The concept of animal rights through the lens of critical analysis

The study investigates the current tendency to introduce the lexical construction "animal rights" into the terminology of modern legal science, which is conditionally called by the author of the study the concept of animal rights. Emphasis is placed on the intensification of global movements of animal rights defenders, which result in the establishment of relevant public organisations, the declaration of animal rights, as well as holding annual events on the occasion of International Animal Day, etc. At one time, there was even the idea of introducing the position of the Animal Rights Commissioner in Ukraine by analogy with the Human Rights Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada. This in general emphasises the appropriate level of relevance of the issue. The study is based primarily on an interdisciplinary approach because the concept of animal rights goes beyond purely legal science. The study presents the positions of representatives of naturalistic and philosophical scientific areas to substantiate the feasibility of animal rights, in particular the emerging science of environmental ethics, whose supporters have even developed a classification of animal rights with a proposal to extend it to all living organisms, including microbes, viruses, and plants. The achievements of philosophical doctrine in terms of separating the interests of animals as a basis for the formation of their rights were also critically analysed. It was substantiated that all socio-naturalistic and philosophical directions of substantiation of the concept of animal rights are erroneous in terms of formal logic, because they are based on a logical error caused by violation of the law of identity in the process of proof, which is a substitution of the thesis. Given the illogical attempts of legal scholars to squeeze the existence of animals into the framework of exclusively human abstract thinking, the result of which is social relations and law itself, as a regulator of social relations, a critical attitude is given to this. It is considered that the concept of "animal welfare" is much more acceptable, which is based on the need to recognise the needs of animals to live in natural conditions and a dignified attitude towards them by humans. It is noted that this concept is enshrined in the legislation of the advanced countries of the world and in national legislation. Attention is drawn to the fact that the study is valuable not only for legal scholars, but also for specialists in natural sciences and philosophical sciences to focus their research on purely moral and ethical aspects, which is more in line with current challenges

Doi: 10.37635/jnalsu.27(4).2020.255-266