Published as Chapter 12 in The Routledge Handbook of Law and Society, Mariana Valverde, Kamari M. Clarke, Eve Darian Smith & Prabha Kotiswaran, eds.
This chapter describes the traditional approaches in animal law of animal welfare and animal rights. Animal rights, as an approach, developed as a critique of the older animal welfare, anti-cruelty approach. Tom Regan, an influential animal rights writer, explained the difference between the welfare and the rights approaches this way: whereas welfarists advocate for larger animal cages, animal rights proponents push for dismantling the cages altogether. Beyond animal welfare and animal rights, new perspectives on non-humans and the law are emerging that are influenced by ecological approaches. Unlike the more traditional western legal systems, such approaches do not draw sharp lines that separate humans and their rights from the rest of nature. Indeed, environmentalists have long-criticized the animal rights movement's exclusive focus on the rights of individual animals who belong to certain species. The evolution of socio-legal thinking on animals and nature has raised fundamental questions about law itself, by exposing the anthropocentric and individualist bias of traditional legal doctrines.
Law | Law and Society
Braverman, Irus, "Animals" (2021). Contributions to Books. 411.