A question I have been asked in the past is: “Do you hurt the animals you don’t want?”
That seems like an odd question to me. My answer to the question is: Of course not, Mister Mice Guy believes in Animal Welfare! But what is Animal Welfare and how does it differ from something like Animal rights? Now that is a great question. I think a lot of people get confused when it comes to this topic. It also tends to be a very heated an controversial topic but lets cover it here in brief.
Animal welfare means that human caregivers are responsible for all facets of an animals well-being. This can include anything from proper housing to humane euthanasia (Animal Welfare Council, 2019)
Typically proponents of Animal Welfare seek to improve the care of captive animals, believe that humans can use animals in a variety of ways, such as pet ownership, for food, and for scientific research, as long as the animals are provided with proper care. They generally also believe that animals sports, such as horse racing, should be self-regulated. Supporters of Animal welfare also promote and utilize scientific evidence to guide their bases of animal care guidelines (Animal Welfare Council, 2019).
Conversely, proponents of Animal Rights believe that animals should not be used for any purpose including as pets, for food, to produce clothing, entertainment, or for scientific research (PETA 2019). Animal Rights supporters believe that animals should have similar rights to humans (Animal Welfare Council, 2019) but that these rights are not necessarily absolute (PETA 2019). True supporters of animal rights want to ban all use of animals (Animal Welfare Council, 2019).
Animal rights supports often believe that violence, fake news, and a variety of publicity stunts are justified if used to support animal rights ideas. Animal rights extremists are associated with using arson, vandalism, and assault to further their cause (Animal Welfare Council, 2019) In the United States certain animal rights groups, such as the Animal Liberation Front, have been classified as terrorist organizations by the FBI (Animal Welfare Council, 2019, Lewis, J 2004).
Although MisterMiceGuy believes in Animal Welfare, he also believes in acknowledging the human element of certain activities. Humans are social animals and can develop close bonds with members of other species. Humans also tend to anthropomorphize other species, meaning they see human qualities and human motives in other species whether those qualities are actually there or not. MisterMiceGuy does not believe that individuals who are sensitive to certain aspects of animal use should be ridiculed while at the same time believes that the feelings of these individuals should not preclude the use of animals as pets, for food, entertainment, or scientific research.
Animal Welfare Council (2019) Welfare vs. Rights. Retrieved from: http://www.animalwelfarecouncil.org/?page_id=16
PETA (2019) What is the difference between “animal rights” and “animal welfare”? Retrieved from: https://www.peta.org/about-peta/faq/what-is-the-difference-between-animal-rights-and-animal-welfare/
Lewis, J. (2014). Animal rights extremism and ecoterrorism. FBI. Retrieved from: https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/news/testimony/animal-rights-extremism-and-ecoterrorism