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The concept of animal rights, or animal liberation, embraces the view that to elevate the most basic interests of human beings – such as the avoidance of pain – over the similar interests of non-human animals, on the basis of species membership alone, is a form of prejudice akin to racism or sexism. Animal rights advocates regard non-human animals as persons and members of the moral community whose interests deserve legal protection.[1]

The animal rights movement emerged in the 19th century, focused largely on opposition to vivisection, and in the 1960s the modern movement sprang up in England around the Hunt Saboteurs Association. In the 1970s, the Australian philosopher, Peter Singer, and the American philosopher, Tom Regan, began to provide the movement with its philosophical foundations. Singer argued for animal liberation on the basis of utilitarianism, first in 1973 in The New York Review of Books and later in his Animal Liberation (1975), while Regan developed a deontological theory of animal rights in several papers from 1975 onwards, followed by The Case for Animal Rights (1983).[2]

A distinction persists within the movement – based on the utilitarian/deontological divide – between those who seek incremental reform, a position known as animal protectionism, and those on the abolitionist side, who argue that reform that aims to regulate, rather than abolish, the property status of animals is counter-productive.[3]

The following is a list of notable animal rights advocates from all positions within the movement, from academics to activists, listed according to their country of birth.

Name Born Image Country of birth Occupation Source
Carol J. Adams 1951 100px 30px US Eco-feminist writer, author of The Sexual Politics of Meat (1990) [4]
Bryan Adams 1959 File:Bryan Adams Hamburg MG 0631 flickr (cropped).jpg 30px Canada Musician, campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [5]
Douglas Adams 1952–2001 100px 30px UK Writer, campaigner for the Great Ape Project [6]
Casey Affleck 1975 100px 30px US Actor, animal rights activist [7]
Cleveland Amory 1917–1998 30px US Founder of the Fund for Animals, president of the New England Anti-Vivisection Society [8]
Pamela Anderson 1967 100px 30px US Model, campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [9]
Michael Aufhauser 1952 30px Germany Founder of Gut Aiderbichl, an animal sanctuary [10]
Greg Avery 1963 30px UK Co-founder of the Consort beagles, Hillgrove cats, and SHAC campaigns [11]
Alex Baldwin 1958 100px 30px US Actor, narrator of Meet Your Meat (2002) [12]
Matt Ball 30px US Executive director of Vegan Outreach, co-author of The Animal Activist's Handbook (2009) [13]
Martin Balluch 1954 100px 30px Austria Co-founder of Vegane Gesellschaft Österreich, president of Verein Gegen Tierfabriken [14]
David Barbarash 30px Canada Former spokesperson for the North American Animal Liberation Press Office [15]
Neal Barnard 30px US President of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine [16]
Shane and Sia Barbi 1963 100px 30px US Models [17]
Brigitte Bardot 1934 100px 30px France Former model, animal rights activist, founder of the Brigitte Bardot Foundation [18]
Kim Basinger 1953 100px 30px US Actress, model, animal rights activist [19]
Gene Baur 100px 30px US Founder of Farm Sanctuary [20]
Tom Beauchamp 30px US Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University, co-author of The Human Use of Animals (1998) [21]
Marc Bekoff 1945 30px US Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [22]
Jeremy Bentham 1748–1832 100px 30px UK Philosopher, author of the oft-quoted "The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?" [23]
Steven Best 1955 File:StevenBestLondon.jpg 30px US Philosopher, former Animal Liberation Press Office spokesperson [24]
Brigid Brophy 1929–1995 30px UK Writer, author of an influential article, "The Rights of Animals," in The Sunday Times, London, 1965. [25]
Mel Broughton 1960 30px UK Co-founder of the SPEAK campaign [26]
Ned Buyukmihci 30px UK Doctor of veterinary medicine, founder of Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights [27]
Paola Cavalieri 30px Italy Philosopher, campaigner for the Great Ape Project [28]
Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne 1623–1673 100px 30px UK Writer, anti-vivisectionist [29]
Cesar Chavez 1927–1993 100px 30px US Co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association [30]
Alan Clark 1928–1999 100px 30px UK Conservative Member of Parliament (1974–1992) [31]
Stephen R. L. Clark 1945 100px 30px UK Professor of philosophy at the University of Liverpool (1984–2009), author of The Moral Status of Animals (1977) [32]
Jean Clemens 1880–1909 30px US Daughter of Mark Twain [33]
Frances Power Cobbe 1822–1904 100px 30px UK Founder of the National Anti-Vivisection Society and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection [34]
J. M. Coetzee 1940 100px 30px South Africa Novelist, recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature, author of The Lives of Animals (1999) [35]
Priscilla Cohn 30px US Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Pennsylvania State University, associate director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics [36]
Rod Coronado 1966 File:Rod Coronado (cropped).jpg 30px US Animal rights activist, formerly for the ALF, Earth First!, and ELF [37]
James Cromwell 1940 File:James Cromwell 2010.jpg 30px US Actor, played the voice of the farmer in Babe (1995) [38]
Karen Davis 30px US President of United Poultry Concerns, author of The Holocaust and the Henmaid's Tale (2005) [39]
David DeGrazia 30px US Professor of Philosophy at George Washington University, author of Taking Animals Seriously (1996) [40]
Chris DeRose 1948 30px US Founder of Last Chance for Animals [41]
Rukmini Devi 1904–1986 100px 30px India Dancer, founder of the Animal Welfare Board of India [42]
Nina Douglas-Hamilton, Duchess of Hamilton 1878–1951 30px UK Co-founder of the Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society [43]
Hugh Dowding, 1st Baron Dowding 1882–1970 100px 30px UK Commander of RAF Fighter Command, president of the National Anti-Vivisection Society [44]
Muriel Dowding, Baroness Dowding 1908–1981 30px UK Founder of Beauty Without Cruelty [45]
Joan Dunayer 30px US Author of Animal Equality (2001) and Speciesism (2004) [46]
John Feldman 1967 100px 30px US Musician, appeared in Behind the Mask (2006) [47]
Roger Fouts 1943 100px 30px US Primate researcher known for his work with Washoe the chimpanzee, adviser to the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics [48]
Gary Francione 1951 100px 30px US Distinguished Professor of Law and Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law & Philosophy at Rutgers School of Law-Newark, leading abolitionist, author of Animals, Property, and the Law (2005) [49]
Lawrence Finsen 30px US Professor of philosophy at University of Redlands, co-author of The Animal Rights Movement in America (1994) [50]
Bruce Friedrich 1969 30px US Senior Director for Strategic Initiatives, Farm Sanctuary [51]
Maneka Gandhi 1956 30px India Politician, founder of People for Animals [52]
Robert Garner 30px UK Professor of political theory at the University of Leicester; co-author of The Animal Rights Debate: Abolition or Regulation? (2010) [53]
Juliet Gellatley 30px UK Founder and director of Viva! [54]
Antoine Goetschel 1958 100px 30px Switzerland Lawyer, animal advocate for the canton of Zurich [55]
Celia Hammond 30px UK Former model, founder of the Celia Hammond Animal Trust [56]
Lizzy Lind af Hageby 1878–1963 File:Lizzy Lind af Hageby 1913 (cropped2).jpg 30px Sweden Founder of the Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society, known for the Brown Dog affair [57]
Lee Hall ca. 1961 30px US Lawyer, legal director of Friends of Animals [58]
Barry Horne 1952–2001 100px 30px UK Animal rights activist, hunger striker [59]
Chrissie Hynde 1951 100px 30px US Singer-songwriter [60]
V. R. Krishna Iyer 1915 100px 30px India Former judge of the Supreme Court of India [61]
Roberta Kalechofsky 1931 30px US Writer, author of Animal Suffering and the Holocaust: The Problem with Comparisons (2003) [62]
Shannon Keith 30px US Animal rights lawyer, director of Behind the Mask (2006) [63]
Anna Kingsford 1846–1888 100px 30px UK Physician, anti-vivisectionist, author of The Perfect Way in Diet (1881) [64]
Marti Kheel 1948–2011 30px US Ecofeminist writer, founder of Feminists for Animal Rights [65]
Niko Koffeman 1958 30px Netherlands Senator, Party for the Animals [66]
Dennis Kucinich 1946 100px 30px US Congressman [67]
Elizabeth Kucinich 1977 100px 30px UK Director of public affairs for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine [68]
Carla Lane 1928 30px UK Television scriptwriter, ran Animaline animal sanctuary [69]
k.d. lang 1961 100px 30px Canada Musician [70]
Gill Langley 1952 30px UK Scientist, campaigner against the use of animals in research [71]
Ronnie Lee 1951 File:RonnieLeeALF.jpg 30px UK Founder of the Animal Liberation Front [72]
Bob Linden 30px US Host of Go Vegan Radio [73]
Ludvig Lindström 1975 30px Sweden Animal rights activist, founder of Global Happiness Organization [74]
Andrew Linzey 1951 30px UK Theologian, founder of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics [75]
Linda McCartney 1941–1998 File:Paul McCartney with Linda McCartney - Wings - 1976.jpg 30px US Photographer, musician, founder of Linda McCartney Foods [76]
Mary McCartney 1969 30px UK Photographer, has taken photographs for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [77]
Paul McCartney 1942 File:Paul McCartney in Dublin 2010 (b).jpg 30px UK Musician, campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [78]
Stella McCartney 1971 30px UK Designer, campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [76]
Melody MacDonald 30px UK Animal rights activist, author of Caught in the Act: The Feldberg Investigation (1994) [79]
Colin McGinn 1950 30px UK Professor of philosopher, University of Miami [80]
Bill Maher File:BillMaherSept10.jpg 30px US Comedian, board director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [81]
Keith Mann File:KeithMann2.jpg 30px UK Animal rights activist, author of From Dusk 'til Dawn: An Insider's View of the Growth of the Animal Liberation Movement (2007) [82]
Dan Mathews 100px 30px US Senior Vice-President of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [83]
Lea Michele 100px 30px US Actress, campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [84]
Moby 100px 30px US Musician, DJ, released Animal Rights (1996) [85]
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson 1941 30px US Former psychoanalyst, author of When Elephants Weep (1995) [86]
Mary Midgley 1919 30px UK Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Newcastle University (retired), author of Animals And Why They Matter (1983) [87]
Heather Mills 1968 File:HeatherMills1.jpg 30px UK Campaigner for Viva! [88]
Shaun Monson 1958 30px US Director of Earthlings (2005) [89]
José Ferrater Mora 1912-1991 100px 30px Spain Philosopher, honoured by the Ferrater Mora Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics [90]
Morrissey File:Morrissey-Alexander-Film (cropped).jpg 30px UK Musician [91]
Jesús Mosterín 1941 File:Jesús Mosterín (October 2008).jpg 30px Spain Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science at the University of Barcelona, honorary president of the Spanish Great Ape Project [92]
Ingrid Newkirk 1949 File:Alec Baldwin Ingrid Newkirk Donny Moss PETA Shankbone 2008.jpg 30px UK Co-founder and President of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [93]
David Nibert 30px US Abolitionist, Professor of Sociology at Wittenberg University [94]
Heather Nicholson 1967 100px 30px UK Co-founder of the Consort beagles, Hillgrove cats, and SHAC campaigns [95]
Martha Nussbaum 1947 100px 30px US Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago [96]
Natasja Oerlemans 1969 100px 30px Netherlands Politician, Party for the Animals [97]
Kelly Overton 30px US Executive Director of People Protecting Animals & Their Habitats [98]
Esther Ouwehand 1976 100px 30px Netherlands Member of Parliament, Party for the Animals [99]
Alex Pacheco 1958 100px 30px US Co-founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [100]
Jill Phipps 1964–1995 File:JillPhipps.jpg 30px UK Animal rights activist, campaigner against live export [101]
Joaquin Phoenix 1974 File:Joaquin Cannes 20002 cropped.jpg 30px Puerto Rico Actor, animal rights activist, narrator of Earthlings (2005) [102]
River Phoenix 1970–1993 File:River Phoenix - hi res scan (cropped).jpg 30px US Actor, animal rights activist [103]
Summer Phoenix 1978 30px US Actress, animal rights activist [7]
Pink 1979 File:Pink 3.jpg 30px US Singer [104]
James Rachels 1941–2003 30px US Philosopher [105]
Qiu Renzong ca. 1933 30px China Bioethicist [106]
Tom Regan 1951 100px 30px US Professor emeritus of philosophy at North Carolina State University, author of The Case for Animal Rights (1983) [107]
Bernard Rollin 30px US Professor of philosophy, animal sciences, and biomedical sciences at Colorado State University [108]
Craig Rosebraugh 1951 100px 30px US Writer, environmentalist, animal rights activist [109]
Mark Rowlands 1962 30px UK Professor of Philosophy at the University of Miami, author of The Philosopher and the Wolf (2008) [110]
Nathan Runkle ca. 1984 30px US Founder and executive director of Mercy for Animals [111]
Richard D. Ryder 1964–1995 30px UK Psychologist, coined the term "speciesism" in 1970 [112]
Becky Sanstedt ca. 1960 30px US Animal rights activist, former investigator for Farm Sanctuary [113]
Steve Sapontzis 30px US Professor emeritus of philosophy at California State University, East Bay, author of Morals, Reason, and Animals (1987) [114]
Isaac Bashevis Singer 1902–1991 100px 30px Poland Winner of the 1978 Nobel Prize in Literature [115]
Henry Stephens Salt 1851–1939 30px UK Civil-rights campaigner, author of Animals' Rights: Considered in Relation to Social Progress (1894) [116]
Anuradha Sawhney 30px India Head of Indian operations for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [117]
Peter Singer 1946 File:Peter Singer MIT Veritas.jpg 30px Australia Philosopher, author of Animal Liberation (1975) [118]
Paul Shapiro 1979 100px 30px US Senior director of the Humane Society of the United States' Factory Farming Campaign [119]
Henry Spira 1927–1998 30px US Animal rights activist, founder of Animal Rights International [120]
Kim Stallwood 30px UK European director of the Animals and Society Institute [121]
Gary Steiner 30px US John Howard Harris Professor of Philosophy at Bucknell University [122]
Pelle Strindlund 1971 30px Sweden Writer, founding member of the Rescue Service [123]
Cass Sunstein 1954 100px 30px US Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs [124]
David Sztybel 30px Canada Philosopher, writer [125]
Peter Tatchell 1952 File:Nottingham Pride MMB A3 Peter Tatchell (cropped).jpg 30px Australia Civil-rights activist [126]
Angus Taylor 30px Canada Philosopher [127]
Sunaura Taylor 1982 30px US Artist and writer [128]
Marianne Thieme 1972 100px 30px Netherlands Member of Parliament, Party for the Animals [129]
Darren Thurston ca. 1970 30px Canada Animal rights activist [130]
Bob and Jenna Torres 30px US Writers, animal rights and vegan activists [131]
Andrew Tyler 30px UK Director of Animal Aid [132]
Jane Velez-Mitchell 1955 100px 30px US Broadcast journalist [133]
John Vyvyan 30px UK Writer, author of The Dark Face of Science (1971) [134]
Jerry Vlasak 1958 30px US Physician, former Animal Liberation Press Office spokesperson [135]
Alice Walker 1944 100px 30px US Writer [136]
Donald Watson 1910–2005 File:Donald watson.jpg 30px UK Founder of the British Vegan Society [137]
Robin Webb 1945 30px UK Spokesperson for the British Animal Liberation Press Office [138]
Caroline Earle White 1833–1916 100px 30px US Co-founder of the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, founder of the American Anti-Vivisection Society [34]
Liz White 100px 30px Canada Leader of the Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada [139]
Jon Wynne-Tyson 1924 30px UK Founder of Centaur Press, author of The Extended Circle: A Commonplace Book of Animal Rights (1985) [140]
Steven M. Wise 1952 30px US Law professor, author of Rattling the Case: Toward Legal Rights for Animals (2000) [141]
Ursula Wolf 1951 100px 30px Germany Philosopher, author of Das Tier in der Moral (1990) [142]
Roger Yates 1957 100px 30px UK Sociologist, co-founder of Vegan Ireland: The Vegan Society of Ireland [143]
Peter Daniel Young 100px 30px US Animal rights activist [144]
Benjamin Zephaniah 1958 File:Benjamin Zephaniah University of Hull.jpg 30px UK Rastafarian poet, honorary patron of the Vegan Society [145]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

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    • Also see:
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    • Regan, Tom. The Case for Animal Rights. University of California Press, 1983.
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Further readingEdit

  • Beauchamp, Tom and Frey, R.G. (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Animal Ethics. Oxford University Press, 2011.
  • Bekoff, Marc (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare. Greenwood, 2009.
  • Linzey, Andrew (ed.). Animal Encyclopedia. University of Princeton Press (forthcoming).
  • Linzey, Andrew (ed.). The Global Guide to Animal Protection. University of Illinois Press (forthcoming).

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