A Study of Animal Rights: Who, Why, and What?

Project Details


In recent years, animal ethics has become important issue in applied ethics research, especially when the academic community pay much attention to the theory of animal rights. But what kind of claim is animal rights, and how will animal rights change our social practices? It is urgent to clarify the related concepts of animal protection issues in the publicity of today’s changing attitudes to the animal rights. The study of animal rights makes us to think sincerely and seriously about what concept of rights that we appreciated can be applied to, and ask why we should extend to animals? At the same time, we must also pragmatically find out the theoretical framework of animal rights that can be put into practice, and reflect on whether it is possible for our society to construct appropriate animal treatments and maintain a good life in the process of pursuing liberal and pluralistic values.This project will use literature review method to examine and analyze representative animal ethics researches, including sort out the divergent views classified as animal liberation, animal rights, and animal justice, and then review the controversies arisen from the recent discussions among animal ethicists. Finally try to find a more reasonable and feasible theory of animal rights based on the correlativity of rights and obligations.The project is intended to be a two-year period. The first year's research focuses on exploring the concept of animal rights from the theory of rights. Main questions would be as follows: Whether animals have rights? How is animal rights possible? Which animals have rights? What kind of rights do they have? What is the scale of animal rights to be defined? Are animal rights exactly the same as human rights? The second year's research emphasizes on the research of reasonable animal rights norms in human society. After all, there will be some conflicts of interest between human and animal. It is also an inevitable mission for animal interests to be protected, while the human social life to be maintained at the same time.
Effective start/end date1/08/2031/03/22

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


  • animal ethics
  • animal rights
  • the correlativity of rights and obligations
  • animal welfare


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