THE ANIMAL RIGHTS MOVEMENTThis is a handout prepared by April Medici,
Jody Prusan-Goldstein, Marisa Romanelli, Susane Horatio James, and Melanie
Caparino (all students in the fall 1994 class)
I. EARLY HISTORY
The animal rights movement can trace its roots back to the late 18th
century and early l9th.
This movement began out of organized efforts to abolish cruelty to animals
in England and America.
In England, a man named Richard Martin tried to convince the English
Parliament that some animals have some rights. A bill was passed for the
prevention of cruel and improper treatment of cattle
After this bill was passed similar anti-cruelty laws were passed in NY
(1828), Mass. (1835), Connecticut and Wisconsin (1838).
Also during this time the "Anti-vivisection" movement began in England.
Vivisection" - to cut an organism while it is alive.
II. FORMING OF THE SPCA
(SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO
1824: The first Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was
formed (SPCA) in England.
1866: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
1867: SPCA formed in Philadelphia.
1868: SPCA formed in Boston.
III. MULTI-ISSUE AREAS OF CONCERN
Animal activists have been pressuring cosmetic companies to stop testing
They want to stop the Draize Eye Irritancy Test -- which was
invented in 1944 and is the standard method companies use to test
cosmetics and household products for eye irritation, rabbits are used the most
in this test.
Companies who have stopped animal testing are: Avon, Elizabeth Arden,
Charles of the Ritz, Max Factor, Revlon, Faberge, Amway and Shaklee.
The Body Shop, a British based company is dedicated to cruelty-free body
Animal activists feel that these conditions are considered inhumane.
Animals are crowded into pens and cages and fed large amounts of antibiotics
to counter the diseases that run rampant under those conditions.
Grazing rights were guaranteed for cows, larger cages for chickens, and
separate bedding and feeding places for pigs.
Animal activists are against hunting, the circus, and zoo's.
Animal activists feel ranching and trapping by using steel jaw and leg
traps is inhumane.
Fur trade journals reported that the "harvest" of wild fur has dropped as
much as 80% since anti-fur campaigns began.
In 1988, it became illegal for any ship to dump its plastic trash in U.S.
oceans or navigable waters to protect marine wildlife from getting entangled,
caught, and strangled in the plastic.
IV. ANIMAL PROTECTION GROUPS
These groups were formed during the 1970's
and they varied in their tactics and philosophy. There are three kind of groups:
WelfaristsThese activists accepted most current uses of animals, but
seek to minimize their suffering and pain.
ASPCA is an example
PragmatistsThese are more radical. They feel certain species deserve
greater consideration than others, and agree with animal use if the benefits of
using such animals outweigh their suffering. They aimed at reducing animal use
through legal actions, political protest and negotiations.
Henry Spira is an example
FundamentalistsThese are more extreme in their tactics. They believed
people should never use animals for their own pleasure or interest, regardless
of the benefits.
ALF (Animal Liberation Front) is an example: They used illegal means (by
breaking into labs, freeing animals and damaging equipment) and rejected
existing animal protection laws. Many fundamentalists don't believe in having
pets and are also vegetarians.
IMPORTANT EVENTS IN ANIMAL RIGHTS HISTORY
1866: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was
formed (ASPCA). Henry Berg was the founder.
1892: Laws passed by The American Humane Association "prohibiting the
repetition of experiments on animals for the purpose of teaching or
demonstrating well known accepted facts." 1950s: Formation of:
1966: Congress passed Animal Welfare Act. It regulated the use
of animals in labs.
The American Welfare Institute
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)
1975: Peter Singer's publication of Animal Liberation released.
It depicted the harsh conditions and cruelty of animals in farms otherwise
considered "mass producing factories."
Peter Singer - a philosophy professor was one of the first to start using
dramatic and expressive public means to attract new recruits to the Animal
1979: A lawyer named Tischler organized (AFAR) Attorneys for Animal
Rights. This group worked full time on animal rights issues.
1984: ASPCA called for a boycott of Ringling Brothers after it tried to
pass off goats w/horns surgically implanted in their skulls as "living
1987: Revlon agreed to stop animal testing and contributed millions of
dollars to alternate research.
1995: New fur law was passed. Any country who exports fur to Europe
must either ban leg hold traps or adopt international humane trapping standards.