

A quick google search of “animal rights vs animal welfare,” brings up this snippet: “Animal rights means that animals are not ours to use for food, clothing, entertainment, or experimentation. Animal welfare allows these uses as long as “humane” guidelines are followed.”

Animal rights activists do not believe in using animals for any purpose.  They think all animals should be free to live without human interference.

Animal welfare is providing for animals physical and mental health.  So providing water, food, shelter, medical treatments, etc.

Because I eat meat and have pets, I could never be considered an animal rights activist; however, in many ways I do believe in their ideas.  I think for me, the line is drawn at caged animals.  I do not think any animal should be caged; whether for human entertainment (zoo, circus, etc.), human experimentation, or human consumption.

The idea that a baby elephant is stolen from its mamma and shipped across the world so we can stare at it the rest of its life is horrifying!  Lions and gorillas are killed because they are contained in human made enclosures and expected to act domesticated.  But when they actually act as nature intended, we kill them.

I just don’t know enough about scientific advancement from the use of animals, but when I hear “Found to be (un)safe in chimpanzees or dogs or mice” I feel sick about it.  I know we are where we are today because of experimentation, I just wish it could be on willing participants, not unsuspecting animals.

As far as food goes, we are particular about the meat we consume.  Organic, no-antibiotics, free-range, grass fed, etc.  It might all be B.S. but it helps me to justify my need for protein.

These are all just my opinions and my thoughts.  Someone may point out valid reasons for caged animals.  And I’m certainly open to discussion.

What are your thoughts?  Do you think animals are for our use?  Where do you draw the line?