- Some critics have claimed that our position concerns only the negative right not to be used as property, and does not address what positive rights animals might have. This observation is correct, but all domestication would end if we recognised this one right – the right not to be property. We would be obliged to care for those domesticated animals who presently exist, but we would bring no more into existence.
- If we all embraced the personhood of non-humans, we would still need to think about the rights of non-domesticated animals who live among us and in undeveloped areas. But if we cared enough not to eat, wear or otherwise use domesticated non-humans, we would undoubtedly be able to determine what those positive rights should be. The most important thing is that we recognise the negative right of animals not to be used as property. That would commit us to the abolition of all institutionalised exploitation that results in the commodification and control of them by humans.
- We love our dogs, but recognise that, if the world were more just and fair, there would be no pets at all, no fields full of sheep, and no barns full of pigs, cows and egg-laying hens. There would be no aquaria and no zoos.
- If animals matter morally, we must recalibrate all aspects of our relationship with them. The issue we must confront is not whether our exploitation of them is ‘humane’ – with all of the concomitant tinkering with the practices of animal-use industries – but rather whether we can justify using them at all.
- Gary L Francione is Board of Governors Professor of Law at Rutgers University School of Law in New Jersey, US; visiting professor of philosophy at the University of Lincoln, UK; and honorary professor of philosophy at the University of East Anglia, UK. His most recent book is Why Veganism Matters: The Moral Value of Animals (2021).
- Anna E Charlton is adjunct professor of law at Rutgers University and the co-founder of the Rutgers Animal Rights Law Clinic. Her latest book, together with Gary L Francione, is Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach (2015).
- This is an important - if misguided - paper.
- It dates from 2016 and has to be read in the light of the "Francione (Gary) - We must not own animals", published in 2022.
- I'll write up my annotations in due course.
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