Advocates of animal rights as well as activists for animal liberation hold the view that to deny the most basic needs of sentient creatures â" such as the avoidance of pain â" to non-human animals, on the basis of species membership alone, is a form of discrimination akin to racism or sexism. Many animal rights advocates argue that non-human animals should be regarded as persons and members of the moral community whose interests deserve legal protection.
The animal rights movement emerged in the 19th century, focused largely on opposition to vivisection, and in the 1960s the modern movement sprang up in England around the Hunt Saboteurs Association. In the 1970s, the Australian and American philosophers, Peter Singer and Tom Regan, began to provide the movement with its philosophical foundations. Singer argued for animal liberation on the basis of utilitarianism, first in 1973 in The New York Review of Books and later in his Animal Liberation (1975), while Regan developed a deontological theory of animal rights in several papers from 1975 onwards, followed by The Case for Animal Rights (1983).
A distinction persists within the movement â" based on the utilitarian/deontological divide â" between those who seek incremental reform, a position known as animal protectionism, and those on the abolitionist side, who argue that reform that aims to regulate, rather than abolish, the property status of animals is counter-productive.
The following is a list of notable animal rights advocates from all positions within the movement, from academics to activists, listed according to their country of birth.
- List of animal advocacy parties
- List of animal rights groups
- List of vegans
- List of vegetarians
- List of peace activists
- Beauchamp, Tom and Frey, R.G. (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Animal Ethics. Oxford University Press, 2011.
- Bekoff, Marc (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare. Greenwood, 2009.
- Linzey, Andrew (ed.). Animal Encyclopedia. University of Princeton Press (forthcoming).
- Linzey, Andrew (ed.). The Global Guide to Animal Protection. University of Illinois Press (forthcoming).
- Tobias, Michael Charles. "Life Force: The World of Jainism". Asia Humanities Press, 1992.
- Tobias, Michael Charles. "Ahimsa: Non-Violence," One-Hour Documentary, PBS, 1987.
- Tobias, Michael Charles, and Morrison, Jane Gray. "God's Country: The New Zealand Factor," Zorba Press, 2011.
- Tobias, Michael Charles, and Morrison, Jane Gray. "Sanctuary: Global Oases of Innocence," Foreword by Her Majesty the Queen of Bhutan; Preface by Ingrid Newkirk, Council Oak Books, 2008.
- Tobias, Michael Charles, and Ehrlich, Paul R. "Hope on Earth: A Conversation," University of Chicago Press, 2014.
- Tobias, Michael Charles, and Morrison, Jane Gray. "Why Life Matters: Fifty Ecosystems of the Heart & Mind," Springer New York, 2014.