This Article asserts that shifting the focus of animal welfare issues from human responsibility to animal rights provides a singular illustration of overburdening the rights paradigm. Shifting focus away from human responsibility for animals' welfare is harful both for animals and for human society. Part II of this Article addreses the rights paradigm's expansion in societal discourse. It documents the increasing attractiveness of rights language over the past sixty years and explores the foundations for this "romance" with the more-is-better view of rights. Part II confronts rising calls to assign basic rights to animals. Part IV asserts the centrality of humanity to rights. Part V explores some of the costs that might be incurred in extending the rights to paradigm to animals. The Article concludes that rejecting the rights paradigm is not harmful to animals' interests.
Richard L. Cupp Jr.,
Moving Beyond Animal Rights: A Legal/Contractualist Critique,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol46/iss1/3