Animal Rights are Mere Preferences

Mac Campbell


Animal rights are mere preferences. A monkey dressed up in a beautiful suit is still a monkey. A pig in a dress is still a pig. A preference dressed in the clothes of a right is still a mere preference. An enforced right, an entitled right, is something else again, something cross- culturally recognisable, carrying a certainty of empowerment and enforcement, but still a mere successful preference. This distinction between playing fast and loose with the English word right and its more careful use to mean an enforceable entitlement forces the conclusion that even the most reasonable conventional desiderata remain, in the absence of enforcement, mere pretentious preferences. By way of adding entertainment value, this paper uses stories to illustrate that preferences are sometimes mutually exclusive.