Animals - Welfare v Rights


What’s the difference between Animal Rights and Animal Welfare, do you know?

It’s not two words for the same thing.

Welfare means that animals are used for human consumption. They are used by humans but while we are using them, we focus on what their lives are like. For example, the five freedoms are an animal welfare approach.

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst. ... 
  • Freedom from discomfort. ... 
  • Freedom from pain, injury or disease. ... 
  • Freedom to express normal behaviour. ... 
  • Freedom from fear or distress. 

Originally designed for farmed animals, the five freedoms have been adopted generally by many animal welfare organisations.

Animal welfare is the thing that brings us organic meat and makes keeping beautiful, majestic wild animals in zoos OK - if we treat them right. 


Animal rights is different. When we want animals to have rights it goes further, into the rights we naturally expect as the human animal. The right not to be used for our bodies, the right to be free from slavery. Animal rights include the right to live a life not dictated, a life of freedom, agency over their bodies and their choices.   

Thankfully at the moment, dogs are starting to be really seen and we are catering to their right to agency, many people too are starting to really see other animals.

Animal rights might never really come back for all animals in this human centred World. More species are going extinct every day.

Yet you and I can make a difference.

We can remind ourselves every day that not only humans have rights.

We can make better choices about how we vote when we spend. 

We can realise that animal welfare is simply not enough.

We can be better.   

So, let’s do that shall we?


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