The RPA Difference
Rights of All Animals
What About People?
Statement on Violence
Events and Activities
In the News
Rights of All Animals
Animal Rights and Responsible Policies for Animals
"Animal rights" is almost always used incorrectly by the news industry and most animal organizations and advocates. This hampers animal-rights advocacy by creating confusion about its goal, divergence from rights-promoting strategies, and delusion about what constitutes progress toward animal rights. People have helped animals in countless ways for thousands of years without promoting rights for them. Promoting rights means describing the rights other animals need to lead fulfilling lives, why meaningful protection is impossible without rights, and why human beings as well as other animals will benefit when all have the rights they need.
A key mistake many advocates make is believing rights come after countless cruelty-fighting efforts, countless rescues of animals who have no rights, millions of awareness-raising exposés and news items, all designed to get more people to care about the animals. In fact, rights are the beginning of meaningful protection the basis for eliminating cruel and inhumane practices the Constitutional and legal platform for policies that protect rights-holders autonomy and dignity interests. Rights come before abolition of rights-violating practices, not after. Rights do not come from increased caring; they manifest humans natural empathy and respect for others. Once established, rights then amplify the respect all individual sentient beings deserve.
That is why no amount of effort to protect animals with no rights at this time, all nonhuman animals can provide meaningful protection or lead to the establishment of rights. That is why Responsible Policies for Animals promotes rights rather than the illusory animal-protection or fighting-cruelty treadmill if we want permanent, long-term, fundamental change rather than the horrific status quo with no end in sight. Far more animals suffer more intensely than before the declared animal-rights movement began three decades ago not because humans do not care about other animals but because nonhumans still lack rights and no amount of caring can fix that. Protection without rights is like a roof on a building with no foundation or frame.
"Animal rights" refers to
basic constitutional & legal rights, species-appropriate secondary rights, and rights enforcement applied to all sentient beings (animals who experience their lives) see RPA's Draft Bill of Animal Rights.
... political proposals demanding those rights, organized efforts to establish those rights, writings and activities aimed at establishing those rights.
Just as all individual human beings need rights for protection against wrongs by government officials and institutions, all individual nonhuman animals need rights to protect them from the serious unjustified harm human beings routinely do to them.
animal-rights movement does not
seek to protect nonhuman animals
against harm from other nonhuman
animals that is part of natural
living in natural ecosystems such
as naturally occurring predation.
It does seek to protect them against
harm caused by humans via nonhuman
animals - human-instigated animal
fights, feeding bred or captured
animals to other animals held captive
in violation of their rights; and
so on - as human injustice is the
relevant cause of all such harm.
Responsible Policies for Animals teaches why
animal rights is the only basis for responsible policies for nonhuman animals because inhumane treatment of animals is irresponsible and humane treatment is only possible with rights, as we know from human rights;
animal rights is the most likely solution to humanity's biggest problems: widespread chronic disease, soaring medical & insurance costs, influenza pandemics, poor nutrition, obesity, food & water shortages and soaring prices, poverty, war, global warming, water & soil contamination, and more (see brochures mentioned below); and
human supremacy, speciesism, and policies & practices aimed only at benefiting human beings harm the public interest.
Responsible Policies for Animals teaches those things
at this website;
in the brochure that appears below - here on the website's Animal Rights page;
in its 10,000 Years Is Enough campaign and other activities;
in its newsletter Thin Ice (many issues at this website);
in its factsheets;
in meetings and discussions with influential people and the general public; and
in RPA's presentations to audiences
of all kinds.
Used accurately, "animal rights" does not refer to (despite often being confused with)
loving or caring about animals;
helping, rescuing, adopting, or
finding homes for animals under
working to improve animal-welfare regulations;
living or promoting a vegan lifestyle (no use of anything from animals or anything tested on animals) or consuming a vegan diet (plants-only eating);
RPA has two factsheets that deal with the distinctions between actual rights and other types of animal advocacy:
All of those positive attitudes and actions for animals, though kind and beneficial as far as they go, do not specifically promote animal rights and cannot establish basic constitutional & legal rights
The concept of animal rights exists because more and more animals have always been treated more and more inhumanely under the animal-welfare system no matter how many people care about them, help them, work to improve regulations, or refrain from purchasing products of animal exploitation.
Reasons for that constant worsening are built into systems in which human beings exercise rights and engage in free enterprise while nonhuman animals have no rights.
With responsible policies for animals that are also responsible policies for people and ecosystems meaningful, enforceable legal rights for all sentient beings - people and members of all other species not driven extinct by ours should be able to live enjoyable and rewarding lives for about the next 500 million years. That is about how long scientists predict the sun will continue to support life on Earth. At the start of the 21st century, human beings have not yet chosen a 500-million-year plan. And no such plan can succeed without animal rights.
of the above is why Responsible
Policies for Animals
works to promote
animal rights and
urges anyone who wants all sentient
beings, including people, to live
enjoyable and rewarding lives for
as long as nature permits to support
Responsible Policies for Animals,
Years Is Enough campaign,
and its other activities.
Animal Rights and Politics
Political activity is usually thought of as promoting or opposing legislation, candidates, government programs, or officeholders. But the root meaning of "politics" is any activity related to public affairs.
Animal rights - basic constitutional & legal rights of all individual animals to personal and ecological sovereignty - are a long way from existing in Constitution and law. Animal rights is a radical proposal to change all human institutions fundamentally, because they are based on inhumane treatment of animals and inhumane treatment of animals is a major factor in humanity's big problems.
Because animal rights is a radical proposal, no officeholder or candidate supports it. Supporting animal rights publicly before it is embraced by a significant number of people would most likely end an officeholder or candidate's career in electoral, legislative, and administrative politics. Politicians who say they support animal rights are usually using the term incorrectly.
That doesn't mean there is no place for animal rights in politics. It means the appropriate place for animal rights in politics is in educating people who influence public affairs. That includes people involved in electoral, legislative, and administrative politics, but it also includes the citizenry, especially people who influence or seek to influence public affairs and institutions.
Responsible Policies for Animals (RPA) is an educational nonprofit organization whose tax-exempt status prohibits significant involvement in endorsing legislation or candidates for elective office. RPA does not involve itself in electoral or legislative politics. But campaign and legislative activities aimed at helping animals are not animal-rights activities - they do not promote the basic rights or institutional changes nonhuman animals require to be treated humanely, because officials cannot support such changes and expect to be reelected.
Based on the popular, limited media definition of "politics" as whatever conflict is currently on the public agenda, that would seem to mean RPA is not involved in politics. But RPA constantly takes part in politics - based on the true, complete meaning of "politics" as all that affects public affairs.
RPA's 10,000 Years Is Enough campaign to get our land-grant universities (LGUs) out of the meat industry is the quintessential political effort promoting animal rights as the long-term endeavor it has to be due to its radical nature.
Almost all of our 106 (LGUs) - in all 50 states and some territories - run elaborate training, research, and promotional programs for the meat industry, including fish, dairy, eggs, and feed crops. Doing this involves teaching the anti-animal-rights philosophy at the heart of civilization and its institutions: that nonhuman animals exist for humans to use; that nonhuman beings cannot have rights, only protections. That is a devastating political activity against the public interest.
RPA's many press releases and educational mailings in the 10,000 Years Is Enough campaign and RPA's presentations, meetings, and websites, its newsletter Thin Ice, and its other original literature and activities are the political endeavors that eventually - in the time it naturally takes to create fundamental change - will lead to all animals' having basic rights, the only meaningful protection.
kinds of political activity for
nonhuman animals may gratify with
short-term victories, but such conservative
methods do not advance animal rights
- they reinforce the animal-welfare
status quo that includes all forms
of animal use, i.e., inhumane treatment
of animals with no rights.
Declaration of the Rights of Animals
Whereas It Is Self-Evident
we share the earth with other creatures,
great and small;
Do Therefore Declare
THE RIGHT to live free from human
HAVE THE RIGHT to live in harmony with their nature rather than according to human desires; and
HAVE THE RIGHT to live on a healthy planet.
Practical Steps Toward Animal Rights
its radical nature requiring fundamental
change to most human institutions
the practical steps we can take
toward eventually establishing the
basic constitutional & legal rights
of all sentient beings will take a
long time to bring the needed change.
Responsible Policies for Animals, Inc., P.O. Box 891, Glenside, PA 19038