Activists + >
with Professor Gary L. Francione On the State of the
Animal Rights Movement
Epstein, a Professor of Law at the
, once asked whether the animal advocacy movement would grant rights to
bacteria. Similarly, people challenge ethical vegetarians by asking whether mosquitoes should have rights. Perhaps the next question
will be whether the horse should sue the horsefly.
puts such discussions into the appropriate perspective.
By explaining that animals need one right -- the right not to be property
-- we place the energy of the movement right where it must be:
into liberating the animals we systematically exploit.
this interview, Francione answers the question of whether rights theory is an
"all-or-nothing approach," whether it is unfair to decline to assist
in providing welfare improvements for the animals who are alive and suffering
now, and what we can do to help living animals as we work for animals' interests
to be taken seriously in a future society. Francione also speaks to the matter
of putting the philosophy of liberation into practice at the grass roots level.
Here, Francione reveals his own changes in perspective over the years.
discusses the ramifications of advocates' shift from an emphasis on sentience to
an emphasis on cognitive ability. Then, Francione returns the animal rights
movement to the goals we came here to achieve, providing a set of principles
that might be used as shorthand for "the moral baselines of a real animal
interview appears in the Summer 2002 issue of ActionLine, available to current members and new members, by
contacting Friends of Animals at (203) 656-1522, or joining online at
interview is also published on the Friends of Animals website at