“The modern animal liberation movement, also known as the animal rights movement, seeks to include nonhuman animals within the sphere of morality in a way that they that they have not been included previously. The term “animal liberation” is intended to suggest an analogy with other liberation movements, which have sought equality for blacks and women. The equality sought by the animal liberation movement, however, is not equal treatment, but equal consideration of interests – e.g. interests in not suffering and in being able to fulfill their behavioural needs. They then argue that there is no basis for refusing to take these interests into account, and giving them the same weight as we give to similar interests of human beings.
Central to the animal liberation movement is its rejection of “speciesism”. The term was coined by Richard Ryder, in the early 1970´s and taken up by Peter Singer in his 1973 essay “Animal Liberation” and his subsequent book of the same title. Singer describes speciesism as a prejudice or bias against members of species other than one´s own. He sees it as analogues to racism and sexism, in that it is a mean by which a more povwerful core group justifies its exploration of less powerful outsiders. Advocates of animal liberation do not deny that there are important differences between normal mature human beings and normal mature members of other species, but they claim that species itself is not morally significant. The suffering of non-human animals should therefore get the same concideration as we give to the sufferings of human beings at a similar mental level. The animal liberation movement sees our use of animals for food as fundamental to our attitudes to ally vegetarian or vegan. The movement also opposes experiments on animals and the use of animals as entertainment and recreations such as hunting. Some groups within the movement have broken into laboratories and released animals or damaged equipment but the movement as a whole is strongly against the use of violence towards violence against animals or people.” End quote.