Animals have inherent worth that is completely separate from their usefulness to humans. Every creature has a right to live free from pain and suffering. Animal rights is not just a philosophy- it is a social justice movement that challenges the outdated view that all nonhuman animals exist solely for human use.
Only prejudice allows us to deny others the rights that we expect to have for ourselves. Whether itâ€™s based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or species, prejudice is morally unacceptable. If we wouldn’t eat a dog, why eat a pig? Dogs and pigs have the same capacity to feel pain, but it is prejudice based on species that allows us to think of one animal as a companion and the other as dinner.
Animals’ lives are as important to them as ours are to us. Just as it is wrong to oppress and abuse less powerful humans, it is wrong to oppress and abuse animals. Victims of tyranny are often unable to defend themselves, and they depend on the voices of principled people to help them. Today we view slavery, child labor, and the oppression of women as intolerable, but these cruel practices ended only because forward-thinking people called for change.