Animal rights means that animals deserve certain kinds of consideration—consideration of what is in their best interests, regardless of whether they are "cute," useful to humans, or an endangered species and regardless of whether any human cares about them at all (just as a mentally challenged human has rights even if he or she is not cute or useful or even if everyone dislikes him or her). It means recognizing that animals are not ours to use—for food, clothing, entertainment, or experimentation.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.