The Case for Animal Rights (1983) is regarded by many scholars and commentators
as the seminal work in the field. He argues that animals have moral rights of
the sort enjoyed by humans, especially the right to life. In his view, support
for the rights of animals is no different than support for human rights. This
work begins with core concepts of inherent value theory, the same concepts that
have been significant in the progress of human civil liberties since the seventeenth
century and which were extended somewhat to nonhumans during the nineteenth
century. The notion of inherent value continues to be vital and important for
progress in both human and animal rights. The development of these views and
their presentation in scholarly and activist forums have brought Regan to the
forefront as the "philosophical father" of the animal rights movement and as
a major figure in the rise of a socially and economically significant phenomenon.
"All of us engaged
in the struggle for animal rights have a tendency to forget who we once were.
Most of us once ate meat, for example, or unblinkingly dissected nonhuman animals
in the lab during high school or college biology courses. Probably we went to
a zoo or an aquarium and had a good time. Some of us hunted or fished and enjoyed
that, too. The plain fact is, it is not just society that needs changing. The
struggle for animal rights is also a struggle with self. What we are trying
to do is transform the moral zombie society would like us to be into the morally
advanced being we are capable of becoming. All liberation movements have this
common theme. That's only one of the ways our Movement resembles other rights
movements of the past."
óTom Regan, The
Bird in the Cage: A Glimpse of My LifeóAn Autobiography
and Peter Singer are the major philosophers who write about animal welfare.
Singer, who wrote a review of Regan's book The Case for Animal Rights for the
New York Review of Books, is now a professor at Princeton University. They co-edited
Animal Rights and Human Obligations, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall,
on The Case for Animal Rights
Case for Animal Rights is a pioneering work. It is the first comprehensive
and systematic exploration of the issues, the first effort to define a position
that faces and answers every serious objection to the idea of animal rights,
the first philosophical discussion designed to invite a thoughtful response
from the general reader, and the first treatment suitable for continuing use
in public policy debates. . . . Destined to become a classic."
Auxter, University of Florida
important book, which states the case for the long overlooked justice toward
animals, admirably. It is a book that should be widely read."
Montague, Princeton University
The Case for Animal Rights is a superb example of theoretical and applied
ethics at its best. Not only does it present the case of human and animal rights
in a clear, rigorous and well-reasoned philosophical manner; it also is a brilliant
critique of major theories: rational egoism, utilitarianism, contractarianism,
Kantianism, and Aristotelianism."
Magel, Moorhead State University
most powerful and plausible consideration of the issues and defense of animal
rights yet produced (or likely to be)."
Wasserstrom, University of California, Santa Cruz
Career of Tom Regan
a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1980 to 1981
to work on The Case For Animal Rights, which was completed in November
1981. Regan is known throughout the world as an animal rights activist.
for Animal Rights has been translated into German, Swedish, Danish, and
Italian. Regan also authored Animal Rights and Human Obligations,edited
by Tom Regan and Peter Singer, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1976.
Tom Regan and Peter Singer are the major philosophers who write about animal
welfare. Singer, who wrote a review of Reganís book The Case for Animal Rights
for the New York Review of Books, is now a professor at Princeton University.
They co-edited Animal Rights and Human Obligations, Englewood Cliffs,
N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1975. Reganís
first published essay on animal rights was "The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism,"
Canadian Journal of Philosophy, October 1975. A few more of his books
are: The Thee Generation, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1991;
Matters of Life and Death, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1980;
and And Justice for All, N.J.: Rowman and Littlefield, 1982. Regan spoke
at the World Day for Laboratory Animals in April 1984. Regan
has also produced several documentaries on animal rights. His film, Voices
I Have Heard, won the Gold Award at the Houston International Film Festival.
Regan's film We Are All Noah won the Silver Medal at the International
Film & TV Festival of New York in 1986. Regan was honored with the Mahatma
Gandhi Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Animal Rights Movement in
1986. He also won the N.C. People Newsmaker award.