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Animal Rights vs. Animal Welfare


The phrases “animal welfare” and “animal rights” are distinct concepts, while sometimes used interchangeably. An animal’s rights might be defined as the privileges they should have. Animals should be afforded the same rights as humans, according to this school of thinking. On the other hand, the human responsibility for animal wellbeing is the primary focus for animal welfare. The paper seeks to investigate the relationship between Animal rights vs. Animal welfare.

Animal rights

The concept of granting animals the same rights as humans has long been controversial—but a closer examination of the philosophy shows ideas that aren’t as extreme as first thought. It is the goal of animal rights activists to separate animals from inanimate things, as exploitative businesses and the government so often view them. Rights for animals are based on the notion that non-living creatures should be free from human interference and compelled only to live their own lives per their wishes (Bekoff & Meaney, 2013). Animal rights are founded on the principle of autonomy, which is a synonym for choice. Numerous countries have laws enforcing human rights that provide basic freedoms, including freedom of expression, protection from torture, and the right to participate in representative government. People’s basic human rights are safeguarded, even if their choices are constrained by racial, social, and gender differences. Animal rights advocates pursue a similar goal for nonhuman species (Grandin, 2020). Human use of animals, whether for food, experimentation or even as pets, is a violation of animal rights, which directly conflict with animal rights. Human devastation of animal habitats may also violate animal rights. This has a detrimental effect on animals’ freedom to live the lives they want.

Animal welfare

Adaptability is a key component of an animal’s wellbeing. Generally speaking, if an animal is healthy, comfortable, nourished, protected, and allowed to express its natural behavior, it is in a state of wellbeing. Considering all of these areas of animal welfare is essential if we are to guarantee that animals are handled properly throughout killing them. Humane treatment and other terms like animal care, animal husbandry, and animal welfare all relate to a creature’s overall wellbeing. Animal welfare is concerned with the physical and mental wellbeing of animals.

This involves everything from adequate housing and management to nutrition and illness prevention and treatment to humane handling and death when required. Ensuring animal wellbeing is a duty that includes all areas of animal wellbeing. Animal welfare may be seen from various angles depending on one’s ideals and life experiences (Stuart & Gunderson, 2020). Health, production, behavior, and physiological reactions are a few other ways animals’ wellbeing may be assessed. As part of its commitment to animal welfare, the American Veterinary Medical Association has adopted a set of animal welfare principles that serve as a guide when the Association creates policies and takes action to improve the wellbeing of animals.

The conflicts between Animal welfare and animal rights

The number of human-wild animal encounters is rapidly growing as humanity grows. The need to differentiate between animal rights and animal welfare has grown relevant as civilization has moved away from its agricultural foundations. A fundamental distinction is sometimes overlooked in the public discourse regarding animal products: the difference between “animal rights” and “animal welfare (Wenzel, 2019). However, while they seem identical, they express two fundamentally distinct notions. Those who work with animals in business, entertainment, sport, or enjoyment are well-versed in animal rights and animal care debates.

If animal rights and wellbeing are to be compared, it’s important to remember that animals do not have the same rights as humans. Man’s advanced intellect has kept them at the top of the food chain. Animals, on the other hand, rely only on their instincts for survival, which is why they can’t think for themselves (Wenzel, 2019). For this reason, animals may be kept as pets by humans. Animal rights advocates should avoid owning pets since it might be seen as “slavery” by those who hold them in contempt. It is also possible to make the case that those who support animal rights should also be vegans in their dietary practices.

Animals are not entitled to the same rights as people, animal welfare guarantees that they are treated humanely. Animals may experience pain, love, and other human-like emotions, even though their brains are simpler than humans. Ethical questions arise because animals have emotions. There is a lot of emphasis on animal care in medical research (Vea, 2020). In many cases, these creatures do not suffer. Despite their professed distinctions and my support for animal study, scientists and researchers have a significant obligation to animals. All kinds of animals may be used in animal research, which can greatly aid in medical and scientific study. Scientists must guarantee that proper protocols are in place to ensure that animals are used in medical research in a dignified and ethical manner.

The truth is, various people’s definitions of animal advocacy vary widely. When it comes to fighting for the lives of animals, it’s essential to keep in mind that there are two sides to the story. Equal consideration, not equal treatment, is the underlying premise of equality. Regardless of where one is on the animal rights spectrum or cares about the welfare of animals in general, animal lovers are often met with misunderstandings about what it means to be a true animal lover (Favre, 2020). Animal rights is not a supporter of the usage of animals in any way, shape, or form, including pet ownership. A polar bear in a zoo, for example, died suddenly after giving birth. In order to protect and care for the cub, animal welfare organizations were to intervene, while animal rights groups had the option of staying out of the situation. Animal rights activists prefer that animals die in the wild rather than confined spaces.


There are several ways to enhance human-animal relations, including animal rights and animal welfare. On the other hand, animal welfare promotes the idea that humans are superior to animals. Because of this superiority, animals should not be abused. The use of animals in medical research has indeed resulted in significant discoveries. Despite this, all scientists who do animal research must adhere to regulations that also ensure the animals’ welfare.


Appleby, M. C., Olsson, A. S., & Galindo, F. (Eds.). (2018). Animal welfare. Cabi.

Bekoff, M., & Meaney, C. A. (2013). Encyclopedia of animal rights and animal welfare. Routledge.

Favre, B. (2020). Is there a need for a new, an ecological, understanding of legal animal rights?. Journal of Human Rights and the Environment11(2), 297-319.

Grandin, T. (Ed.). (2020). Improving animal welfare: A practical approach. Cabi.

Stuart, D., & Gunderson, R. (2020). Nonhuman animals as fictitious commodities: Exploitation and consequences in industrial agriculture. society & animals28(3), 291-310.

Vea, T. (2020). The learning of emotion in/as sociocultural practice: The case of animal rights activism. Journal of the Learning Sciences29(3), 311-346.

Wenzel, G. (2019). Animal rights, human rights. University of Toronto Press.


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