What is the difference between “animal rights” and “animal welfare”?
Animal welfare theories accept that animals have interests but allow these interests to be traded away as long as there are some human benefits that are thought to justify that sacrifice.
Animal rights means that animals, like humans, have interests that cannot be sacrificed or traded away just because it might benefit others. However, the rights position does not hold that rights are absolute; an animal’s rights, just like those of humans, must be limited, and rights can certainly conflict. Animal rights means that animals are not ours to use for food, clothing, entertainment, or experimentation. Animal welfare allows these uses as long as “humane” guidelines are followed.