Animal Rights v Animal Welfare

The terms “Animal Rights” and “Animal Welfare” are used interchangeably by most people, but they are worlds apart in meaning and intent.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “Animal welfare is the ethical responsibility of ensuring animal well-being. Animal well-being is the condition in which animals experience good health, are able to effectively cope with their environment, and are able to express a diversity of species-typical behaviors. Protecting an animal’s welfare means providing for its physical and mental needs.”

Animal Welfare supporters believe in our right to own, use and enjoy animals, but insist on humane standards and treatment for all animals, including proper housing, nutrition, disease prevention and treatment, humane handling, etc.

Animal Rights advocates such as PETA (People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals) and HSUS, (Humane Society Of The United States) want to end human “exploitation” of animals. That means working animals such as police dogs, dogs that guide the blind, dogs that serve the military, hunting dogs, etc. This does not apply only to dogs, they want the end of circuses, rodeos, animals performing in TV or movies, and they want to end the practice of owning pets. They want to end using any animal products for food, preferring everyone to go “vegan”. Little by little they are taking away our rights to own pets and use animals in any capacity. In recent years many changes have crept into our life with animals, including the terminology we use. “Pet Parents” “Fur kids” “Pet Guardian” are a few examples.

Changing from Pet Owner to Pet Guardian is an animal rights movement to try and achieve the same rights for animals that people enjoy.
Think this is far fetched and will never happen? Guess again.

Many states are trying to or have passed legislation concerning animal rights. While some bills do have some merit, they also usually contain sections that go against our right to own and enjoy our pets or working animals. Breed specific bans for example. Pit bulls, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherd Dogs, Akitas, and any mix thereof have been targets. Who determines what a mixed breed is? Any dog that vaguely resembles the above breeds? Any black and tan dog? Any dog with a shorter muzzle? When these laws are passed, all dogs fall victim. Even if a dog has never shown any aggression, he or she will be banned. Many innocent dogs are being euthanized only because someone said they belonged to a breed that was considered “vicious”. These laws don’t address the real problem…… irresponsible owners. They will only change to a different breed, thereby enlarging the number of breeds that will be banned.
Be aware of the laws in your community, and take steps to ensure that we will always have the “right” to own and enjoy our animals.

Copyright ©Karen Teplitzky





















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