What is Animal Rights?
Although animal rights and animal welfare are closely related they are not at all the same thing. While it is possible to support both, most people fall into the category of being animal welfare supporters. Animal rights itself is easily confusing because some people are more hard core into animal rights, than others. To make a quick difference, the Humane Society, and SPCA, are animal welfare groups, PETA is an animal rights group, and there are many smaller groups with more hard core animal rights views than even PETA, although they are often given a bad name for being extreme.
Animal Rights means that animals should have the same rights as humans. This ranges from having the simple right not to be owned, to extreme views including that carnivore animals are violating the rights of the animals the eat, and odd views such as allowing dogs the right to vote.
Many animal rights supporters are vegans, or at least vegetarians on the road to becoming vegans. While some do own pets, animal rights itself suggests that this is wrong, and some groups have gone so far as to say that domestic animals are not legitimate species since in most cases they have been altered from wild animals in many ways.
This is one area where the lines are often blurred, with some animal rights people labeling themselves as Abolitionists, saying animals have the right not to be owned, and other groups such as PETA taking slightly a lighter stand allowing for pet ownership, but incorporating it with owners having a better understanding of animal welfare. This is one area where people can see that PETA is not as extreme as most other animal rights groups who are strictly against the ownership of pets and other animals.
Are these horses non-legitamate life forms? Some very extreme animal rights groups would say so. The majority of animal rights groups would be happy if people simply stopped owning and/or riding horses.
Animal rights groups are against livestock farms, fur farms, testing on animals, the use of animals in the entertainment industry, and so on. They are against humans using animals for any purpose, and against the exploitation of animals. There are many groups under the animal rights umbrella with some having more extreme views than others.
Animal rights is often quite extreme but animal rights groups have brought a lot of attention to some horrific brutal acts against animals. Although many people find the actions of some animal rights groups to be too extreme, they have helped open the eyes of many people to the suffering of animals on the planet and have forced some changes to occur.
There is a lot of legal wrangling in the animal rights movement, those who insist animals should have the same rights as humans, and those that argue that animals have no capacity to understand, or appreciate, those rights.
If animal rights seems too extreme for you, perhaps you will find animal welfare more to your liking.