Talk:Animal rights/Archive 5

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Archive 4 Archive 5 Archive 6

Spain again

Although this has been discussed before, please see Talk:Animal rights/Archive 4#Spain for why it is incorrect to say that Spain has actually granted rights to non-human primates. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:54, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

SlimVirgin TALK contribs 23:23, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

I've read each of these references, and they seem to me to be consistent with the now-archived discussion linked above. They all seem to say that a resolution was passed in 2008, and is "expected" to become law. Has that enactment as law happened in the two years since? --Tryptofish (talk) 23:40, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Could we have a translation of this source, please, per V? [1] SlimVirgin TALK contribs 00:41, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Yes, that's a very fair question. I don't read Spanish myself, and have been AGFing the reading of that source by the editor who found it, in the archived talk linked above. If there aren't any Spanish-reading editors watching this page right now, I'm sure we could get someone from WT:SPAIN to translate it. But, as I already asked, are there any sources about the resolution being enacted into law during these past two years? That's a very fair question too. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:56, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
I suggest we remove the source until we know what it says. I'm perfectly willing to change that section if no legislation is forthcoming and if ought to be. I have no POV in the matter, I don't care. I just want to stick to sources. I have no updated source myself, but I don't know whether that's surprising. Legislation takes a long time to write. In the meantime, I've written to GAP. Perhaps you could look for sources too. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 01:05, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
I just left a note at WT:SPAIN, asking for help with a translation. (What is GAP?) I don't object to deleting the statement until the sourcing is worked out, but I want to leave the link so that editors coming to translate it can find it. I'll blank out the sentence in the mean time. --Tryptofish (talk) 01:11, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
GAP is the Great Ape Project. It seems to be the group that was behind this push for the new bill in Spain. I tried using Google translator, but I think the source is a little long for it. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 01:13, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I had the same problem with an online translator. Anyway, I've blanked out the sentence in question, and asked for an editor to translate. You can see the request I left at WT:SPAIN. I'm about to sign off for the night now. --Tryptofish (talk) 01:17, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for doing that. I appreciate it. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 01:23, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
I manage to read it. It would take long for me to translate the whole thing accurately and I don't know exactly the context. Could you be more specific about what you wish to know about it? It seems to be a proposal of law (not a law itself). Dated May 2008, presented by left-wing parties, and asking for the adoption of the ideas of the GAP, with an explicit pledge of support to the GAP. However, it doesn't explicitly use the word “rights” (derechos) (unfortunately), speaking only of “protection”. David Olivier (talk) 11:33, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Thank you very much for that, David. I guess the specific question is whether the document indicates whether or not the proposal of law has been enacted into actual law. From reading what you said above, it seems probable that the document is either silent on that, or indicates that it is not law. In addition, Jezhotwells has responded to the question at WT:SPAIN, and says that the document does not indicate whether the proposal has gotten past the proposal stage. It seems to me, more broadly, that the question facing this talk is whether there is reliable sourcing for a statement that the proposal is actually law, or whether the resolution proposing the law is just that, a resolution proposing a law. --Tryptofish (talk) 15:20, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
David, can you say what the source is exactly, who wrote it, when it was written etc? SlimVirgin TALK contribs 17:34, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
I think that Jezhotwells may have answered those questions at WT:SPAIN. Quoting in part: "This document is the 23 May 2008 issues of the gazette, the official publication of the Congress of Deputies..." --Tryptofish (talk) 18:10, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
I've tried doing Google and Google News searches, and I can't find anything about the proposal actually being enacted into law. I just continue to see things like "expected to become law by 2009". --Tryptofish (talk) 21:23, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Same here, which is why I removed it from the lead. It's notable enough for the lead if it's going to produce real legisation (or some other acknowledgement by the govt of rights, rather than welfare), but not if it isn't. Eighteen months is not that long a time for legislation to be written, mind you, especially with something as ground-breaking as this, so that could explain the hold-up. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 21:30, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Yes, I have a suggestion, and I'd like to know what you think about it. The old version of the sentence, which I have blanked out, said: "The committee's proposal does not have the force of law." In order to allow for the possibility that things may, perhaps, still be working their way through the legislative process, I suggest restoring the sentence but changing it to: "The committee's proposal has not yet been enacted into law." Would that, or something like it, work? --Tryptofish (talk) 22:00, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I'm fine with that. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 22:02, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, both for that and for your comment below. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:04, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
You're welcome, and thank you too. I hope we can put our disagreements behind us and work toward producing good content. :) SlimVirgin TALK contribs 22:08, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't have time to go back to the text now, but my recollection is that nothing in the text says that it has become more than a proposal. If it has, it will certainly be in another document. Like the user on WT:SPAIN, I don't have the skills to search for such a document. Perhaps a simpler way to find out would be to contact the GAP organization. David Olivier (talk) 23:51, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, David, I've contacted them. I don't think that document is directly connected to what we're looking for, because the news coverage was at the end of June, so something must have happened between May (when that document was written) and June 26(ish), which is when the news agencies reported a development. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 00:01, 4 March 2010 (UTC)


Tryptofish, I see this diff [2] as very illustrative of the problems. There are two key points in that section. First, that the Austrian supreme court has said chimps aren't persons. Secondly, that the case has been appealed to the European Court of Human Rights.

The first is good for an opponent of AR, the second bad. The first is bad for a supporter of AR, the second good. Therefore, we can't have a header that emphasizes either of those points. For that reason I choose a neutral header, one with the chimp's name. You then change it to a header that supports your POV, and when I try to fix it, you'll no doubt revert me and want to discuss it on talk endlessly. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 17:34, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Your prediction of my future behavior proved inaccurate. I changed the wording to leave open what might happen on appeal. Your point about the appeal to the European Court is a very reasonable one, and one that I was quite happy to acknowledge. However, naming the section for the chimp's "name", a name given by humans who are on one side of the court proceedings, assumes personhood for the chimp. You were quite right to point out the pending appeal, and you could have gotten the same result by just doing that, without going on to make the untrue predictions about me. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:02, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry. It might help you to understand about me that, though I'm fine engaging in article talk when it's needed, I have an almost viceral dislike of doing it unnecessarily. Comes from being around WP for too long. I'm too aware of the horrible amount of time I've spent discussing rather than writing articles. :) SlimVirgin TALK contribs 21:35, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

"uniquely human aspects of taking pleasure from cruelty,"

The proof for this seems to be a Mark Twain quote. Otherwise, there is no proof or citation for the idea that taking pleasure in cruelty is uniquely human. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:23, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

I assume you are talking about the last paragraph, about Scruton. I'm not sure that this is a problem, since the passage in question is not really arguing that the claim is true, but rather presenting it as an argument made by critics of Scruton's thinking. On the other hand, it is clear that Twain himself was not making this argument (unless he held a press conference from the grave), so maybe it is not particularly helpful to have it here? --Tryptofish (talk) 21:34, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Re-reading the sentence in question, it does seem problematic that the first part of the sentence argues that Scruton cannot know non-human thought processes, but then the second part of the sentence implicitly does purport to know them, by making the claim ("unique") you question here. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:43, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Those two paragraphs should be removed. They were added here by an anon, and they're a SYN violation, unless there is an academic (or similar) out there who has criticized Scruton's argument in this way. Citing Mark Twain is classic SYN. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 07:36, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I agree, that's a much better solution. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:10, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I keep meaning to look around for other critics, and try to expand that section just a little, but I never seem to get round to it. And to ask Carl Cohen for a better picture. :) SlimVirgin TALK contribs 17:42, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

If animals were without owners for examlpe, a dog. How would they survive when their used to people giving them food? The owner doesn;t teach them how to hunt for food. Nowadays we have big cities and most dogs get frightened by cars or people and maybe just being alone, not safe, not knowing where to go. Dogs on the reservation walk around for days searching for food, someone to love and care for them, a place to sleep and a place safe for them and it gets hard to try to care for them because they lose all their trust in people they get defensive and probably from being abused, but still. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:01, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

I think it's the issue of animals being property that's seen as the problem. One argument is that we could have companion animals without the ownership, just as we have friends and family that we don't own. Other AR advocates are against the whole companion animal industry. I think they would argue (though I'm not certain about this) that there would be a grandfather clause to allow animals already born to be cared for, but that the purchase and sale of animals would be phased out over time. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 17:38, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Why just Spain

Why are Spanish animal peep shows, performing chimpanzees and bull fights always condemned? Turkish dancing bares, American performing dolphins, bulldogs (who's legs are very weak) and Persian cats (who have overly shaggy fir) are all the victims of human vanity and animal exploitation. --P. E. Sonastal (talk) 02:12, 8 April 2010 (UTC)


The article spends more time talking about the Animal Liberation Front in the history section than it does Peter Singer and Animal Liberation. This is an example of undue weight. One way to fix this would be to include more on the impact of Animal Liberation-- why is it considered the "bible" of the animal rights movement, what did it change, what did it affect, etc. --Gloriamarie (talk) 20:45, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

We have a very long section on Singer's arguments here, almost too long, so I wouldn't want to see any more added. SlimVirgin talk contribs 01:56, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm not talking about Singer's arguments, but how they were received. Besides the one-sentence statement that the book is considered the "bible of the animal rights movement," there is little in the history section about how the book was received, and that section is shorter than the ALF section, which seems odd.--Gloriamarie (talk) 15:55, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

This article is nothing more than an unbalanced view showing animal abuse.

Seriously, Genesis has been misquoted to show supposedly human discrimination against animals, missing out on the other Books of the Torah where in Numbers animal abuse is not tolerated by God in Numbers, or that an Ox and all the animals of a Jew must cease work and rest on the sabbath.

This article is unintelligent until it gets a balances viewpoint.

Gabr-el 19:02, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Changes to lede - removal of political jargon

I made changes which removed two extremely POV terms from the lede:

Point 1
"..that the most basic interests of non-human animals" is political jargon that asserts that humans are animals and that the colloquial/normative distinction between humans and non-humans (ie. animals) is non-existant. Changed to "interests of animals.."
Point 2
"..that human beings should stop seeing other sentient beings as property" is political jargon which leaps over the normative distinctions between sentience and non-sentience by asserting 'non-human beings' are likewise sentient, or otherwise equivalent. Changed to "seeing animals as..."
Point 3
PS: "...that animals should be viewed as non-human persons and members of the moral community" - "moral community here should be linked, if its an actual concept. Linked moral community.

Regards, -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 23:48, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

That's OR, Steve. I don't think I've seen a modern animal rights advocate, at least not at academic level, spend time arguing that non-human animals are merely sentient; it might be stated in passing, but it's hard to imagine it being argued unless part of some specialized debate. If you want to add that AR advocates do argue this, it will need a good source. SlimVirgin talk contribs 23:55, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
What's "OR," Slim? I've been kind enough to regard the prior errors as "political jargon" and not simply weasel terms, which is really what they are. I don't see how anything you've said above deals with the three changes listed above, which you reverted wholesale. I find your comments a little bit chewbacca actually. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 23:58, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
It's the same OR that was discussed here, Steve, where you were explicitly asked by several editors not to engage in it anymore, and here where were you blocked for it. The language of the lead is the language used by philosophers who write about this. Because this article is about the concept and its development, and because it's a concept largely developed by philosophers and law professors, we've tried to stick to academic sources when discussing how it's currently understood. SlimVirgin talk contribs 00:08, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
I filed an ANI. You need to learn a few things about academic honesty. Like actually reading what someone has written above, and responding directly to it. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 00:13, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
I can't simply go along with this idea that you can revert whatever you like and come to the talk pretending that you have abided by some higher calling. Please address my three points above and then we can get on to discussing yours.-Stevertigo (w | t | e) 00:35, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Steve, you seem to be providing arguments against animal rights advocates above, rather than arguing over what should properly be in the article. What's being described in the statements you edited are the beliefs of the advocates. If you want to change their stated beliefs, you need to source that. You can't just provide an argument that the statements are fundamentally flawed. You need to show that the statements don't actually represent what the advocates are saying. Equazcion (talk) 00:40, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
If you can respond to my three specific and particular points about how the lede was written before I edited it, that would be a wonderful place to start. Keep in mind that the term "animal rights advocates" is political jargon in its own right. The term "animal rights" has a certain oxymoronic aspect to it that needs to be discussed here in this article. It can't just be given over to animal rights activists for use as they see fit, which 'seems' to be what SlimVirgin was doing. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 01:00, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure any group can identify themselves however they like. It's really not up to us to correct them; just to report what they say and what they call themselves, according to reliable sources. That's it. If you want to argue with the claims they make and the words they use, you're probably in the wrong place. If you can find sources to back up your criticisms of them, you could probably get that into the article. Not as the lead paragraph, but somewhere. Equazcion (talk) 01:03, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree. But the issues I raised did not put such ideas within a context of claims made by "animal rights" advocates. One cannot assume any other context than NPOV, in which I found those three items (top) to be POV language. I am happy with the current state of the article. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 01:06, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
It looks to me as though the purpose of those statements you pointed out is to describe the beliefs of animal rights activists, and is stated in that context. I don't agree with the current version of the article. Slim's "easter egg" point also has merit, ie. where you link "afforded the same consideration" to "rights". This is unnecessary piping. Equazcion (talk) 01:13, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

This needs a source: "They argue that human beings should regard animals as sentient ..." They do of course say that animals are sentient, but it's not a major argument because it's taken for granted. It's what the sentience implies that is the issue.

And your change to this sentence has left me not knowing what it means (your change in bold): "They argue that human beings should regard animals as sentient, and stop seeing them as property, or even as property to be treated kindly." The current version reads: "They argue that human beings should stop seeing other sentient beings as property, rather than as property to be treated kindly." Sourced to Gary Steiner. SlimVirgin talk contribs 01:27, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

First of all there is a clear definition of sentience, that does not consider simply that sense = sentience. Yours is an argument that belongs at the sentience article, perhaps. To say that a major fulcrum of an animal rights argument, that sentience equals sense (why not just say "sensing"), and that all sensing creatures are sentient, is "taken for granted" is simply a POV. Animal rights activists have had a difficult time at the sentience article as well, where they argue for a lower consciousness definition of "sentience" that defies all other definitions that go beyond merely sensing. And yes, I understand there are some unusual scientists who argue for animal equality/personhood. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 01:36, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
The idea that most people have of AR is people protesting in streets. That's not what we're talking about here. We're talking here about a fairly complex concept, developed mostly by academic philosophers and professors of jurisprudence, and becoming more complex all the time as the debates continue. It's something that requires a fair bit of scholarly reading and the use of high-quality sources when making edits about it, especially edits about the philosophy. That sentience equals sense, for example, is not something I understand. If that's your own idea, it's OR. If it's not your own idea, do you have a source? SlimVirgin talk contribs 01:53, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
This isn't rocket science. There are three points I made (top) regarding what I called "POV jargon" in the lede, which you chose to defend without commenting on any of them directly. Do so, and we can advance to the next level. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 02:06, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Point 1

I know nothing about the subject, but coming from the perspective of the English language, the first sentence is patently ridiculous: "the idea that the most basic interests of non-human animals should be afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of human beings". The qualifier "non-human" is superfluous. No sane reader would imaging that the word "animal" could be taken to include human here, and even if they did, the context of the sentence removes any possible ambiguity. The sentence simply does not need the term. The minute I read the sentence, my reaction was "that's odd, why is it there?" and to wonder what type of agenda it betrayed. I removed it, but was reverted on the basis of a talk page agreement - but I see none. With due respect to those on this page, could your specialist knowledge and awareness of sensitivities of the arguments on both sides, be colouring your editing? I strongly suspect that any editor coming to this without preconception would share my sense of bewilderment and suspicion. We write in plain English, plain English does not need, and would not use, a qualifier on the word "animal" and especially when the same sentence makes clear we are using it in contradistinction to human beings.--Scott Mac 12:42, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

I think that "non-human" should remain in the lede otherwise it is confusing since humans are included in the animal kingdom. Many religious groups argue that this is not the case, that humans are not animals. Saying that animals should have the same rights as humans, means that humans are not included in the group animals which is simply not true. Besides, one of the points that it seems animal rights is trying to get across is that humans are animals, too. Since this is the lede, it is not uncommon to present info as viewed by the subject of the article. If all this doesn't convince you, go the the cited reference [Britannica] which refers to non-human animals. Bob98133 (talk) 13:38, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
How is it confusing? I don't see any way in which anyone could be confused by that sentence. Grammatically, it is completely clear. We shouldn't bring in the POV of religious groups, or what is "true". We simply communicate the facts as unambiguously as possible. When you set up a sentence that contrasts "animals" with "human beings" - it is totally unnecessary to say "non-human" - it interjects a perspective that's grammatically unnecessary.--Scott Mac 14:44, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Animals include humans, according to our own article about them. Therefore, comparing "animals" to "humans" is ambiguous, like comparing "people" to "teachers". This is the terminology used by Encyclopedia Britannica in this context, and high quality tertiary sources are the best for terminology issues. Crum375 (talk) 14:58, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Linguistically, the term "animal" can mean either including or excluding humans. It is, in fact, commonly used in the exclusive sense - to denote "the animal kingdom" in contradistinction to humanity. Indeed, that is the sense in which it is being used here. It is comparing "animals" to "human beings". Since the sentence makes that clear, there is no need for the redundant qualifier. Frankly, you argument looks ideologically motivated. In common English animal means non-human, and the sentence certainly is referring to non-humans - so no need for more. However, I have this sinking feeling that I'm going to lose this because the usual ideological tag-team is determined to have its own way. Fine - but your article is not neutral.--Scott Mac 15:14, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
" denote 'the animal kingdom' in contradistinction to humanity": Can you point to a reliable source which says the "animal kingdom" excludes humans? Crum375 (talk) 15:44, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
For goodness sake, are you unaware that when people use the term "animal" they often mean "as opposed to human"? Are you seriously arguing that? If you need a source to say that this is a common usage of the term "animal", can I suggest you simply grab the nearest dictionary?--Scott Mac 16:04, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
My nearest dictionary has as its first definition: "an-i-mal: any member of the kingdom Animalia, comprising multicellular organisms that have a well-defined shape and usually limited growth, can move voluntarily, actively acquire food and digest it internally, and have sensory and nervous systems that allow them to respond rapidly to stimuli..." The second meaning is to exclude humans, and the third is mammal, to exclude fish or fowl, etc.. The key here is context. In this case, where we are comparing intrinsic philosophical and legal rights in a scholarly context, we assume the scholarly (and first) meaning, hence we compare "non-human animals" to "humans". Why do you think Encyclopedia Britannica, one of the most respected tertiary sources, uses that terminology? Crum375 (talk) 16:17, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
I've never disputed that first meaning. However, when the sentence is comparing "animals" to "humans", there's not much chance anyone will read it as "animals (including humans)" vs "humans" thus there is no need to say anything. The sentence makes quite clear we are using the second common meaning. It is obvious to the reader that the context demands that animals here is used in the human excluding sense. There is no possibility of the sentence being confused. Your demand we put "non-human animals" here, is simply an attempt to force the "first" inclusive meaning of animal, only in order to (ironically) exclude humans from the group in question. It makes zero linguistic sense. The sentence manages to clearly imply the group we are speaking of, without the grammatical contortion. Hence, I suspect the insertion is for other than grammatical purposes. Leave the "non-human" out, and we communicate perfectly clearly what we want to convey.--Scott Mac 16:30, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Scott, the first sentence defines what the idea is, and it has been defined by the academics who write about it. "Animal rights, also referred to as animal liberation, is the idea that the most basic interests of non-human animals should be afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of human beings." This is a description of the idea at its most basic. If you look at the source, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, you'll see they also talk about non-human animals. To discuss animals on the one hand, and human beings on the other (as though we are not animals), is imprecise language, and odd-looking in an article about an idea in philosophy and law. SlimVirgin talk contribs 16:33, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

I've gone methodically through all of the recent edits, the new talk above, and even the ANI thread. Honestly, I have to disagree with Steve and Scott, and agree with Slim and Crum (as much as it might surprise them!). --Tryptofish (talk) 18:46, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
A herd of deeply grateful non-human pigs has just flown past my window. :) SlimVirgin talk contribs 18:56, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Uh-oh! Sounds like genetic modification to me. :-D --Tryptofish (talk) 19:04, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Glad to see discussion is continuing on the points I addressed. I still can't understand what SlimVirgin means when she says the article "has been defined by the academics who write about it." It doesn't mean much, when the academics she's referring to are pro-animal personhood. Can you cite more than one source, slim?
The argument Slim and others put forth is that we use a non-standard, supposedly "scientific" definition of "animal." Essentially they are saying that everything in all existence must be either animal, vegetable, or mineral. Humans therefore, in their view, must be animals. In general speech however, the term "animal" is used to indicate something "non-human [biological organism]" and apologies if I'm leaving out any extraterrestrials. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 20:25, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
I thought we used common English not pro-animal accadmiceese. However, Steve, give it up. It isn't worth it, and from experience you know this one is lost. I'm unwatching. I've no desire to slug it out, against the usual agenda pushing.--Scott Mac 21:22, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
That kind of comment isn't appreciated, Scott. It's perfectly standard in articles to use the vocabulary that academics use, so long as it's not jargon that no one can understand (and even that's sometimes unavoidable). But the language of non-human animals and non-human primates (NHPs) is quite standard across a range of disciplines, including the natural sciences. I have several books on my shelves here by researchers who use it, including scientists opposed to AR. SlimVirgin talk contribs 21:31, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm not shy about slugging things out, but it seems to me to be fine to distinguish between humans and non-humans in this particular context. It's not POV-pushing. It's just clarity. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:07, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
I actually am going to take Scott's advice. I understand why some here need to defend their pet concepts. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 23:53, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Companion animal concepts, if you don't mind! :) SlimVirgin talk contribs 23:56, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Nobody is laughing. As usual, you're stuck on using POV terminology to the extent of starting an edit war. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 23:59, 4 May 2010 (UTC) PS: Don't you mean "companion non-human animal concepts?" -Stevertigo (w | t | e)

Lighten up. SV made a funny and witty joke about pets. We need more humour around here and less battleground mentality. Viriditas (talk) 06:18, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
I, for one, appreciate that. PS: But the issue here is that the article still remains in a POV state, as per the wishes of a POV editor. Certainly I am free to change the article, but then I would also be unjustly castigated as being provocative. I dislike such unnecessary predicaments. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 22:16, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
If you are worried about POV, how about taking a moment to review all of the current and past discussions to see if previous issues have been addressed? If you find they have not, make a list using small bullet points. Viriditas (talk) 03:03, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
This isn't rocket science. There are three points I made (top) regarding what I called "POV jargon" in the lede, which you choose to defend by not commenting on any of them directly. Do so, and we can advance to the next level.-Stevertigo (w | t | e) 04:54, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Steve? I have not chosen to defend anything. I'm not even involved in this discussion. My point, in case you missed it, is that you haven't made a case for POV, but you might find some ideas in the archives. If you're just going to throw around silly accusations, then you aren't going to get very far. If you are having trouble convincing others of your position, consider that the problem resides with your presentation. Viriditas (talk) 06:30, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree with what Viriditas just said here. Steve, I've been involved in those past discussions, and I have the scars to prove it. There's a reason that SV expressed surprise that I agreed with her. If there's any editor around here who is receptive to correcting pro-AR POVs to be NPOV, it's me. If anyone raises issues where the page adopts the POV of its subject, I'll be happy to help argue the case. I did read each of the three points you raised here, and in all three cases, I can understand how the language can play into an AR POV, but in each case I think that it is clear that the language is referring to the positions of AR proponents, and therefore is describing them accurately. It seems to me to be a matter of clarity and precision of language, not of POV-pushing. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:32, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

The first of three issues I raised is, repeated (as my above comment was a repeat): "..that the most basic interests of non-human animals" is political jargon that asserts that humans are animals and that the colloquial/normative distinction between humans and non-humans (ie. animals) is non-existant. Changed to "interests of animals.."

I do not begrudge anyone here for being sincere in their views that pet = person. The issue here is the unusual warping of the term "animal" to include human beings, rather than distinguish from them, in such a way as to draw further equalities such as "sentience" and "rights." You will note that Scott took sincere concern with this issue as well.-Stevertigo (w | t | e) 22:06, 6 May 2010 (UTC)


Understood. The word "animal" can be used to refer to all the various species that are not humans, as in "humans and animals". In my case this has nothing to do with assigning personhood to pets. As a professional biological scientist, I understand that humans are living organisms, that we are not plants, that we are not protists, that we are animals. Animals of the species described by the Linnaean binomial Homo sapiens. So, the word "animal" can refer to all animal species, And I say that without any kind of prejudice that would pre-suppose including humans, and it can also, in another usage, refer to non-human animals. The language on the page is clear and precise, in that it clarifies the ambiguity that would otherwise exist between those two meanings of the word. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:29, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Understood. In a classical classification, all things not vegetable or mineral are animal. In common usage, as well as in scientific usage, the term's human and animal are used in large part to distinguish from each other in a qualitatively important way. This is done so that a myocardial infarction in a human is not considered or treated the same way as a myocardial infarction in a head of cattle.
We do use English here on English Wikipedia, such that for specialized usage of common terms, the term should be specifically re-defined upfront, without "taking for granted" (after SVirgin) any anomalous, precocious, or specious usage such as the kind found in this article. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 23:52, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
We do use English here, and the very first meaning of the word "animal" in the dictionary includes humans, as does our Animal article. The use of the word animal to exclude humans is colloquial and not used in academic circles. This article is about law and philosophy, and as such uses academic terminology. Not to mention that Encyclopedia Britannica uses the the same "non-human" terminology for this entry as we do. Crum375 (talk) 00:02, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
That's not correct. Only in the context of scientific articles does the concept of "human" belong in the classification animalia. The topic and hence context of this article is not science nor "scientific" - its about the suffrage of Mr. Ed. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 00:12, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Modern philosophy of animal rights theory is rooted in good science, so you may want to reconsider your argument. I suppose it is the difference between soft and hard philosophy, but there is a range of scientific datasets, hypotheses, theories, and observations that lend weight to the idea of animal rights and/or discredit it. The current trend is to move the softer social sciences into the domain of harder sciences through interdisciplinary study rooted in evolutionary biology. Viriditas (talk) 00:29, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
"Modern philosophy of animal rights theory is rooted in good science.." - Please explain. It is my understanding that there is little in the way of "animal rights" which has substance, scientific or otherwise.
"I suppose it is the difference between soft and hard philosophy, but there is a range of scientific datasets, hypotheses, theories, and observations that lend weight to the idea of animal rights and/or discredit it." - Please explain. How is such scientific data said to influence an argument in legal contexts in favor of animal sufferage? Keep in mind that the word "rights" here could be a misnomer. Also, while eliminating animal suffering may be quite reasonable, such is quite different than giving your pet goldfish the vote.
"The current trend is to move the softer social sciences into the domain of harder sciences through interdisciplinary study rooted in evolutionary biology." - Please substantiate with examples. It is my understanding that evolutionary biology does not support claims of animal language, let along animal intelligence, let alone animal sufferage. Heinlein said it well: "Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig." -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 00:39, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Steve, you seem to be hung up on the concept of animal suffrage. Are you aware of any reliable source that proposes giving non-human animals the right to vote? If not, some people here, perhaps with less WP:AGF than myself, could consider this to be a straw man argument. Crum375 (talk) 00:45, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm not hung up on anything. I'm just using the term "suffrage" because its synonymous with "rights" and "enfranchisement." Probe things unto their logical conclusions and we can have a sensible discussion. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 00:52, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, this is Wikipedia, where we base everything on reliable sources. Do you have a reliable source supporting your view that "suffrage is synonymous with 'rights'" in the context of animal rights? Crum375 (talk) 01:00, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I understand that by "rights," "animal rights" does not mean that animals have a right to education or a right to vote, but that they should be protected from cruelty and forces which destroy them wantonly. I'm using the word "rights" in its normal meaing as a natural, social, or legal construction of principle.-Stevertigo (w | t | e) 02:38, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Steve, you might want to read the article or some of its main sources to become more familiar with the concepts. No, animal rights (AR) advocates do not focus on the the issue of animal cruelty; that's the animal welfare advocates, which are a separate movement, sometimes at odds with AR. The main meaning of "rights" that AR advocates use is the right for non-human animals to live their lives without being harassed, killed or otherwise abused or treated as property by humans — essentially the right to liberty. There are no AR advocates that I am aware of who propose any more rights than these, but you can read the article and sources, and form your own conclusions. Crum375 (talk) 02:50, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Great. Now how does any of that justify using the problematic wording "non-human animals" here in a way that would be improper for any other article to do? -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 04:21, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

The wording is justified on any article where it makes sense, such as comparing humans to the rest of the animal kingdom in an academic discussion. In this particular one, Encyclopedia Britannica uses the same terminology, the scholarly reliable sources use it, and the first meaning of "animal" in the dictionary includes humans, so the distinction needs to be made. And I didn't raise the "rights" issue: it was you who said it equates to voting rights. Crum375 (talk) 04:38, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
There's nothing wrong with the wording, so we're in WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT territory. Previous concerns have been raised about the weight given to certain subtopics, and I've tried to point Steve in that direction. I think we're done with this particular point and I recommend closure of this discussion. Viriditas (talk) 04:43, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Yeah. I'm just repeating myself here. I'll leave things be for a while. Naturally its not a plain and sensible argument that I'm trying to counter here. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 05:07, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Although I'm also far from convinced that it is either plain or sensible to argue that "Modern philosophy of animal rights theory is rooted in good science", I do not see the scientific usage of the word "animal" to include humans as some sort of specialized or obscure meaning of the word, nor do I see its use to mean "animals in contrast to humans" to be an obvious or default meaning. --Tryptofish (talk) 15:49, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
It's rooted in bioethics. While it is true that great effort has been made to paint animal rights proponents and activists as antiscience, the wonderful, sweet irony is that the anti-rights stance is actually a religious, pre-scientific position based on Creationism which asserts that humans and non-human animals are greatly different, and its a position that ignores all of the scientific evidence pointing to our shared heritage and behavior. Viriditas (talk) 19:56, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
You make a good point, admittedly. I suppose that one can still debate what bioethics traces back to, but that's an argument for another page. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:59, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Certainly. Next time you talk about "animal rights," be sure to disambiguate "non-human animals" from the other kind. PS: And of course we who deal with human rights concepts are going to have to be less ambiguous as well. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 17:07, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I'll admit that it's not always easy to tell non-human from human animals, when all you see are key strokes. I believe there is a theory that Shakespeare's works were created by a thousand monkeys punching away at keyboards day and night.:) Crum375 (talk) 18:39, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
My theory is that's how Wikipedia was created. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:55, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Its actually pretty easy. The smartest animals can't construct an expression with more than two or at most three words. And there's no way to ape construct sentence intelligible randomness as you suggest. So that's two ways by which I can tell that each of you are human, and not just biased. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 19:29, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
So if a non-human animal edited WP, would you consider it biased? Crum375 (talk) 21:13, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
On the Internet, nobody knows you're a non-human companion animal that's passing the Turing test. SlimVirgin talk contribs 21:18, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Cookies and web browsing history will sometimes indicate species. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 22:06, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Math question for animists

Homo sapiens < Animalia ~ human rights < animal rights ? :-P -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 14:25, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

When you use math, you need to define your terms carefully. Most errors will pop out at that point. Crum375 (talk) 14:40, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Understood. Please explain which terms I'm using that you think lack careful definitions, and what errors "pop out," from your perspective. Ignore my taking liberty with using the "less than" symbols (<) ambiguously as "is a subset of" symbols —a little ambiguity doesn't actually destroy the intended meaning. Naturally this isn't really a "math" question either. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 23:55, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
One problem in your above "equation" is that the word "animal" in "animal rights" seems to imply that it includes humans, while the term "animal rights" (as defined in this article) refers to the rights of non-human animals and therefore excludes humans. This leads to a basic "bug" in your equation. Crum375 (talk) 00:18, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Interesting, but wrong. The context there in that side of the 'equation' is "rights," just as the context on the first side of the 'equation' (correlation) is "scientific classification." In the context of "rights" there are ways to divide up how to apply rights in accordance with legal scope, relevance, jurisdiction etc., but not by species. If animals got legal "rights" then distinctions between how a goat can file a suit and how a human can file a suit become matters of process, in the context of the same "right" that they both would have. Your idea of "error" is actually correct, but the error is in the premise of simply transplanting a human concept called "rights" and applying it to the beasts. Beasts have protections, but those are rooted in human principle, not in animal "rights." Regards, -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 00:57, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Steve, you seem to be engaged in original research. Unless you can provide reliable sources making your above analysis, it is of no use to us on this site. Crum375 (talk) 01:08, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Whatever. Do you not also despise it, "Crum375", when people who support losing arguments throw "WP:OR" out as an accusation? If you are not interested in the discussion, don't join it. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 01:19, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

PS: The error of using scientific classification ("homo") as an argument for transplanting a human legal concept ("rights") to the beasts is notable. In logical notation, this error might be written:

Argument A: Homo sapienshomoAnimalia. Argument B: human rightsanimal rights. A !≈ B = "Rights" !→ animalia.

PPS: There is also a linguistics error with directly associating "animalia" with the beasts, but that is contained by or mirrors the larger error of naively transplanting a scientific classification concept into a legal concept. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 01:31, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Steve, you ask "Do you not also despise it, 'Crum375', when people who support losing arguments throw 'WP:OR' out as an accusation?" Actually, it rarely happens to me, because I try to support everything I say here by providing reliable sources. If you provide such sources for your above statements, nobody would accuse you of original research. And that's the key here: we don't present our personal views or analysis, but provide reliable sources to help improve the article. Our own personal views are irrelevant here. Please read WP:V, WP:NOR and WP:NOTSOAP carefully. Crum375 (talk) 01:47, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
At some point, if it is relevant to improving the article, could you folks translate into English whatever it is you're talking about? If this is not relevant to improving the article and is merely discussion, would you please take the discussion to your private talk pages? Thanks Bob98133 (talk) 01:41, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Fair request, Bob98133. The explanation for my actions here is that in the context of improving the article by removing weasel terminology from its lede section, I was reverted and waylaid and countered (see above sections) by people putting forth an argument that remains devoid of logic. Weasel terms tend to do that. By introducing logic here, I deal away with illogical arguments, and thus make a solid case for dispensing with all of the weasel terminology in the article that, of its own POV suggests its considerations are philosophically well-founded, and get on with the business of describing what "animal rights" is —namely crude shorthand for "animal protections" rooted in human (not animal) moral principles and compassions.-Stevertigo (w | t | e) 01:50, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Well and good, Stevertigo. However, by using a method not familiar to most editors you are reducing your chances of getting consensus for your changes. Perhaps instead of stating what you fault in the logic in an equation, you could put it in English words? That way other editors might understand and agree with you. I don't know what you're talking about, so I'm not likely to agree with your conclusions, and I suspect the same may be true for other editors. Furthermore, I do not believe that human actions, or Wiki pages, are governed by logic. While it may be a useful tool, people are far too inconsistent for their actions to be considered logical. Bob98133 (talk) 11:17, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm not an animist, so I hope that it's OK for me to reply to this talk section. I am reasonably comfortable with set theory, so now that Steve has clarified a few things, I'm pretty sure that I understand what he is asking. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that Steve is drawing attention to the facts that: (1) humans can be considered to be (a subset of) animals, and (2) if one does consider humans to be animals, then human rights would be a subset of animal rights. Thus, if animals in fact have rights, then humans, as animals, would also have those rights. And, therein lies a bit of irony: editors have been arguing for the language in the lead that specifies the idea of rights extended to "non-human animals", while at the same time the page is titled "animal rights". Here's my opinion on the matter. Just as some animals (and indeed some people!) tend to be a bit fuzzy, the sets we are discussing here are fuzzy sets, which please briefly see. Animal rights proponents (not to be confused with Wikipedia editors) argue that they are extending certain human rights, certain rights that have historically been claimed by humans for humans, to animals other than humans. So, in coining the phrase "animal rights", they (not to be confused with Wikipedia editors) are, indeed, treating humans as a subset of animals. But some Wikipedia editors (not to be confused with animal rights proponents) feel that it is clearer to our readers to state that this extension of rights is proposed to be extended to those animals that are other than humans. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:05, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
"A little bit fuzzy" is fine with me - I can go along with suggesting that the terminology applying "rights" to the beasts/animals is a bit colloquial. (The term "animists" likewise was my own "fuzzy" colloquialism, but I found the strange parallels just too funny to ignore). I also appreciate your clear understanding that "rights" is word for encapsulating all rights, each of which must then be defined in accord with logical subsets such that they can be applied to particular cases and particular... rights-holders. (The trend among us human beings has been to suggest that all humans have all equal rights). Instead of mincing up your conclusions (what animal has ever "claimed" a "right?") I want to express my gratitude for your actually understanding my point (about how not to mix colloquial terminology with scientific classification with high philosophical, moral, and legal concept), and to suggest that we can work on animal protections as a neutral alternative to "animal rights," which seems to have been overrun by animists. You wrote "..some Wikipedia editors feel that it is clearer to our readers to state that this extension of rights is proposed to be extended to those animals that are other than humans." Well its fairly easy to see that that angle of approach of explaining this concept runs afowl of a couple logical linguistic paradoxes, which cannot in good faith be left as is, per more than one of our encyclopedic values. Besides, "rights" cannot simply be "extended" - they quite often have to be "demanded." :-P -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 02:52, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Now I get it. So you think the title of this article should be changed to Non-Human Animal rights to satisfy fuzzy logic. Great. So let's change Cruelty to animals to Cruelty to non-human animals since that article really doesn't address human-to-human cruelty. Let's change Animal husbandry to non-human animal husbandry since that article doesn't address how to raise and slaughter humans. I think that "animal rights" is a concept that has been defined. It is not the sum of the two words. It is not necessary to break this down into human and/or non-human animal rights any more than it is useful to breakdown Military Intelligence into its components. This entire argument, although it may be logical, is specious. If you get around to suggesting how this discussion might benefit the article, I'll rejoin. Thanks Bob98133 (talk) 03:52, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
What you might be getting is that "non-human animals," regardless of where you use it - youve come up with some interesting examples - is just a really poor way to use language. Beyond that of course it runs into problems with our encyclopedic principles. Your examples have gotten me to think about the ways by which we use NPOV to settle arguments about terminology: We use the common term, but we don't let a particular POV, agenda, partisan, lobbyist, etc. claim ownership of the term, or ownership over an unusual (weasel) way of using language such as to promote their views. Note that "military intelligence" actually has two meanings - its military one and its humorous one.Regards, -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 05:01, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Steve, I'm glad that I was able to understand as well as amuse. Before you go too far down the animal protection road, you might want to compare and contrast animal welfare. What I think at this point is that Steve has clearly won a debating point: yes, there are all kinds of logical inconsistencies in the world of animism. But what I'm interested in is writing clearly for our readers, and I sincerely think that the wording on the page is better for its precision, however much it draws attention to the all-too-human error of this species tending to think fuzzily. Fuzzy readers, bless them, are helped by precise language that leaves less to interpretation. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:43, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Ah. Didn't know about the animal welfare article. And redirecting animal protection to this article is probably only proper if this article takes a "protection" angle and not just a "rights" angle. What I suggest, since we've come to an agreement that the noted ways of using language - while honorable for possibly trying to resolve a controversy - are creating other intellectual difficulties, and thus are not actually resolving anything. I understand quite well what fuzzy logic is and while the current language might be "fuzzy" I can't go along with the suggestion that, by synecdoche, they were also being "logical." Besides, fuzzy logic is actually quite precise to what's required for a given input (and primarily just allows for smooth gradients to be part of a system of logic that would typically have only notched values), and its usage as a metaphor here was as innacurate as it was conciliatory: The "non-human animals" people were trying to hard code much of "animal rights'" debated aspects into a new term, thus concealing those debates. Well that's over, and we can now move on. I'll start animal protections as a disambiguation. It might help, actually, to add a third leg to the table. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 19:21, 13 May 2010 (UTC)


Interesting, there is animal rights topic template, but its code name is {{animal liberation}}, and its main feature is its people and organizations —not its animals, er, ideas. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 18:19, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

I think you are referring to the template that is alongside the lead of the page, right? I would tend to agree that we should look at what it contains. It was added fairly recently. Before, we just had the image. I'm not convinced that the additional template text is really that useful to readers, as it may be selective in what it highlights, as you say, and it does not provide much navigational help. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:25, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
No, that's an issues box located at this article only. The one I'm talking about is {{animal liberation}} which strangely isnt at this article. I've just hacked it. Should be moved to {{animal rights}}, that is unless this article should be moved to "animal liberation", such as to contain it as fringe. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 19:26, 14 May 2010 (UTC)


(Saved for later)

Animal rights is a philosophical argument for the elevation in society and law of certain higher non-human creatures from a status of non-sentient organisms to that of sentient creatures or beings (depending on how "sentience" is defined). Hence to animals of a certain minimum intelligence would be extended "rights," protections (perhaps privileges), similar or equivalent to the fundamental rights humans beings claim. The term "animal rights" in fact represents a collection of philosophical arguments which in turn are designed to have influence in social and legal contexts —all of which essentially range from a moral argument for compassion toward other creatures, and through appeals to emotion, anthropomorphism, and other arguments, suggest that those creatures have "rights," either constructed or natural.

As a philosophical argument exceeds the bounds of a simple legal argument in which animals are simply extended protections, the range as based on moral concepts which are considered intrinsically human, but which extend to creatures whom cannot themselves ask, certain value such as to grant them status.

The term "rights" comes in large part due to the relevance of international law —current legal concepts of protection are typically limited to smaller national jurisdiction, while the major topics in "animal rights," particularly wildlife protection, have reached international crisis proportions. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 23:59, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

I'm going to note that the edits to the lead are going to need to be discussed, but I'm also going to stand back and watch the feathers fly see what other editors say. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:40, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
I do my best to be abstract and fair to all parties involved. As far as edit conflicts go, it of course would be nice if criticisms of my rewrites were based in substance. I've been finding over the years that I've been dealing more with numbers rather than intelligent arguments. The issue sometimes is simply being clear about your intentions to be fair - in this case, I indicated my understanding of human compassion as perhaps the most essential argument, and that seems to have been evidence enough that I wasn't just some baby elephant killer. Which reminds, me - protection of wildlife has to be referenced here too. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 21:26, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
I have a few problems with this wording, I'm afraid. The first is that Animal rights, in the manner in which it is generally used (both within and without philosophy) doesn't necessarily entail "rights". Thus Singer, who is generally regarded as significant figure and is discussed in the article, is by no means a believer in rights, and, indeed, as a utilitarian would be philosophically opposed to them. Second, "elevation" seems inaccurate, as it might be better said to be "recognition" - the arguments don't say that something about animals has changed causing their elevation, so much that people have failed to acknowledge something about the nature of animals such that we have not necessarily recognised their status. The wording isn't bad on this - I just don't think it really captures what is meant. And the third is with the statement "all of which essentially range from a moral argument for compassion toward other creatures, and through appeals to emotion, anthropomorphism, and other arguments, suggest that those creatures have "rights," either constructed or natural". This would seem to be inaccurate. First, grammatically it says they "range from" which normally entails a "range to". Second, most of the philosophical arguments are not based appeals to emotion or compassion: Singer's is a necessarily logical expansion of the utilitarian view, and I'm inclined to suggest that utilitarian sums are pretty much divorced from emotion anyway; while Regan is looking for key aspects that confer moral value, and identified one such - while that key aspect, the "subject of a life", entails elements for which we might feel compassion, the point is largely one of logical consistency in ethics. Indeed, generally the philosophical stance is based on logic: if we feel that X has moral value because of the possession of P, then logically all things possessing P should have moral value (given questions about sufficiency and equivalence, of course). - Bilby (talk) 15:12, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

(Tweaks in progress) Well to start off with, "animal rights" is the common term we are working under. It, as we have discussed, has notable colloquial properties which make it difficult to directly state that animals have or should have "rights." The intermediate concept there really deals with status or intrinsic value. In legal terms the link resides in concepts like "protection," up to a kind of "basic entitlement." Those are the options, and though "civil rights" are not what most chimpanzees (or their doting protector-activists) are thinking about, they tend to object to the idea that what they argue for can be contained by the legal concepts of "protection," and thus suggest that animals themselves be regarded of higher life value. "Status" is perhaps the only word for it, and "rights" (here) is really just a way of containing a large range of ideas ranging from the practical to the excessively improbable. In normal human context, rights ostensibly means something more defined, but that's that first conceptual paradox again here. Thus the issue with "elevation" and "recognition" seems best to be confined to the term "status" (legal, societal, social, human), which involves more than law and protections, but the common general "life value" of organisms that aren't human. There is a scale there - people may have no problems with stepping on an ant, but have likewise an internal sense of deep wrong at the though of killing someone's pet dolphin. "Status" of the social and legal kind have a parallel in the context of human "status," and so that's why I think that word works. So while many animal activists may claim that animals have an intrinsic value that they alone know of and that their activism is in getting other (humans) to "recognize" this intrinsic value of animals, an objective look at their activism in legal and societal contexts might say that they argue only "recognition" where it might work, and and "elevation" of status where that might work. There is a "natural [God-given] right" argument and a "current legal status" argument - both of which are relevant. I agree that it needs to be covered, but not that it should replace elevation (enfranchisement). We cant even agree at the rights article if "rights" are really a legal construction or a natural and divine concept, so I think using "recognize" has to come in the context of "status" (legal, societal, social, human) in which it needs mentioning in the article the actual polling numbers: what animal rights argue for is largely unsupported by society or law. We see terms like "personhood" also. Strange, outlandish claims that may be the tip of the sword, and thus notable, but are not really the blade of the argument as a whole.

Bilby wrote: "Indeed, generally the philosophical stance is based on logic: if we feel that X has moral value because of the possession of P, then logically all things possessing P should have moral value (given questions about sufficiency and equivalence, of course)." True, there is logic in the logical part of what overall is an illogical function or transaction. The word "anthropomorphism" I think is fair to both sides in that it contains much information about the relations people have with animals and why in fact certain animals (higher mammals) evoke a human-animal correspondence. These correspondences are largely emotional and at the level of a mammalian compassion that tends to extend itself into colloquial theorising about deeper or meaningful similarities. The faces of tigers for example have certain correspondences which are anthropomorphic. Now it is sometimes argued that its not human on animal projection of similar being or consciousness that is the actual substance of this "anthropomorphism," but rather the similarity itself - a face of a another creature (or "being") with corresponding features that inspire certain theorizing about the mind behind the face. Thats interesting, but still anthropomorphic - which may lead to more sympatheic projections, but its still a projection. The tiger will still probably eat you. Sorry if this seems rushed. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 17:41, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

The difficulty is that Animal Rights is a generic term for a area of ethics which may not have anything to do with rights, even in terms of the recognition that you point to. The mistake, I think, is when people break it down - it isn't Animals + Rights = Animal Rights, so much as a single phrase, "Animal Rights", which encompasses a broader range of views than the terms describe. This is messy, and part of the mistake is Singer's - as I recall he has acknowledged such, having failed to make the distinction clear in some of his work. I don't have a hassle with raising rights in the lede, but I guess I'd rather different wording which didn't claim that the process necessarily extends to giving rights, even in the sort of sense to which you refer.
In the second issue, I'm still inclined to disagree with your interpretation. From my perspective animal rights doesn't require anthropomorphism or compassion, per se. I'm not a big fan of Singer, but his argument is simple: utilitarian arguments say that we need to make decisions based on weighing up the outcomes of actions. To do so, we need to examine the extent to which preferences are satisfied. In doing so, to say that only human preferences should be counted is a mistake - the theory being expounded doesn't say that they have to be human to enter the equation, and he can see no particular reason, from a utilitarian perspective, why humans should be treated differently to any other animals. Thus, in making the decision about the morality of the act we need to take into account the preferences of all that will be affected. This isn't an argument from compassion, nor an argument stemming from anthropomorphism, but a logical extension of preference utilitarianism. - Bilby (talk) 05:37, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
  1. Bilby wrote: "The difficulty is that Animal Rights is a generic term for a area of ethics which may not have anything to do with rights, even in terms of the recognition that you point to." - Exactly. It's a lot like a catch-all term.
  2. Bilby wrote: "The mistake, I think, is when people break it down - it isn't Animals + Rights = Animal Rights, so much as a single phrase, "Animal Rights", which encompasses a broader range of views than the terms describe. This is messy, and part of the mistake is Singer's - as I recall he has acknowledged such, having failed to make the distinction clear in some of his work." - Be careful not to regard what common sense guides in terms of explicating a concept like "animal [plus] rights" as a "mistake." Language is flexible and people are intelligent enough to use it to nail things down, just as they can be in using it to create distortions or whimsical expressions. Likewise imparting a great deal of sway over what are typically common sense topics to particular people should be regarded as a WP:BSM violation.
  3. Bilby wrote: "I don't have a hassle with raising rights in the lede, but I guess I'd rather different wording which didn't claim that the process necessarily extends to giving rights, even in the sort of sense to which you refer." - An article about a concept with two terms in them with one of them being "rights" needs to get down to the business of defining what "rights" means in that context, particularly if the topic involves giving what mankind has fought for millennia over to someone's pet manatee. If the term "animal rights" has any validity at all it is in the concept of getting people to "elevate" or "recognise" (your term) some intrinsic value given to or within animals.
  4. Bilby wrote: "In the second issue, I'm still inclined to disagree with your interpretation. From my perspective animal rights doesn't require anthropomorphism or compassion, per se." - I'm sure you know better than I what a broad spectrum of arguments there are out there. But those two aspects appear to me to be an essential part of many if not most (if not all) "animal rights" activist arguments. It is typical of me to do my best but fail at achieving perfection, such that one or even two interesting but not entirely essential components are missing. More below.
  5. Bilby wrote: "I'm not a big fan of Singer, but his argument is simple: utilitarian arguments say that we need to make decisions based on weighing up the outcomes of actions." See also value of life and my comment on the talk page. It's possible that the economists and utilitarian arguments have certain self-contained logic in them, yet still remain disconnected from the reality of human being. The degree to which utilitarian arguments positively shape the world is doubtful. They do however seem to have functional value within greater debates and can give us certain detached perspective.
  6. Bilby wrote: "Thus, in making the decision about the morality of the act we need to take into account the preferences of all that will be affected. This isn't an argument from compassion, nor an argument stemming from anthropomorphism, but a logical extension of preference utilitarianism." I agree then that it should be noted as one of the types of arguments in addition to compassion and anthropomorphism, but I don't know how it can be summed up as succinctly: the word "utilitarian" doesn't itself convey a similarly significant argument to my mind, and defining it too much would be out of the scope of the lede. Note, there are a thousand ways to counter the "humans actually don't have any worth either" argument. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 07:10, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Reverts and issues related to lack of participation in article discussion

Stevertigo, please don't add OR to articles. SlimVirgin talk contribs 05:51, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

SlimVirgin I'm not going to tolerate your antagonistic hit-and-run reverts again. I don't know what you think gives you the right to run over what other people are constructively building through discussion and clear explicative writing, and labelling any such collaboration OR, but it is for such reasons that I can regard you as neither an ethical journalist nor editor. To the "animal liberation" editor, -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 06:45, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Steve, you're removing a lead that's sourced to academics, and replacing it with your own opinion. This is exactly what you were asked not to do a few months ago at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents/Stevertigo/September 2009, and where several editors seemed to want to community-ban you for it. :) SlimVirgin talk contribs 08:11, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Calm down. You've been away for over a week, and have no business coming here pretending to know what's what. Talk with us civilly and we can address your concerns. Don't work with your bad habits and don't bring up old news you don't know anything about and we can discuss this like adults. Humans even. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 08:24, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Concern #1: You write, "Animal rights advocates use anthropomorphism to argue that animals ought to be viewed as persons, not property." This statement is sourced to Gary Francione, however, Francione does not use the term "anthropomorphism". In fact, Francione writes, "This is not a matter of anthropomorphism".[3] Viriditas (talk) 08:44, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
I answered this on my talk page. You did not format the statement as a quote, from Francione or anyone else, hence that it was a quote was not at all apparent. The error and fault and the unmitigated gall (for making the accusation) are yours. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 09:05, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Steve? I have no idea what you are talking about. Are you mistaking me for someone else? Slow down, formulate your thoughts, and try to reply directly to what I wrote above. Viriditas (talk) 09:07, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Whatever. If you are capable of intelligent conversation, of backing up your opinions with sources, and of backing up your usage of those sources in accord with a neutral point of view, we can talk tomorrow. Yay for the tag-team duo. You win! -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 09:17, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Steve, there's nothing for me to "win" here. Can you at least explain why you added "anthropomorphism" to this statement? Be brief, please, as my time on this topic is limited. I would love to see you work on the lead (I know you enjoy improving leads) but please take into consideration the comments of other editors. Viriditas (talk) 09:20, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Goodnight. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 09:22, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

I suggested three things which I will now restate and elaborate on:

  1. If you are capable of intelligent conversation: Neither of you have taken part in the open and earnest discussions above. This disqualifies you from asserting revert privileges.
  2. If you back up your opinions with sources: You are both more than capable of citing Gary Francione, and perhaps other particularly notable and respected philosophers in the area of animal rights. I admit I have read very little of that author, but what little I have read tells me that while he may be an regarded as an intellectual giant among animal rights activists, his arguments are not based in sound science, nor are they based in sound philosophy. And even though he may be regarded as an authority in the context of animal rights arguments, he is not an unbiased source, and SlimVirgin and Viriditas' reference to a most biased source as an authority is at best a violation of WP:WEIGHT.
  3. Viriditas took issue with my insertion of the "anthropomorphism" concept into what she first claimed was a quote, and afterwards claimed was incorrect due to what her favourite author says, simply: "It is not a matter of anthropomorphism." So the prophet says. There are no doubt some critics among the 58,000 hits for "animal rights + anthropomorphism"[4]. My impression is that the actual depth of the above mentioned author's refutation "its not a matter of anthropomorphism" does not go much deeper. Like many pop-psychology writers, he seems to simply slide from conjecture to conjecture without actually stopping long enough to give his conjectures any substance. In any case, even quoting the most revered philosophers is not a proper way to start an article, unless they have said in a cogent way what the subject is, and even then in moderation.
  4. Animal rights activists do not own this article - In a properly written lede, in vogue writers such as Francione do not have ownership of the concept of animal rights, even though they may be regarded highly. (Read WP:BSM) There have been a great many people making various animal rights arguments, and frankly the weaker arguments do weigh down the concept in the overall balance. A general lead for a topical article does not clean up a topic just to make it look better, and ethical writers do not conjure up POV terms like "non-human animals" and "other sentient beings" and call them neutral ways to solve editorial disputes and topical ambiguities.
  5. Back up your usage of those sources in accord with a neutral point of view. This seems to be a difficult part for you ladies. You can claim that your favourite pet sources are authoritative, and yet fail to see how those sources may be biased activists whom cannot be relied upon to give a neutral overview of the subject. Their pedigrees alone do not suffice, they actually have to be good making sense. WP:WEIGHT is argument alone against using such writers such as the one's you suggest as absolute authorities, as they are indisputably motivated by activist concerns. I'll give Francione the last word (emphasis mine): "Nonhumans [..] certainly do have cognitive states which are equivalent to human beliefs, desires, etc." -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 06:41, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Brevity is important

Tl;dr. Steve, please answer the simple question about only one of many of your edits: Why did you add "anthropomorphism" to this article? I've never claimed it was a quote, so please stop claiming that I did. If you can't understand what I am saying, then ask questions, and I'll explain it another way. Please also don't point to 58,000 hits on Google. Please actually cite a reliable source in the field. After you answer that question, we will move on to the rest of your edits. Please also remember to refrain from attacking other editors and to keep your comments short and to the point. Viriditas (talk) 07:51, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Without actually addressing any of the above points, Viriditas claims that I inserted the word "anthropomorphism" into the "article," and wants to know why. I added it twice in fact: 1) along with "compassion," to generalistically list two main pro-animal rights arguments, and 2) to the photo caption on the right. I noted that item she was referring to was not a quote, but a caption. She says now that she "never claimed" that the statement was an actual quote, and that I modified it:
"In one of many examples, you write, "= Animal rights advocates use anthropomorphism to argue that animals ought to be viewed as persons, not property." This statement is sourced to Gary Francione, however, Francione does not use the term "anthropomorphism", but you do, and you attribute this term to Francione."
Referring to the image caption ("animal rights advocates use..."), which was not properly quoted and thus was not apparent as a quote, Viriditas accused me of modifying a quote by Francione statement sourced to Francione. Viriditas does not come clean with what would appear to be mistake, and, along with her boilerplate response to my initial earnest communiqué to her, her labelling my actions as "edit warring," her total disregard for answering any of my plain points and questions above ("TLDR"), her modality of editing should be regarded nothing but unprofessional antagonizing. I stop short of calling it "unethical" because her accusal of improper quotation modification, though no doubt rushed by POV concerns (more on that later), appears to have been a completely honest mistake. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 02:34, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Correction. She used the world "sourced" not "quoted." Apologies, the source was not easily apparent in the caption, and typically such general statements found in captions are not sourced with exclusivistic proportions. Again, I appear to be in error on that point. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 02:46, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
This all misses the point, Steve. To borrow something posted by WhatamIdoing, below is the one and only point. :)
I challenge because... Your response is...
I think it's factually wrong Provide an inline source
I think it's unsourceable Provide an inline source
I'm disrupting Wikipedia to prove a point Provide an inline source
I'm wikilawyering against a POV I hate Provide an inline source
My teacher won't let me cite Wikipedia directly Provide an inline source
I'm feeling grumpy Provide an inline source
I don't understand the content policies Provide an inline source
The moon is full Provide an inline source
The sky is blue Provide an inline source
I'm a jerk Provide an inline source
SlimVirgin talk contribs 02:44, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Rather than simply cite regulations all day like some kind of tin cop, discuss the points and share with us what you know. I will deal with Viriditas' issue specifically of "anthropomorphism," and that seems to be a good place to start, for one because I appear to have made an important error in that regard, and two, because I can personally demonstrate how apologies can lead to more constructive dialogue. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 02:52, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Steve, in order to have a productive dialogue on the subject, you're going to have do some research on the topic. You seem to be using common words quite differently than both the way they are normally used and the way the sources use them. This is why we need to stick closely to the sources. Viriditas (talk) 05:37, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Please give examples of where either I or sources are misusing common words. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 10:31, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Sources in the lead

The article, including the lead, has to be sourced. We can't just add our own opinions of what AR is, and the sources have to be reliable, preferably academic as this is an academic subject. The current sources in the lead are a fair mix of different opinion; even where they are AR advocates, they come from different perspectives within AR. Stevertigo, if you want to add to the lead, you need to find comparably good sources.

AR advocates
  • Wise, Steven M. (law professor). "Animal Rights", Encyclopædia Britannica, 2007.
  • Taylor, Angus (philosophy professor). Animals & Ethics. Broadview Press, 2003, p. 15 ff, and in particular p. 16.
  • Steiner, Gary (philosophy professor). In Gary Francione (ed.). Animals as Persons. Columbia University Press, 2008, p. ix ff.
  • Garner, Robert (philosophy professor). Animals, politics and morality. Manchester University Press, 2004, p. 4 ff.
  • Animal Legal Defense Fund (group advocating inter alia that AR law be taught). "Animal law courses", used only to show the number of U.S. law schools that teach animal law.
Mostly neutral, but with an opinion about the legal issue (in favour, in Dershowitz's case)
  • Dershowitz, Alan (law professor). Rights from Wrongs: A Secular Theory of the Origins of Rights, 2004, pp. 198–199; "Darwin, Meet Dershowitz," The Animals' Advocate, Winter 2002, volume 21
  • Dube, Rebecca. The new legal hot topic: animal law, The Globe and Mail, July 15, 2008, citing Clayton Ruby, well-known Canadian lawyer, not an AR advocate so far as I know.

SlimVirgin talk contribs 10:34, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Have you read all of these? -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 02:39, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Stevertigo - I'm just catching up on this discussion, but it seems to me that the issue is not whether another editor has read sources, but whether you have sources of equal or greater reliability. If you do, can you please clearly cite them on this page so that other editors can review them? If not, can you move on to something more productive for improving the article? Thanks Bob98133 (talk) 03:07, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Among a field of apples how does one suggest finding the pear? In other words, there is an implicit assumption among others here that "animal rights" is a science, and that there are unambiguous "experts" in it, whereby articles need not be written by Wikipedians, rather they can be automatically cobbled together simply by elevating the most interesting of a smattering of quotations. How then are objective ledes written, when all of the parties are partisans? 1) We discuss the concept professionally, 2) we describe the context and the concept in the most abstract and objective terms, and 3) we list the general points made by the various POV activists. There is an assumption that among a smattering of POV activists, any of them can be regarded as "reliable," and that some among them can be more "great[ly]" so. For example, the issue of "anthropomorphism" ('my puppy just smiled at me') though the "field's" most "reliable sources" say its unrelated, hence the above editors say it does not belong, is a common criticism of animal rights activism. Are the critics less "experts in the field?" I will agree to work more on direct-sourcing and quotations, if others here will agree to debate their concerns here with more sincerity and academic integrity.-Stevertigo (w | t | e) 03:23, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Steve, you fill this talk page with words, but what we need are sources. Unless you can produce reliable sources to back them up, your words are of little use on this site. Crum375 (talk) 03:31, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Crum. Sources please. Bob98133 (talk) 03:39, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I came here simply because the lede of the article used, and was based around, egregiously POV/WEASEL terminology ("non-human animals," "other sentient beings," and "members of the moral community"). It's that simple. Where there are weasel terms there are POV activists promoting them. My editing issues here deal entirely with the removal of these weasel terms. The opposition defends these weasel terms by claiming WP:RS. WP:RS does not defend weasel terms. Also, high placement of POV activists violates WP:WEIGHT. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 03:54, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
"Weasel terms" are only of relevance if not used by the sources. And none of the terms you mention are on WP:WEASEL, so you might want to try to add them first to that list. But again it all boils down to one thing: sources. Either produce them and show how they support your words, or find something more productive to do. Crum375 (talk) 04:06, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
The community definition of "weasel terms" is admittedly more confined, and I used it here a bit liberally (I should have said "where there are POV terms, there are weasel activists promoting them"). Though you choose not to notice, I did state above that these are "POV terms" —you do yourself the benefit of skipping over the essential point. Do you disagree that they are "POV terms?" -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 04:14, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
The way to gauge "POV" is to show that views in the article are not correctly weighted by their prevalence among the reliable sources. To do that, you need sources, not empty words. If you can't point to reliable sources which support what you are saying, your words are useless. Crum375 (talk) 04:27, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

To "show that the views in the article are not correctly weighted by their prevalence among the reliable sources" I would first have to assume as you do that there is a proper way to determine weight (or "precendence") among pseudoscientists. For example the girls above want to give Gary Francione serious weight, and promote him as an authority. Admittedly I understand that even touching this article means dealing with fringe people, but I and others (see discussions above) are editors of good faith who can approach a subject like this neutrally and generally. No fringe conjectures about 'puppy sentience' belong in the lede. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 04:41, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

SlimVirgin above provided you with a list of sources used, some pro AR, some anti, some neutral. The way to get things done is to add to that list, or try to show that sources already on that list are improperly interpreted. To just wave your arms wildly and yell "POV", won't get you any traction here. Crum375 (talk) 04:47, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I'll dig around a bit, and maybe that way get some "traction" in this specialistic and scientific field of "animal rights." Its perhaps unfortunate that its not quite as clear to some that these are POV terms. Others are not as intelligent. For example, someone else above noted that "non-human animal" was "superfluous" at best. I see it plainly as POV language. Again its unfortunate that you can't. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 04:54, 19 May 2010 (UTC) PS: Srsly. They stand out like safety orange red-links to me.
I will be more than happy to accept anything you say, as long as it's backed up by reliable sources. Anything else is just empty words. Crum375 (talk) 04:57, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
The fact that you choose not to participate in WP:CONSENSUS to find an WP:NPOV balance, and do so keeping in mind WP:CIVIL and a little WP:AGF, means your concept of "empty words" is itself to some large degree just "empty words." Thanks. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 04:59, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
As I noted just above, if you provide sources, I'd be more than happy to evaluate them. There is no way to "build consensus" if there are no specific sources on the table to discuss. In such cases, everybody's words are empty. Crum375 (talk) 14:11, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

PS:AGF Interesting reading:

Both Chomsky (2007). (The latter re-quoted). Can an "authority" in the field of animal intelligence think they don't have any? -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 05:12, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Regarding what you wrote about "sentience" above, are you aware that you are using this term (and others) differently than the way they are used in regards to this topic by relevant sources? If you aren't willing and able to use the jargon as it is defined and applied by the subject, then your time will be limited here. Viriditas (talk) 05:39, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
There are no pseudoscience or pseudoculture articles on Wikipedia which are free to use their own "jargon." I am neither required to write it nor speak it (nor buy it). NPOV is the first principle, not the eleventy-first. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 10:30, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Academic communities define terms in a certain way to make discussion precise and efficient. Learning about a set of ideas involves learning the vocabulary of the people who discuss those ideas. "Moral community," for example, is a standard term in moral philosophy. It has nothing to do with POV pushing.
You seem to be arguing that everything can be worked out from first principles—that no reading is necessary. But human beings would not advance if no one read and learned from others. So what we need here are for you to read about AR and produce some reliable sources. Otherwise progress is impossible. SlimVirgin talk contribs 11:51, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
(cut in) Slim wrote: 1) "Academic communities": First of all, this is a pseudoscience marketed to a fringe culture. It's an act of charity just to say its "philosophical," let alone a part of scientific "academia." By "communities" do you mean academic subgroups within a field or just any old "group of interacting organisms sharing an environment?" 2) "[some groups] define terms in a certain way." Yes they do, and we often have to untangle and decipher what it is they are saying into plain English just to satisfy NPOV, only the highest principle here. It is not the fault of the plain reader or the plain editor who writes for that reader that pseudoscientific arguments like these unravel easier when any "jargon" is removed. 3) "precise and efficient" - While I agree that we need to use certain terms to reference the general arguments, in fact we can work on a list ("sentience," "compassion," "anthropomorphism," "animal cognition"), that does not change the fact that it is people who must condense the concept down into something descriptive and dense. There is no "precis[ion]" or "efficiency" gained by using "jargon" in the lede for a general (though nevertheless sentient) readership not initiated into such jargon. "Sentience" for example has a common general meaning (although its article doesn't yet show it): In this context the word refers to an argument for sentience, not a proven property of animals. Its usage in the lede is misleading, and your defence of its usage that way appears POV motivated.
4) Slim wrote: "You seem to be arguing that everything can be worked out from first principles—that no reading is necessary." - Those are two arguments, the last of which I do not make. The first is essential, it doesn't require any reading at all just to know that certain "jargon" is actually some shorthand for a particular POV argument. "But human beings would not advance if no one read and learned from others." - True, but if you can't separate your own activism "jargon" from your editing, how can we even "advance" to discussing actual sources and their arguments? "So what we need here are for you to read about AR and produce some reliable sources. Otherwise progress is impossible." - I will do some reading over the next few days. What I need you to do is do the same: [NPOV]] and its journalism ancestor/equivalent, OBJ. I appreciate the civil tone and depth of your responses, Slim. (w | t | e) 16:21, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Admittedly, what I'm about to say is not particularly insightful. I've been reading all this talk, and finding it as much fun as a barrel of non-human animals. At the level of off-Wiki cocktail party conversation, Steve has been making some good points. But at the level of correct editing of an encyclopedia, I have to say that SV, Crum, Viriditas, and Bob have been entirely in the right. --Tryptofish (talk) 15:59, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
What "good points?" My points here are largely confined to POV terminology. RS does not support using POV terms unless they are direct quotations -- "non-human animals" for us to use, would have to be a quotation. This is basic neutral editing. And what makes people "entirely in the right" so utterly in contempt of "good points?" -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 16:21, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

"Imagine the following situation: you arrive home and find your house burning. There are two occupants alive inside the burning structure, your child and your dog. [..] Which do you chose? The answer is simple. You save your child."[5] - Actually he's wrong: "the answer" is not "simple," and such situations do not present any issue of "choice." An actual parent would not for a moment consider even the "choice" itself —as some kind of optional route —between saving their child from a burning death or letting that child die to save their pet.. goldfish. Whatever. Same kind of fringe-mentality psychobabble. When thought out correctly, the mortal danger scenario just clarifies the distinction we make between human and animal life value as near-absolute. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 17:13, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

And a non-human animal would save its own offspring from a fire before it saves a human. So what? Selfishness is part of Nature. And how does this relate to improving the article? Do you have some new sources? Crum375 (talk) 18:01, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
No, "selfishness" is not "part of nature." In the human world, its called "love" --love is what makes parents (usually mothers) kill themselves to save their children. The animals call it something different. But whatever they call it, a true animal rights activist would not debase an animal parent's (mothers usually) affection for their offspring by calling it "selfishness." What kind of animal rights activist are you? The quote relates because it was just dumb. But Francione wrote it, and he apparently based an entire book around this clever idea of "a choice."[6] Reliable sources. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 19:02, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
"Love" is just a fancy word to describe the natural urge we all feel to promote our selfish genes. Everybody has it, even bacteria. And again, how does this help improve the article? Crum375 (talk) 19:22, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Keep in mind that "selfish gene" is a pun and title of a book, not an actual theory. The "gene-centered view" is simply observational: Things compete. Fine. Move on. To say that love is "just a fancy word [for an] urge" is like a red flag for saying you don't have any in your life. Its just not true, and yes, that's usually when people find Jesus. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 19:34, 19 May 2010 (UTC) PS: Did you say "bacteria love?" -SV
Sure, in their own little way.:) Crum375 (talk) 19:52, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Generally we work with a minimum requirement that you need one of these to have one of these to experience any of these. But what bacteria do is close enough I guess. :) -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 20:20, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This page is here to discuss the article, Steve, not the issues. SlimVirgin talk contribs 06:56, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Your condescensions are misplaced. Note that Crum and I were exchanging humor, not "issues."-Stevertigo (w | t | e) 06:55, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
I concur with Slimvirgin. Please take your humor and your issues to your personal talk page. Bob98133 (talk) 15:31, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Its unfortunate that you can't involve yourself literately enough to know that little bits of humor have uplifted what was a tediously partisan debate — Slim herself has made a couple jokes above ("companion"), and they are appreciated. But misplaced condescension, hers or yours, is unwelcome. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 19:03, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Break: inline cites

Today Steve put some citation needed tags in the opening of the lead, and Crum reverted them. Although I am pretty sure that the sources already cited support what the page says, I think it would actually be quite appropriate to add inline cites to support the wording in at least some of the places Steve tagged. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:28, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

That's not a bad place to start the discussion. Here are the two sentences in the lead where Steve is requesting more sourcing:
—Preceding unsigned comment added by Viriditas (talkcontribs) 21:46, 21 May 2010
In the first of those, the specific issue is for the use of the phrase "animal liberation" as a synonym. In the second, it is for "seeing" animals as "sentient". In addition, there was a tag for the phrase "moral community". I think that in all three cases it would be appropriate to add inline cites documenting these usages. Maybe there should even be a second cite for some of them, citing an opposing position. Finally, there was a tag for good old "non-human animals". I think we've flogged that one (the wording, not the animals) to death, but I wonder if a footnote to a source that contests the wording might put this debate to rest. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:00, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Added. Viriditas (talk) 22:17, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
What exactly are the objections that Steve has to the above? They seem to be declarations of the most basic assumptions about animal rights theory and their advocates. How is Steve challenging this? Viriditas (talk) 00:29, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
  1. Tryptofish really nailed it, so regard this as a bit more explanatory, to deal with Viriditas' questions in a bit more detail. On the first point, the suggestion is that because "animal rights" and "animal liberation" are referenced in the same source, they can be regarded as equivalent, or "synonym[s]" as Trypto put it, here. There are substantial differences between the word "rights" and the word "liberation" —these differences suggest that "animal rights," like "rights" itself, is a concept of enfranchisement, whereas "animal liberation" is a radical activist political agenda. The motivations may have similar grounding, but regarding the two as equivalent seems to be an error. || Its not a particularly essential point, but the terms are different enough such that would suggest the scope of this article extends to other conceptualizations as well, notably Francione, often referenced here, uses the concept of "[animal] personhood." More substantively, there is a concept of "animal sentience," which I'll get to more in the next paragraph, which is really at the core of the topic (exempting perhaps the 'utilitarian' angle discussed above by Bilby). By the same syllogism, it can be argued that "personhood" and "sentience" are equivalent "synonyms" for "animal rights." If we are to include regard "liberation" as synonymous with "rights," we should include Francione's term "personhood."
  2. The second point deals with the distinction between what animal rights activists claim, what they argue, and what they want. To say what they want is not as relevant as saying what they argue. Hence its not relevant that they use language like "see other sentient beings as [whatever]." In fact it says "stop seeing," —ie. telling people to stop doing something they already [naturally] do —an even more irrelevant argument. And again, in what I called "weasel terms," the "other sentient beings" term breezes past the fact that "animal sentience" is in fact what their argument is. Its arguable that people who read only animal rights books take as a foregone fact that "sentience" just means "feelings" and that animals are sentient. But I think that's a severe misuse of "sentience," coming in part through a certain ambiguous definition, along with tautology for that definition, and I'm working on those issues a bit at the sentience article. So you can't just breeze over the interesting fact that what animal rights activists are arguing for is for recognition of animal sentinence, even if to them its already plain. So, no more breezing over important distinctions, and I would suggest abstracting the concept to deal with just animal sentience as a claim, an argument, a fact, whatever.
  3. On the issue of the moral community phrase, Trypto again hit it on the head. According to Viriditas, Regan, Vesilind & Gunn, LaFollette, etc., all substantiate the usage of the term "moral community," and I'm sure that is the case. But the real concept they get at here is "personhood," which is a prerequisite to any concept of "community," except strictly biological ones, and "community" appears as if its a superfluous add-on, or an irrelevant conjecture. For starters, "moral community" to some extent means participating in moral debates —something no lower animals are going to do. The term means too much, both in its human meaning and in the way they use it, for us to reference it in such a superfluous way. || Re-reading the current text, regardless of who wrote it, makes me want to take a wider argument against keeping it, on simply editorial grounds. The text reads: "Advocates approach the issue from different philosophical positions, but agree that animals should be viewed as non-human persons and members of the moral community." Its not interesting that there are "different philosophical positions," or that they all agree on a certain fringe conclusion we can call "animal personhood." What is interesting is what these "different philosophical positions" actually are, even if we can only touch on them in the lede with terms like "compassion," "animal sentience," "[what critics call] anthropomorphism." Etc. And what are "philosophical positions" anyway, or to argue "from" one? The word, again, is "arguments." In any case, such tautological ways of using sources should be deprecated. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 20:20, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
Please actually read what the sources say before criticizing them. At this point, I can only conclude you are trolling. Viriditas (talk) 23:19, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
The criticism is not of the sources, but how they are used here. Its not clear if they support particular terminology, and if they actually do, it would be useful to know how they support that terminology. Tryptofish, at least, appears to agree above that the noted particular terms could use some specific sources, with quotations of how those sources use those particular terms. Are you telling him 'read all these books' too? The relevant terms are too particular to leave alone without specific cited quotations from sources. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 01:30, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
Steve, you can't criticize how the sources are used unless you read and understand what they actually say. Please take one point at a time, and address the sources, beginning with the first one regarding synonymous uses of animal liberation and animal rights. Do you currently disagree with how this is used in the text? If so, why, and please remember to couch your answer based on the sources or any sources regarding the topic. Please also be brief and try to refrain from posting long screeds. Viriditas (talk) 02:23, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This is what happened at Talk:Holocaust denial, where Steve arrived to rewrite the lead without having read anything, then tried to argue everything from first principles. I believe it started here if anyone cares to read it, and it led to him being blocked for two weeks.

We could all turn up at Special relativity or Neuropharmacology or Reception history of Jane Austen, and start questioning every point without having read the literature, but what would it achieve? Talk pages are intended for informed debate about source material. SlimVirgin talk contribs 10:24, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

I don't see what the point of bringing up ancient history, Slim, let alone mischaracterising it, except to duck the actual substance of the points I've made and be derogatory in a way that only lowers yourself further.
Viriditas, the passages in the lede use specialized terminology that itself isn't cited, and needs to be. Slim likes to cite "reliable sources" and "reading the literature" all the time, why don't you cite the given sources to a certain minimum proficiency? For example the passage "They argue that human beings should stop seeing other sentient beings as property—not even as property to be treated kindly" is sourced to Francione, but without the specific page, or any pulled quotation. Please cite the actual page in which he makes this argument, and specifically the page on which he uses the term "other sentient beings." I found that he does use the term, but in a different context. Others use the term "other sentient beings" but apparently only in contexts within actual philosophy and not in "animal rights philosophy." -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 18:13, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
That mention of Neuropharmacology appears to have been a gratuitous dig at me, so I'm going to speak for myself here. I'm pretty much neutral on the arguments-at-length that Steve is making here. What I actually said was that it makes sense to me to have inline cites to support the language used, and I don't think it would be that difficult to do so. I'm not endorsing arguing here about whether the cited sources are right or wrong. I'm merely endorsing the suggestion of citing them. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:28, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't know where you saw a dig, T, and there are inline cites already for everything, so far as I can tell.
Stevertigo, it's not ancient history. You were blocked for two weeks just months ago for engaging in exactly this kind of editing, which several people saw as disruptive. My memory of the discussion is that some people wanted you to be indefblocked because you've been doing it for years. Others (me included) said all you had to do is learn to add sources. Yet here we are again, tens of thousands of words of discussion based on your personal opnions.
As for the sentence: "They argue that human beings should stop seeing other sentient beings as property—not even as property to be treated kindly," the original formulation was: "They argue that human beings should stop seeing other sentient beings as property, rather than as property to be treated kindly." There are thousands of sources for this, obviously, as this is the difference between AR and AW. The source added here is "For example, Steiner, Gary. In Gary Francione (ed.). Animals as persons: essays on the abolition of animal exploitation. Columbia University Press, 2008, p. ix ff." What is the problem with that reference, in your view? SlimVirgin talk contribs 07:44, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. It's Steve's issue, not mine, so I'm no longer going to bother trying to make it for him. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:27, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Pet abuse database

Wavelength - no problem with this link being added to Cruelty to animals page, but I think it is a bit off topic here. I've left it in, but if you or other editors concur, it should probably be removed. Bob98133 (talk) 13:09, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

I was thinking myself that it ought to be removed. SlimVirgin talk contribs 13:11, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
I also think so, and have deleted it here and at the PETA vs. Doughney page, but left it at Cruelty to animals. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:26, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Ancient World

If the Bible says Jesus is like a Lamb, the Holy Spirit is like a dove, an Ox must be allowed to feed during its work, and even St Paul interprets this as mercy to animals and as part of his letter on rights of an Apostles, there it's good enough to be included.Gabr-el 20:08, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

(copied from SlimVirgin talk)

The website above has the section titled "Rights of An Apostle", and Paul cites the "right" of the Ox to eat whilst it treads the grain. You don't need a Scholar to say that Jesus is depicted as a lamb or the Holy Spirit as a dove, when there are Church stain glass windows showing this. Nor is interpreting the Bible passage:

"The next day John SAW JESUS coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"

As meaning that Jesus is like a Lamb, too controversial I think!!!!

Gabr-el 20:10, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Hi Gabr-el, if you read our sourcing policies, WP:V and WP:NOR, you'll see that we need sources, preferably secondary sources, who discuss the bible issues in the context of animal rights. The passages you're citing have nothing to do with AR, which is a very particular, and fairly modern, concept. If they do, you need to find a secondary source that says that explicitly. SlimVirgin talk contribs 20:16, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

(copied from SV's talk page):

Can you not see the circularity of your argument? You are assuming that animal rights are a "fairly modern concept", and therefore dismiss the possibility and come to the conclusion that the Bible, being ancient, does not deal in any way with animal rights.
Of course, this is not only circular reasoning, it is a red herring, since the first paragraph is about the way animals were views in the Old World, not necessarily animal rights. At the moment, a very narrow point of view of the Bible has been presented; one "scholar" and one Bible passage about the oft-abused dominion Adam has over animals showing no good thought for animals.
What kind of a scholar would I need to cite for images showing Jesus as a Lamb or the dove as a holy spirit? I showed via the reference section self-evident images. I am not making claim; just simply citing it as it is.
That's kind of you to cite NOR and V rules of wikipedia; I'm quite familiar with their massive ambiguity, so if you would please show me exactly how, or where it says that what I am doing is inappropriate? Jesus is respected in the Ancient World according to the NT, and Jesus is represented as a lamb - only this point is being brought up.

The angel of the LORD asked him, "Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. [c] 33 The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared her."

34 Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, "I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back."

The man hits the donkey and has "sinned". It's very self-evident. So please either be more specific, rather than simply citing two Wikipedia rule pages.

Thanks. Gabr-el 21:41, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Hi again, no one is assuming anything. The point is that we need a reliable secondary source (preferably an academic) who says what you are saying. SlimVirgin talk contribs
I guess you also need a Scholar to show that the sky is blue. A picture of the sky being blue is not enough, is it?Gabr-el 21:46, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Primary sources are fine to use when it's very clear what they're saying. So if you have Jesus saying, "I support animal rights in the sense that I believe animals should not only be treated kindly, but should never be anyone's property, and that their basic interests are as important as the basic interests of human beings," then yes, we can use him. But the passages you're citing are not explicit, and that's because they're not about animal rights, but about kindness or dominion, as our article says. If you want to argue that those passages mean what you say they mean, you need a secondary source to support your interpretation. SlimVirgin talk contribs 21:49, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
From WP:NOR#Primary, secondary and tertiary sources: "Primary sources that have been reliably published may be used in Wikipedia, but only with care, because it is easy to misuse them. Any interpretation of primary source material requires a reliable secondary source for that interpretation. A primary source can be used only to make descriptive statements that can be verified by any educated person without specialist knowledge ... Do not make analytic, synthetic, interpretive, explanatory, or evaluative claims about material found in a primary source." SlimVirgin talk contribs 21:54, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
This edit of mine, is self-evident:

//In the New Testament, the dove is used to represent the Holy Spirit of God in Matthew 3:16[13] and in Revelations 14:1,17:14 and John 1:29,[14] Jesus is described as a lamb; these two animals are still depicted in some churches with respect[15][16], thus showing ancient influence in modern religion.//

This is not so much, but still its very obvious:

Other parts of the Bible protestS the abuse of animals, such as Balaam and the talking donkey in Numbers 22:28-33 [11] or the merciful command in Deuteronomy 25:4 to allow an Ox to feed whilst it treads the grain [12]

Gabr-el 22:00, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

My point, if you paid attention, which you're not, is not that the Bible is directly advocating animal rights. My point is everything contained in what I said. I am not trying to suggest that the Bible says "Jesus said that animals have rights". If you think that it is irrelevant, then the passage about Adam having dominion over animals should e removed too, since nowhere in the Bible does it say "Animals have no rights".

Just as the Bible is cited against Animals, so I am citing it for animals. Gabr-el 22:02, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

I guess citing the above two isn't self evident. Gabr-el 22:04, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Gabr-el, this article isn't about cruelty to animals, or kindness toward them. It is about animal rights/animal liberation, namely the idea that human beings should not be allowed to own non-human beings. None of the passages you cite mentions that.
The reason the bible is mentioned in our article is that academics cite it as the source of the concept of "dominion," which is the idea that it's okay for humans to own non-humans, so long as we treat them in a certain way. We mention that because it is part of the history of the development of AR; or more accurately it is arguably why the idea of AR was so slow to develop. But otherwise the bible is of no interest in terms of AR. SlimVirgin talk contribs 22:09, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Again, skewed view. You're only allowing One concept from the Bible to be taken into account, when considering St Paul cites Deuteronomy, the other passage has had great influence. And this is relevant since it adds to your clause of "so long as we treat them in a certain way". Gabr-el 22:49, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Gabrel, it's very simple. The bible is a primary source. This means that we need a secondary source to interpret it for us; we are not allowed to do it ourselves as editors. In this article, which is focused on the academic concept of animal rights, we generally require academic sources. So to include any of your bible-based points in the article, you need to find an academic source which makes each point in connection to the philosophical concept of AR (which essentially means that humans may not own non-humans). The reason the dominion concept is mentioned, is that academic secondary sources have specifically made that point in connection to AR. Crum375 (talk) 22:58, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
If I cited a Church doctor like Aquinas or Francis of Assisi, does that count? Gabr-el 23:25, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Any academic would do, if they mention the bible and how it relates to the legal/philosophical concept of "animal rights", i.e. that humans may not own or use non-humans, or treat them as property. Note that being kind to animals is not considered part of animal rights.Crum375 (talk) 23:28, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
One more question - I just thought of this now - what about St Paul in 1 Cor 9? He talks about the rights of an Apostle, and mentions in passing the Duet passage about Ox being permitted to feed whilst working - Paul of Tarsus would qualify would he not? He's not a contemporary of Deut, so in one sense is a secondary source with respect to the much older Deuteronomy Gabr-el 23:42, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Do you have a source showing that he refers specifically to animal rights? Again, "animal rights" means that humans may not own non-humans or treat them as property, and kindness to animals is not animal rights. In fact, most animal rights advocates would consider feeding an animal as contrary to the concept of animal rights. Crum375 (talk) 23:49, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Gabr-el, think of an analogy with slavery. The argument was not "slavery is okay, but please treat the slaves well." The argument was "slavery must be abolished, no matter how kindly some slaves might be treated." Similarly, you could produce a thousand passages from the bible saying "please be nice to animals," but it has no relevance to this article.

If you have a source discussing the bible and the abolition of animal ownership, or the rejection of that concept, we'll be pleased to look at it. SlimVirgin talk contribs 01:12, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

If treating animals nicely is irrelevant to animal rights, then Man having dominion over them is equally useless; the later could be interpreted to mean the same kind of dominion a parent has over kids, who also have rights. One aspect of the Bible has been quoted with regards to animals, nothing in the Bible mentions animal rights; the entire section should be removed. Either include it or remove it all. The thing I am trying to add and the thing present about Animals in the Bible have equal (ir)relevancy. Gabr-el 01:17, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Gabrel, two points. First, "dominion" is analogous to "ownership", which relates to animal rights. Second, there are academic sources which discuss the biblical concept of dominion in connection to animal rights. This is why it is mentioned in this article. "Kindness" is a separate topic, and is not animal rights. Crum375 (talk) 01:32, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

//First, "dominion" is analogous to "ownership", which relates to animal rights//

By that very sketchy and inductive logic, Biblical commands for "kindness" & "mercy" to animals is analogous to "animal's right to be shown mercy and kindness". And secondly, images of doves and lambs in Church stain glass, or John the Baptist calling Jesus the Lamb of God, or in Revelations are so self-evident that as SlimVirgin pointed out, they do not merit academic sources. Gabr-el 04:07, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Everything you say could be true, but since the bible is a primary source, you'd need a high quality secondary source making your points. Such a source would have to discuss some biblical point in relation to animal rights, which is the concept of the morality or legality of ownership of animals by humans, or their use as property. Not kindness to animals, which is a separate concept called "animal welfare", not covered in this article. So find such a source, preferably an academic one, and it can be discussed. Crum375 (talk) 04:24, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Alright then; sounds fair. Gabr-el 19:11, 9 June 2010 (UTC)


The first paragraph of the article contains the sentence: "Advocates approach the issue from different philosophical positions, but agree that animals should be viewed as non-human persons and members of the moral community, and should not be used as food, clothing, research subjects, or entertainment."

To say that animal rights advocates agree to that is completely wrong. All animal rights advocates want animals to be treated better but do not necessarily want everyone to be vegetarian for example. The sentence needs to be rephrased so it does not sound like all animal rights advocates are trying to achieve some agreed goal. McLerristarr (Mclay1) (talk) 00:42, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia is based on reliable sources. If you have such sources supporting what you said, e.g. that animal rights advocates "want animals to be treated better", please provide them. Crum375 (talk) 00:48, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
You're right - I've removed the "and should not be used as food, clothing, research subjects, or entertainment". Not only is it overly strong, but it is not in the source provided. It would hold for some advocates, but certainly not all. - Bilby (talk) 01:12, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
I wonder whether this might be a question of there needing to be another source for it? It seems to me that these views are characteristic of animal rights specifically, but not of animal welfare or of "animal protection" advocates generally. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:04, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

By country

There are huge difference between animal rights in lets say norway and china. I think an article with a coverage of animal right by country would be an important feature in this subject. But Im not a wikipedia kind of person so I dontknow how... Someone please create it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:22, 5 September 2010 (UTC)


I don't believe it is true that animal rights necessarily involves giving animals the same rights as humans e.g. recognition as persons or that animals can't be property. In the Danish animal rights debate which is the one I know best for example the animal rights proposed mostly regards protection from different forms of abuse, but noone is arguing that animals shouldn't be property. Basically I think the lead is misrepresenting the issue and focuses on a narrow definition of animal rights advocated by a small minority of those who are interested in animal rights (maybe the current lead is better located at "Animal Rights movement"). I don't believe that the first three citations actually support the statements. For example the lead of the Britannica article that is used as a reference defines animal rights as "moral or legal entitlements attributed to nonhuman animals, usually because of the complexity of their cognitive, emotional, and social lives or their capacity to experience physical or emotional pain or pleasure. Historically, different views of the scope of animal rights have reflected philosophical and legal developments, scientific conceptions of animal and human nature, and religious and ethical conceptions of the proper relationship between animals and human beings."·Maunus·ƛ· 12:27, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Disagree. The lead is clear about the definition. I do not believe that a reference exists to support that this definition is only held by a small minority of people, although only a small minority of people may agree with the concept. Bob98133 (talk) 12:51, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
The sources given don't support the definition given. As I have demonstrated by including one of them here. It doesn't say that animal rights necessarily involves giving animals personhood, it says that that is one of the possible moral or legal entitlements that is argued by some animal rights advocates. The other sources such as the AAMC source (which is not about animal rights generally but only about animals rights to personhood clearly says that) "Now, relying on the difficulties posed by such inquiries, some animal rights activists have embarked on a crusade to define animals as worthy of certain "personhood" rights.The movement aims to incrementally grant rights to animals that could redefine the way humans use and relate to them. Among them is a potentially revolutionary concept: giving animals the right to not be viewed as human property." Which obviously shows that only some (meaning not all) animal rights activist argue for animal personhood and that personhood is only one right among many proposed by animal rights activists. The basic problem here however is that this source and the one by Francione is not about animal rights in general bt about a specific aspect - namely the aspect of personhood - this source cannot support claims about animal rights in general, a more general source would be required. I am going to have to put a disputed tag up until the definition is brought in line with reliable sources. ·Maunus·ƛ· 12:59, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Maunus, I think that some of the disagreement here may arise from the distinction between animal rights, specifically, and animal welfare, which is (reasonably, I think) dealt with on another page. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:51, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
If that is so then the difference between those two concepts should of course be spelled out in the lead of both articles. But still the source used in the article explicitly says that "Some animal rights activists" advocate "certain "personhood" rights" (it even has personhood in quotation marks.) - this shows that there are also some animal rights activists that don't consider personhood rights essential to animal rights issues and that those who do only advocate certain rights and not all. The lead does not give this impression. ·Maunus·ƛ· 18:09, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Maunus - since you are convinced that this is not clear, it is up to you to provide a referenced version that is clear. I think you've made your feelings about what is wrong quite clear, but what you say is basically your OR. I suggest if you do plan major changes to the lead that you discuss those changes, and their refs, on this page first. Thanks Bob98133 (talk) 12:52, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
You are accusing me of OR?! That is hilarious! I am not the one who wrote an article with a definition with three references that doesn't support the statements made. The references are already there - now either make the lead reflect what the references say, or you go find some references that actually support the definition that you want. ·Maunus·ƛ· 12:59, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Definition: source

Here is a definition from a source that is actually trying to define what Animal Rights is (The Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare - Mark Beckof (ed) 1998 Greenwood Press - Entry: Animal Rights p. 42) - it defines it by contrasting it to Animal Welfare. It writes: "Two opposing philosophies have dominated contemporary discussions regarding the moral status of nonhuman animals: (1) animal welfare* (welfarism) and (2) animal rights (the rights view). Animal welfare holds that humans do nothing wrong when they use nonhuman animals in research, raise them to be sold as food, and hunt* or trap* them for sport or profit if the overall benefits of engaging in these activities outweigh the harms these animals endure. Welfarists ask that animals not be caused any unnecessary pain* and that they be treated humanely. The animal rights view holds that human utilization of nonhuman animals, whether in the laboratory, on the farm, or in the wild, is wrong in principle and should be abolished in practice. Questions about how much pain and death are necessary miss the central point. Because nonhuman animals should not be used in these ways in the first place, any amount of animal pain and death is unnecessary. Moreover, unlike welfarism, the rights view maintains that human benefits are altogether irrelevant for determining how animals should be treated. Whatever humans might gain from such utilization (in the form of money or convenience, gustatory delights, or the advancement of knowledge, for example) are and must be ill gotten." At no point does it suggest that animal personhood is a necessary requirement for Animal Rights, or that it is even a core point of Animal Rights - rather it describes Animal Rights as being based on a different kind of Moral philosophy, the Kantian Deontological view, than the Utilitarian Animal Welfare view. About where to draw the line about which animals to include it also doesn't mention personhood but suggests that the general response by HR advocates would be to define it based on the psychological characteristics of the animal species in question: "Concerning line-drawing issues, the rights view maintains that basic rights are possessed by those animals who bring a unified psychological presence to the world—those animals, in other words, who share with humans a family of cognitive, attitudinal, sensory, and volitional capacities (see ANIMAL COGNITION). These animals not only see and hear, not only feel pain and pleasure, they are also able to remember the past, anticipate the future, and act intentionally in order to secure what they want in the present. They have a biography, not merely a biology." ·Maunus·ƛ· 18:35, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Hi Maunus, I'm not following your argument. The lead deals with the difference between AR and AW. It's not true that AR only embraces a deontological view; it embraces utilitarianism too, and indeed several of its major advocates come from that position, as the article explains in this section. The idea of awarding personhood to animals is a standard AR position. The lead is sourced to Angus Taylor, an academic philosopher, but it's a bog standard view of AR, not at all idiosyncratic, so it could be sourced to any number of academics working in the area. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 09:02, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
You are arguing against the author of the Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare, not against me, this should at the very least show that what you describe as the standard view isn't as standard as you may think and that there are other views and definitions in use as well. ·Maunus·ƛ· 11:36, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Tom Regan's definition (the one in Marc Bekoff's Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare that you quoted above, pp. 42–43; Bekoff is the editor) doesn't differ from ours. The animal welfare position is that human beings may use animals so long as there is no unnecessary suffering. The animal rights position is that human beings should not use animals. There are shades of grey, and there are people who straddle these positions, of course, but they are the basic two views, as Regan and others explain. Regan himself is a rights theorist, which is why he emphasizes the Kantian position, as our article explains here. I don't recall whether we mention Kant specifically, but we explain about deontological ethics in the section I linked to in my last post. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 07:09, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree that according to the encyclopedia definition in Bekoff the Rights view says that animals should be seen as ends and not as means and that they should therefore not be "utilized". The wikipedia defition however at this points says that rights advocates from all different perspectives agree that this entails animals having personhood status and being members of a moral community, and that it necessarily excludes use for food, clothing, research and entertainment. The encyclopedia does not mention that animal personhood is agreed upon as a necessity by all rights advocates - . The mention of food, clothing, research and entertainment is an interpretation of what "utilize" means - but the encyclopedia entry doesn't specify that, to argue again that all rights advocates agree on this interpretation would need a better source. In fact Regan seems to imply that eating animal products or doing research can be compatible with not "utilizing" animals - if it is done while treating the animal respectfully and as an end in itself. He uses Kant to argue that what is wrong is harming someone in order to obtain something. As for personhood, he doesn't even mention it, but argues that only those animals who are judged to have a "unified psychological presence" should be included under the rights perspective.·Maunus·ƛ· 12:07, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
Regan (in the Bekoff definition you cite) talks about the Kantian view and that, for AR advocates, animals are ends in themselves. This is what it means to be given personhood, and to become part of the moral community. He also very clearly talks about not using them for food, research etc, because they are in ends in themselves, in the paragraph beginning, "The rights views takes Kant's position a step further ..." You are not treating an animal as an end in itself if you are raising it to eat. As for "unified pyschological presence," we don't get into line-drawing in the lead, but you'd be welcome to create a section about it if you like. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 21:19, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
OK, I can see that there is some reference frame that I am lacking - your explanation of the issue does seem to be reasonable and supported by the source. However, I would imagine that other readers also lack this frame of reference and I think that it probably this is grounds for rewriting and clarifying the lead.·Maunus·ƛ· 18:33, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, as I said a bit earlier, a lot of this comes from the reference frame that AR and AW are two different sets of ideas. The lead of this page does communicate that, but I guess the question is whether it comes a bit late in the lead, for a non-expert reader. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:39, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
I can try to incorporate more of Regan's definition if you like, Maunus. The definition here comes from trying to find one that all academics specializing in AR would broadly agree with, at least as a working definition. Angus Taylor is a good source in that regard, because he's a secondary or tertiary source, and his book is a textbook, rather than one of the key texts. I wanted to avoid a definition that relied on one side's view of it (one side of the academic argument within AR) and to get explicitly into Kantian issues would signal that we're taking the Regan position.
I earlier made clear in the image cutline what the difference was between AR and AW (which is why I chose that image to use in the first place; the image and cutline were chosen together), but the cutline was removed. See the original here. Discussion here. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 23:35, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

ANI discussion

This article is part of an ANI discussion. The editors of this article may, or may not, wish to comment at here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Steve Quinn (talkcontribs) 01:22, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

non-Western cultures

I noticed this [7], and it raises an interesting question (to which I do not know the answer). It occurs to me that there might, perhaps, be scholarly discussion of the development of thinking and traditions pertaining to animal rights in non-Western cultures (Hindu views towards cows and Buddhist views of peacefulness come to mind). As a non-urgent to-do item, perhaps it might be good to add material about that to this page. --Tryptofish (talk) 14:50, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

There is the Jainism movement that I know some AR people have become interested in, e.g. Gary Francione, but it's not AR. I'm not aware of anything that we would call AR, though there are parallel movements. Francione would be the source to start with. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 14:56, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

--> That was me, and frankly I don't know if the Buddhist, Jain & Hindu views should be called "animal rights" or more properly "animal welfare". Which is why I simply added the qualification to the title rather than making substantive additions. Thanks for bringing this up in Discussion, I'll keep an eye on it! Sciamanna (talk) 19:15, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

I would see it as animal welfare, but these terms are in flux. In fact there's a book about to be published by Francione that I hope will cover that very issue, something I've been waiting for so I can use it as a source to try to explain how the two movements are beginning to merge. Newspapers are now regularly referring to AR when they mean AW and vice versa, whereas until recently everyone was at pains to keep them apart. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 19:20, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

in the ancient world

I would like to add to the discussion below regarding animal rights in non-western cultures by mentioning the Indian King Ashoka who published edicts all over India prohibiting the killing of animals based on his new-found Buddhist belief. His laws were, in effect, the first animal rights. Any attempt to add this to the wiki though have been removed. Could someone please help me to understand why? Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:21, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

You would need to find a reliable secondary source, preferably academic, who said this was an early example of animal rights, or who discussed it as part of the animal rights debate. Without that it's what we call original research. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 23:25, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm going to disagree. A law banning the killing of animals does not have to be cited by an academic as being an animal rights law, in these cases one can defer to WP:IGNORE and WP:DUCK. Information on his edict pillars are well documented, so this info shouldn't have a hard time being added.AerobicFox (talk) 02:30, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
This page contains ideas about the use of animals that shaped the current animal rights debate, both for and against. If you study the modern animal rights movement and its philosophy formally at university, these are the people and ideas you can expect to encounter. We can't just include a list of everyone who has said something about animals. So you would have to say something about the influence of King Ashoka's ideas from the second century BCE. If it's simply a question of recording the view, there's Moral status of animals in the ancient world.
I'm very sympathetic to the idea of opening the debate up to non-Western influence, but there's an obvious danger of misusing primary sources. The animal rights philosophers who started the modern AR movement were educated in the Western tradition. I do know that several of them are studying other traditions. But suddenly introducing other thinkers into a history of the origins of the modern AR position would risk producing a distortion. Having said that, a separate page about the parallel development of the same ideas in other traditions would be extremely interesting. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 02:52, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I've partially reverted for the reasons explained, though I agree with your change of header. You would also need to find a better source than this, which is the primary source material reproduced on a personal website. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 03:02, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
The opening sentence:
"Animal rights, also referred to as animal liberation, is the idea that the most basic interests of non-human animals should be afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of human beings."
Needs to be renamed then. If this is about the idea of treating animals better then there needs to be included the fact that killing animals has been prohibited in many Buddhist and Hindu nations for thousands of years.
Perhaps this should be renamed to:
"Animal rights, also referred to as animal liberation, is a term used by the Animal rights movement to describe their belief that the most basic interests of non-human animals should be afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of human beings."
A link should also redirect the reader to an article that discusses the treatment of animals if one exists. If one does not then I see no reason why such info shouldn't just be included here.
Lastly, the personal website is run by a university professor with a phd in history from UC Berkeley, so I believe we can assume the info there is reliable. Besides this is common knowledge to anyone living in India which is about 1/5 the world's population. Ashoka is about as well known there as Washington is in the U.S., and is probably their most famous ruler.AerobicFox (talk) 03:32, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
It isn't about treating animals better. It's about animal rights, a different idea. And the term is not only used by the animal rights movement; in fact, large sections of that movement prefer other terms for it, or they use that term only because it has become the standard label.
Yes, I see the personal website is run by an historian, but it's still a personal website, and all it does is reproduce the original text without analysis, so it's not an appropriate source. See WP:SPS and WP:PSTS. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 03:43, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
If it is about animal rights then why do we not include the rights of animals in other parts of the world? The belief that animals should have rights like humans is not isolated to the west.AerobicFox (talk) 03:55, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
It is about the set of relatively recent concepts that people call "animal rights," e.g. that non-human animals should not be property, just as human animals should not; and that there is no sharp moral division between human and non-human animals.
Please have a look around for secondary sources for your points to avoid engaging in original research. For example, we could argue that the modern feminist movement is about increasing respect for women. Then someone could come along and say, "But Religion X has been arguing longer than any other culture that society depends on respect for women." And could thereby add to our article on Feminism that it has its origins in Religion X. Do you see the problem? SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 04:08, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
The feminist movement is different from the concept of women being equal. Indians have had no influence on the feminine movement, and so would not belong in that article, but they have had concepts of female equality so they would belong in an article about the idea of female equality. I have not gone to the Animal Rights Movement article and said "They have been influenced greatly by Ashoka, one of the most legendary kings in India's history." I have gone to an article about the views of animals and their rights, gone to the section about animal rights in ancient days, and have added probably the most significant example of animal rights in the ancient days. AerobicFox (talk) 06:34, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

I have tagged this article for not representing a non-western view. Either change the subject of the article to make it clear that this is a western topic, or include info about the rest of the world.AerobicFox (talk) 05:08, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Sources for Ashoka's animal rights

Google book search: ashoka animal rights

The great compassion: Buddhism and animal rights By Norm Phelps

God in Quest of Man By J. P. Vaswani "Ashoka opened hospitals for animals and birds. Ashoka called upon all to refrain from causing pain to anything that could feel pain. The more I have thought of it, the more I have felt that every time a bird is shot or an animal is ..."

goes on to discuss why if men have rights animals should not, and discusses justice for animals and the rights of animals

The Great Experiment: The Story of Ancient Empires, Modern States, and the ... By Strobe Talbott

"If Ashoka practiced anything like what he preached, he was the closest thing in history to a philosopher king: he ... celebrated the religious and ethnic differences among his subjects,protected animal rights, planted trees and ..."

On the fifth day: animal rights & human ethics

"Reference was made above to the Buddhist Emperor Asoka's importance for a unified ancient ... To be sure, Asoka, like the Buddha's father, was originally an Aryan Hindu Maharaja. Also he (Asoka) achieved the recovery of northern India ..."

This is all I have of that source since it is a snippet preview. I put it in anyway to note that Ashoka was being discussed in a book on animal rights that was published in 1978.

Re-orienting the fundamentals: human rights and new connections in EU-Asia ... By Georg Wiessala

Mention on how Buddhist teachings embrace such topics like animal rights.

Buddhist Answers to Current Issues By Ananda W. P. Guruge

"A document of special significance on animal rights is the Pillar edict V of Asoka the Righteous whose non-aggressive military policy was discussed earlier. ..."

Principles of health care ethics By Richard E. Ashcroft, Angus Dawson, Heather Draper

"famous example of a Buddhist code of humane animal treatment are the edicts of the first Buddhist emperor, Asoka, ... only rarely advocated an 'animal rights' legal code forbidding the killing of animals, which would be consistent ..."

Discusses how in Buddhism since animals are seen as a part of the reincarnation chain it is considered bad karma to kill animals. Also states that animals were typically not treated equally however, and only rarely such as in Ashoka's case was there true legal protection for animals.

Indian Cyclopedia: A Statistical and Historical Handbook By P. T. Chandra

"Asoka upheld the equal rights of animal with men to the KLig's care, and openly adjured his successors to follow in hi-' steps and not " to think that a conquest by the sword deserves the name of conquest ". Asoka is said have supported ..."

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Sep 1972

"Throughout India, edicts carved on rocks and iron pillars are reminders that 22 centuries ago the Emperor Ashoka defined a King's duty as not merely to protect citizens and punish wrongdoers but also to preserve animal life and forest ..."

On Living Life Well: Echoes of the Words of the Buddha from the Theravada ... By John Ross Carter

"Even quite early, in India, one of the great Buddhist kings, Asoka of the third century B. C, is supposed to have ... Now the matter of the rights of animals is being recognized once again, as is evidenced by the many animal rights ..."

Animals in early Buddhism

"In this chapter, I have also discussed the steps taken by King Asoka, the great Magadha king who was a greate follower ... Such rites entail great results".14 Chapter IV of this book is entitled "Animal Rights and Buddhism" where I have ..."

Pathways to Peace: Interreligious Readings and Reflections By A. Jean Lesher

"Theravada Buddhists refer to King Asoka's Edicts (304-232 BCE) as "The First Bill of Human and Animal Rights." The sayings were found inscribed in local languages on rock pillars in India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Afghanistan and are seen ..."

The accusation that I am engaging in original research is ridiculous. I am repeating what I have read and been told numerous times with almost no analysis myself on the subject.AerobicFox (talk) 06:00, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Consider starting an article on Buddhism and animal rights or Animal rights in India, both of which would be very useful additions. Gather the modern secondary sources that discuss it—academic sources wherever possible—then we can see whether it can be incorporated into this article as summary-style sections. Or material from here incorporated there summary-style instead. I know that Gary Francione has written about Jainism, so you could use his work as a starting point. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 06:30, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for the suggestion. I will go ahead then and see to starting such an article. AerobicFox (talk) 06:36, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. I look forward to seeing it. Let me know if I can help to track down sources. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 07:19, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Misplaced material

This material appeared in the article on sentience. In that article, it was an unnecessary, off-topic digression. It is well written and sourced, so I wonder if you can find a use for it here or elsewhere.

In the 17th century Thomas Tryon, a self-proclaimed Pythagorean, raised the issue of non-human suffering. Soon thereafter, many philosophers used the anatomical discoveries of the Enlightenment as a reason to include animals in what philosophers call "sympatheia", the principle of who or what deserves sympathy. Benjamin Franklin's autobiography identifies Tryon's writings as an influence in his decision to try vegetarianism; later in the book, he reverts to eating meat while still following Tryon's basic philosophy.[1] Joseph Ritson coupled Tryon's work with Rousseau's for "Essay on Abstinence from Animal Food" as many Rousseauists became vegetarian. Voltaire compared the Hindu treatment of animals to how Europe's emperors and popes treated even their fellow men, praising the former and heaping shame upon the latter; in the 17th century Pierre Gassendi, and Francis Bacon also advocated vegetarianism.[2]

Thanks. ---- CharlesGillingham (talk) 16:51, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, Charles, that's very helpful. I'll take a look later to see how to fit it in. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 16:53, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Scruton paragraph

The Animal Rights article unnecessarily attempts to disprove the argument of animal rights

"Critics of the idea argue that animals are unable to enter into a social contract or make moral choices, and for that reason cannot be regarded as possessors of rights,"

It is not cited, it is opinion. Then Roger Scruton is used to sum up the assertion which is not just a complete reach, but is also philosophically flawed and disproved.

a position summed up by the philosopher Roger Scruton, who wrote in 2000 that only humans have duties and therefore only humans have rights."

Please note the "2000 that only humans have duties and therefore only humans have rights" has not been referenced.

But I also find it very odd that the writer attempts to disprove the argument for animal rights with an ethically flawed statement that is not cited by anyone, is opinion and stems from a natural bias of an automatically learned nature; anthropocentrism and specesism / carnism. The paragraph needs work, this issue is very emotional but also very important, and this paragraph is like a slap in the face to anyone who looks to wiki as a objective encyclopedia that is not anti or pushing opinions.

Why would, Roger Sruton, the only critic named in the paragraph be chosen at all? The man by account of his wiki page is someone that was taking money from tobacco companies and pushing cigarettes without highlighting his paid allegiance to the company; a man that was tarnished by this and discredited further by The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times.

"In January 2002 The Guardian reported that he had been receiving a monthly fee of £4,500 ($6,400) from Japan Tobacco International. An October 2001 e-mail to a JTI executive showed him requesting an additional £1,000 each month, and discussed his aim of having opinion pieces published in several newspapers—including The Wall Street Journal, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, and The Financial Times—on "major topics of current concern" to the tobacco industry.[24] He objected to The Guardian's use of a leaked email, which he said had been stolen, and said he had never concealed his connection with JTI, which had started three years earlier; he and his wife edited and produced The Risk of Freedom briefing for JTI, published quarterly from October 1999 to April 2006.[25] He told the newspaper the new proposal was never acted upon.[26] The British Medical Journal (BMJ) criticized him for having failed to declare the relationship when he wrote the pamphlet criticizing WHO, and the Institute for Economic Affairs said it would introduce an author declaration policy; Scruton acknowledged that, with hindsight, he should have declared an interest.[27] The Financial Times ended his contract as a columnist on country life, and The Wall Street Journal suspended his contributions.[28]

He is a tainted and not particularly worthwhile for wiki readers to be concerned with, a bad choice as a critic. The assertion has been defeated with the philosophy of Tom Reagan and others using the argument that people with severe disabilities and children, just like animals, are not able to enter into a social contract or make moral choices, and yet are still given rights.

Also how is Roger Scuton's one liner a critique of animal rights, it only proves his conservatism right wing agenda and his obvious anthropocentric feelings and bias. IT SHOULD NOT BE IN THE ARTICLE AT ALL.

Also the other criticisms named but also not really given much proof by way of authors or citations. (Sorry if I failed at writing and linking and speaking the jargon the right way or at all, this is my first wiki talk page.

This is the paragraph the above refers to...>

"Critics of the idea argue that animals are unable to enter into a social contract or make moral choices, and for that reason cannot be regarded as possessors of rights, a position summed up by the philosopher Roger Scruton, who wrote in 2000 that only humans have duties and therefore only humans have rights. There has also been criticism, including from within the animal rights movement itself, of certain forms of animal rights activism, in particular the destruction of fur farms and animal laboratories by the Animal Liberation Front. A parallel argument is that there is nothing inherently wrong with using animals as resources so long there is no unnecessary suffering, a view known as the animal welfare position.[5]" — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tarvensays (talkcontribs) 12:13, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Hello, and welcome to Wikipedia. I don't think the article here is trying to prove that at all. Rather, it is reporting both what supporters and critics of the concept have said about it (see WP:NPOV). Roger Scruton is a notable living person, and Wikipedia ought not to defame him. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:37, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Alternative to Meidcal Testing?

Have there been any proposed alternatives to advancing medical research or products like insulin without the harming of animals? I have been unable to find such an example, so if anyone has a good one, I think this article could be very much improved by it. Note though that Im referring to incidents which, as of now, *require* harming and killing of animals to preserve human life and quality of life. This does not include things like cosmetic testing, which there would be no major consequences to human society if it were stopped. (talk) 08:18, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Wasnt gonna add this clarification but I figure, better safe than sorry: When I said "Cosmetic" I meant the things like "Makeup," not things like Reconstructive Surgery techniques which are often referred to as "cosmetic surgery." (talk) 08:23, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
You can find information about that at Animal testing. One would not expect to find those issues covered in this article; compare Animal welfare. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:17, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
"This does not include things like cosmetic testing, which there would be no major consequences to human society if it were stopped."
Because you would rather have children be the test subjects for the effects of shampoo and soap running into their eyes?AerobicFox (talk) 01:37, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Well first of all, Thats an entirely specious description. We know what happens when shampoo gets in peoples eyes, and soap is essentially fatty acid. Again, we know what that does. I also think you misunderstood me. The things I mentioned were intentionally NOT including such trivial matters, because we could *stop* testing cosmetics and the like on animals without causing any harm to anyone anywhere. We know what those things do, trust me. And we SHOULD stop that.
Second, well, if we did do experiments on children we'd be able to increase the advancement of medicine. Horrible and Unthinkable though it would be, if we just stopped caring it would go faster (And a lot of other horrible things would happen but anyway..)
Third: Thank you Tryptofish; while i believe this is of serious need for discussion, I didnt check to see if there were more specifics beforehand. my apologies. (talk) 21:53, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Dershowitz and Tribe

I am verifying references and trying to find citations for unsourced statements. The Dershowitz and Tribe sentence is problematical on 2 counts. First, the paragraph implies Dershowitz supports legal rights for animals. The material I could find by Dershowitz that talks about animal rights comes from his 2005 book about a secular theory of moral rights - not legal rights. Second, I couldn't find anything at all about animal ethics or animal law by Tribe. He is referenced in a footnote in a book about animal rights, but only in support of a point of constitutional law, not anything that would confirm or refute any view on animal rights. The ultimate source of "Dershowitz and Tribe support animal rights" seems to be unsourced statements from advocacy groups (interestingly enough, groups advocating in OPPOSITION to animal rights). Who the statement comes from isn't important, but the unsourced nature of the declaration renders it unverifiable. The reference to Dershowitz and Tribe should be removed. DaveinMPLS (talk) 20:40, 16 July 2011 (UTC) OK, found a decent source for Tribe (one that actually quotes what he said.) Tribe argues for the legal right of animals to sue (via guardians of course). Don't know what other rights for animals he would defend, if any. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DaveinMPLS (talkcontribs) 03:51, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Significant philosophical viewpoints ignored

At the end of June a paragraph was added that briefly mentioned approaches other than the big two+1. (Singer, Regan, Francione). At some point it was apparently removed. Why? There are other viewpoints. It is dogma among some that the entire topic can be described in terms of Singer-style utilitarianism vs. Francione-style deontology. The existence of numerous books and articles which do not fall easily into either category suggests that these other views deserve at least a mention. (One example, since I have the book right here: Donovan and Adams, The Feminist Care Tradition in Animal Ethics) DaveinMPLS (talk) 08:25, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Are you referring to the third paragraph here: [8]? It wasn't removed, but a source was requested. If you have that source, please feel free to go ahead and add it. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:53, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, that is what I saw. Can't source it though. Don't much care for it actually, but I'll write up something and put it here for comment. Might be difficult to source though. Not sure how to source an objective fact: the animal ethics debate does not consist entirely of Singer, Regan, Francione and their respective viewpoints. The part I'll work up a suggested replacement for ("Advocates approach the issue from different philosophical positions, ranging from the protectionist side of the movement, presented by philosopher Peter Singer—with a utilitarian focus on suffering and consequences, rather than on the concept of rights—to the abolitionist side, represented by law professor Gary Francione") is not sourced BTW. The citation at the end of the paragraph doesn't support this sentence. It mentions Singer and Regan, not Francione. The idea that rights=abolition and abolition=rights is a talking point among some thinkers in this area, but is presented unsourced as fact. DaveinMPLS (talk) 23:59, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps the best way to source it in this case would be through primary sources by notable authors who do not fall into the existing categories. Just make sure that they are genuinely considered to be animal rights, as opposed to other forms of animal protectionism (cf WP:SYNTH), and that there actually is such a line of thought that has been published (cf WP:NOR). --Tryptofish (talk) 19:11, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

This issue has been raised before, I see from looking through the archives. DaveinMPLS (talk) 05:10, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

The really long sentence in the lead

The sentence "Advocates approach the issue from different philosophical positions, ranging from the protectionist side of the movement, presented by philosopher Peter Singer—with a utilitarian focus on suffering and consequences, rather than on the concept of rights—to the abolitionist side, represented by law professor Gary Francione, who argues that animals need only one right: the right not to be property." is overly long and convoluted. The source cited supports the idea of two sides, but not the sides claimed in this sentence. Garner is a protectionist, but has argued from the viewpoints of deontology, utilitarianism, and contractarianism. He does not always argue a utilitarian case, as is implied by the sentence. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DaveinMPLS (talkcontribs) 06:52, 21 July 2011 (UTC) Additionally, that the viewpoints mentioned represent a range is at best an unsourced claim (what, pray tell, occupies the space between the two endpoints? And according to who?) DaveinMPLS (talk) 07:05, 21 July 2011 (UTC)


I removed this para as OR, as it's been in the article since June without a citation or in-text attribution, and there's no indication of which animal rights academics it refers to:

Some philosophers seek to overcome the consequentialist/deontological divide and instead draw upon Virtue Ethics and various allied approaches (Wittgensteinian ethics and pragmatism) to suggest that consequentialists and rights theorists share more in common than they might like to acknowledge. The suggestion is that the arguments about basing the moral considerability of animals primarily or exclusively upon either consequences or rights encourages us to overlook other significant aspects of why they matter and why we have ethical responsibilities towards them (there is, for example, a tendency to overlook the personal relation that we may have to individual, particular animals as well as a tendency to overlook the demands of justice which may be shaped by historic mistreatment of particular species).

SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 20:57, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

I thought that was removed a long time ago. Huh. Wasn't me that put it there at any rate. FWIW I think the supposed 'divide' is mostly cosmetic, but that wouldn't belong in this wikipedia entry. Thought I'd mention that because I've made similar sounding comments to the paragraph (which have been mostly ignored but whatever). Don't wanna take heat from a fire I didn't light! :) DaveinMPLS (talk) 23:28, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
Looking back at it, it was added by someone else [9], not you, after which Slim requested citations that never came. I'm fine with removing it. I think Slim has also reverted some edits that you did make, and I'm neutral about that. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:02, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
The substance of the one substantive edit I made (adding a source to a statement) was maintained at least. The others were cosmetic/structural and probably more a matter of preferred style clash than anything. Not a huge deal to me. They didn't show on my watch list though. My settings possibly set wrong? DaveinMPLS (talk) 23:03, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

First picture

To put a picture of animal cruelty on a page about animal rights is not a very good idea. I even change the tv channel when some animal issue is about to come up and that picture literally ruined my evening. Maybe you can hide it etc. Thx.--Abuk SABUK (talk) 19:59, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

I feel bad that you felt that way, but really, the image is very mild as these things go, and illustrates a central concept. Although I agree to some extent that we need to be aware of how our readers feel, WP:NOTCENSORED. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:47, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
From what perspective can this image be called "very mild"? --goiken 13:29, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
I was thinking of graphic images of dead or injured animals, the kinds that are sometimes used by animal rights groups to make an argument. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:17, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

A more neutral version

I have created what I believe to be a more balanced and neutral version of the article. I have put it here for discussion: Talk:Animal rights/new Horace Saenger (talk) 15:42, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Brilliant, I say, brilliant! --Tryptofish (talk) 19:55, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
If you by "brilliant" mean "stupid", I absolutely agree! Interstates (talk) 07:42, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
I guess you missed the date stamp. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:54, 11 July 2012 (UTC)


I've started the process of updating the refs and the ref formats – specifically changing the books and papers to shortened refs to avoid book titles being repeated in the footnotes, but without adding templates. I've started a separate References section for the full citations. It will take a while to finish it, but I'll work on it when I can. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:40, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

  1. ^ Ben Franklin, autobiography
  2. ^ Guardian (UK) newspaper, review of Bloodless Revolution, published by Harper-Collins