Depending on the person talking about it, these rights can vary widely, and range from "we should try to minimize the harm we inflict and not engage in needless cruelty" to "animals are people and should have basically the same rights". There are disagreements about whether animal rights should apply to creatures, or only those which are capable of experiencing suffering - or, as cynics might point out, those that are fluffy and cute. It is notable that the activities of animal rights activists tend to focus more on the treatment of mammals and birds, for example, than insects, although there certainly are some who object to the silk and honey industries. Many animal rights activists are also some degree of vegetarian.
Many have tried to use evolution to defend or attack animal rights. Some people claimed that "animal rights" is a logical inference from the theory of evolution, since evolution says that people and animals are somehow "equal." Don't ask. There are some who claim that we should be able to kill and eat all the fluffy animals we want because, hey, we're the evolved species. They don't really understand evolution either.
Many animal rights activists have earned the ire of some in the scientific community, by trying to put an end to animal testing, and even threatening to kill scientists who engage in animal testing. According to some, this ignores the real contributions animal testing has made to our understanding of drugs and disease.
Some less extreme organisations prefer the term "animal welfare" to animal rights, since we do not need to attribute "rights" to animals to believe that we have a duty to protect them and that cruelty and suffering to them should minimised. Nevertheless the two terms are often, inaccurately, used synonymously. Indeed, philosophers such as Spinoza would have disagreed with the widespread use of the concept of animal rights; he equated the concept of right with a power to do something and therefore would have thought that the term animal rights was misleading since animals lacked power to do things like vote intelligently, carry on a conversation, or purchase a candy bar. Most likely, he would have preferred the term animal welfare instead.
In a latest incident which shows animals should be considered at par with humans is the election of Ms. Beatha Lee as the president of Hillbrook-Tall Oaks Civic Association in Virginia. What this has to do with animal rights? Well, Ms. Lee is a Wheaten terrier.
 See also
- Animal welfare
- Animal Rights Militia
- Animal Liberation Front
- Plant rights
- Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty
- ↑ Spinoza's Political Philosophy,Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,...see discussion on rights...,Apr 21, 2008 
- ↑ Philosophy of Spinoza: An introduction,Thomas Wright Sulcer,Google Knol,2010, 
- ↑ http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/nrl/hillbrook-tall-oaks-civic-association-elect-dog-ms-beatha-lee-as-president/story-e6frfgbo-1226008968448
- ↑ http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20110218/NEWS13/110219404/1181
- ↑ http://www.thedogfiles.com/2011/02/24/dog-elected-as-president-of-civic-association-in-annandale-virginia/