Between Utility and Rights: The Expected Changes in Tom Regan’s Defence of the Right of Animals

Omotosho I.F.


The theme of Tom Regan's writings on animal rights is to influence the attitude and change the beliefs of people that animals are resources or property. For Tom Regan, The idea that non human animals are property is the reason for the exploitation and use of animals. His theory, though well argued has been unpopular and neglected especially by scientists. This paper examines why Regan’s defence of animal rights has not gained much acceptance and influence, thereby failing to change the attitudes of people especially scientists toward non human animals and the belief that they are resources. The paper, having used the method of philosophical analysis and critical argumentation reveals that Regan's deonlological absolutism and his failure to recognise some of the implications of granting rights to animals for scientists - that scientists owe society a duty while they need to respect animal rights at the same time are some of the problems among others with Regan's defence of the right of animals. All these have made the defence seems unacceptable and 'impracticable'. The paper then suggests changes that will make the defence acceptable to scientists, science and influence people's attitude positively toward nonhuman animal status and rights.

Keywords: Rights view, deontologism, defence. Property, animal rights, human animals, non-human animal.

DOI: 10.7176/JPCR/40-02

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