Abolitionism (animal rights)
Abolitionism within the animal rights movement is the idea that focusing on animal welfare
Animal welfare
Animal welfare is the physical and psychological well-being of animals.The term animal welfare can also mean human concern for animal welfare or a position in a debate on animal ethics and animal rights...

 reform not only fails to challenge animal suffering, but may prolong it by making the exercise of property rights over animals appear acceptable. The abolitionists' objective is to secure a moral and legal paradigm shift
Paradigm shift
A Paradigm shift is, according to Thomas Kuhn in his influential book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions , a change in the basic assumptions, or paradigms, within the ruling theory of science...

, whereby animals are no longer regarded as things to be owned and used. This is contrasted with animal protectionism
Animal protectionism
Animal protectionism is a position within the animal rights movement that favors incremental change in pursuit of non-human animal interests. It is contrasted with abolitionism, the position that human beings have no moral right to use animals, and ought to have no legal right, no matter how the...

, the position that change can be achieved by incremental improvements in animal welfare.

Gary Francione, professor of law at Rutgers School of Law-Newark, argues from the abolitionist perspective that animal rights
Animal rights
Animal rights, also known as animal liberation, is the idea that the most basic interests of non-human animals should be afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of human beings...

 groups who pursue welfare concerns, such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is an American animal rights organization based in Norfolk, Virginia, and led by Ingrid Newkirk, its international president. A non-profit corporation with 300 employees and two million members and supporters, it claims to be the largest animal rights...

, risk making the public feel comfortable about its use of animals. As a result, he calls such groups the "new welfarists." The American philosopher Tom Regan
Tom Regan
Tom Regan is an American philosopher who specializes in animal rights theory. He is professor emeritus of philosophy at North Carolina State University, where he taught from 1967 until his retirement in 2001....

writes that abolitionists want empty cages, not bigger ones.

Further reading

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