Spectrum of Values


Icon of a book Different Ideas on our Relationship with Animals

People have a range of ideas of what the human relationship with animals should be. These values impact how we view and treat animals.

Spectrum of values

Dominionists: Animals are here for human use, and we can use them as we like. Humans are the only one with rights.

Animal Welfarist: People have the right to use animals (for consumption, products, entertainment, scientific research, education, recreation, and keeping them as pets, etc.) as long as animals are treated humanely and that potential harms are minimized. People have a responsibility to provide for both the physical and psychological needs of animals. 

Animal Rightist: Animals should not be used by people for any reason (including consumption, products, recreation, entertainment, scientific research, education, etc.). This approach may allow use of animals where a mutual benefit between animals and people is demonstrated (i.e.: keeping of pets is acceptable by some). 

Abolitionist: Animals have the same rights as people. No animal use for any purpose.  

Figure 1.3 illustrates these views along a continuum ranging from those who place a value on the rights of humans to those who place a value on the rights of animals.

Figure 1.3: Continuum of Human Rights > Animal Rights

Different animal organizations have varying philosophies about animals that are reflected in their vision, mission and position statements. Besides their philosophical beliefs, organizations take different approaches to reach their goals. Some of these include education, advocacy, law enforcement, animal care and/or activism.


Icon of a graded written submission Animal Welfare & Animal Rights (Activity)

Take a few minutes to complete the following activity.

Activity Instructions

  1. Open your copy of the activities booklet for this module which you saved on your computer at the beginning of the module.
  2. Scroll down to the “Animal Welfare & Animal Rights” activity item in the booklet.
  3. Complete each of the activities outlined in the instructions.
  4. SAVE your work.

When you are done, proceed to the next item here in the online course.

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