|Animal rights arguments|
This workshop aims at providing those speaking out for animals with sound arguments to counter standard objections to animal rights. It is directed at those new to the animal rights discourse who would like to expand their argumentative resources as well as those who are already experienced in arguing on behalf of animal rights and wish to share their expertise. Even though the arguments put forward in most public debates are of a rather diverse nature, this workshop limits itself to the treatment of direct ethical, or moral, arguments – that is to say arguments concerned with the immediate effects of human action on animals themselves rather than with the effects of these actions on the environment, human health, social justice or the like. The reasons for this approach are two-fold: first, only direct ethical arguments can ground animal rights; second, this category is notoriously difficult as it cannot be backed up by empirical evidence.
This year`s workshop differs from last year`s in one crucial respect. Rather than collecting participants` suggestions to counter a specific objection beforehand, it will first present the objection together with a number of systematically structured rebuttals and then discuss the lot. This approach has been chosen in the hope to cover more arguments in the same amount of time. However, since this is intended to be a workshop rather than a unidirectional lecture, active participation and contributions of attendees are keenly encouraged and crucial for the outcome of this event. The arguments and rebuttals presented in this workshop are taken from a comprehensive and systematically structured online arguments database dedicated to countering objections to animal rights (www.animalrights.info).