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Obligations to animals are based on rights

By T. Regan

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Some feminist philosophers criticize the idea of human rights because, they allege, it encapsulates male bias; it is therefore misguided, in their view, to extend moral rights to non-human animals. This paper argues that the feminist criticism is misguided. Ideas are not biased in favour of men simply because they originate with men, nor are ideas themselves biased in favour of men because men have used them prejudicially. As for the position that women should abandon theories of rights and embrace an ethic that emphasizes care: women who made this choice would not so much liberate themselves from 'the patriarchy' as they would conform to its representation of women as emotional, subjective and irrational. There is, then, no good reason to withhold ascribing rights to non-human animals, based on the criticisms of rights made by some feminists.

Date 1995
Publication Title Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
Volume 8
Issue 2
Pages 171-180
ISBN/ISSN 0893-4282
Language English
Author Address Department of Philosophy & Religion, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27650, USA.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal rights
  2. Animal welfare
  3. Gender
  4. peer-reviewed
  5. Theories
  1. peer-reviewed