Animal rights lobbyists view humans and animals equally and condemns any and all use of animals for human benefit.
By humanising animals they attempt to increase the rights of animals ie. talking animals, projecting human feelings onto the animals, animals understanding death and empathy. The welfare definition based on the rights of animals is focused on its freedom and liberation and a narrow subset of positive behavioural traits. Negative behaviour, the inability ot enter into a social contract or make moral judgements is ignored. Animal husbandry, health and nutritional requirements are very rarely mentioned, especially in the case of omnivore and carnivore species. Any welfare that is modelled on a narrow definition leads to diminished welfare outcomes. The educational value of "Save Babe" or "Charlotte's Web" as advocated by Animal Rights lobbyists in Australia is short sighted propaganda designed to change the communities attitude towards animal welfare.
Unfortunately in the persuit of achieving equality for animals, humans are often dehumanised in the process.
"Surely there will be some nonhuman animals whose lives, by any standards, are more valuable than the lives of some humans." Peter Singer
Animal welfare endorses the use of animals for companionship and sport, food, clothing and medical research. The American Veterinary Medical Association Policy on Animal Welfare and Animal Rights describes animal welfare as:
"... a human responsibility that encompasses all aspects of animal well-being, including proper housing, management, nutrition, disease prevention and treatment, responsible care, humane handling, and, when necessary, humane euthanasia."
In firmly endorsing animal welfare while rejecting animal rights, the AVMA takes the following position:
"The AVMA's commitment to animal welfare is unsurpassed. However, animal welfare and animal rights are not the same. AVMA cannot endorse the philosophical views and personal values of animal rights advocates when they are incompatible with the responsible use of animals for human purposes, such as food and fiber, and for research conducted to benefit both humans and animals."
As an extension of this animal rights philosophy, a number of people are embracing veganism, relying exclusively on plant-based food, and plant-based and synthetic clothing. It would be a waste of time offering an animal rights
lobbyist the most humanely treated chop: cruelty free means vegan.
Apparently, grain harvesters don't chop up field mice.
However, with less than 3 percent of the Earth's surface being suitable for crop production, animal protein and fiber will continue to be indispensible to the survival of the planet's 6 billion people, and to the conservation of natural habitat. It is for these reasons that the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) promotes the use by humans of both plants and animals, domestic and wild.
On the importance of domesticated animals, the FAO takes the following position:
"Domestic farm animals are crucial for food and agriculture, providing 30 to 40 percent of the agricultural sector's global economic value. Around 2 billion people - one third of the global population - depend at least partly on farm animals for their livelihoods. Meat, milk and egg production will need to more than double over the next 20 years to feed the growing world population." (FAO press release, Dec. 5, 2000)