Initial 3 pages of the essay:
Peter Singer, the author of Animal Liberation, reviewed The Case for Animal Studies by another writer Tom Regan after reading which Regan made clear that he preferred the label “animal rights movement” over “animal liberation movement”. “Animal Liberation or Animal Rights?” is a reply by Singer to Regan’s response.
Singer proposes for a minimal characteristic which would be possessed by both human and non-human animals to decide the rights of animals. Because, according to him, if rationality, autonomy, self-consciousness, the ability to enter into contracts or to reciprocate are placed as bases for rights, then infants and humans with congenital disorders/brain damaged humans would be left out. Also, if being a homo sapiens is the eligible criteria to access rights then that would be speciesism which, again according to him, is a form of favouritism and discrimination as unjustifiable as racism. That is where he realizes the need to have a more minimal characteristic inclusive of both humans and nonhumans.
While other philosophers try to elevate the moral status of animals by attributing rights, Singer tries to do so by arguing that animals have interests.
JSTOR article: “Animal Liberation or Animal Rights?” by Peter Singer
Source: The Monist, Vol.70, No.1, Animal Rights (January, 1987), pp.3-14
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27903010
Accessed: 9-6-2016, 10.09 UTC