Animal rights versus animal welfarism
Calsifer sent an email to say that tomorrow at 12:20 pm on 93.8 FM they are discussing the issue of whether animal rights activism is a waste of time and resources. Thanks for the heads up Calsifer!
People often lump the two together - and often in doing so, they try and point out that people who are interested in animal welfare are not for example interested in the welfare of people, which is patently ridiculous. It also allows some to say that they aren't interested in animal welfare by painting anyone interested in animal welfare as being a crazy activist who hurts anyone and anything in the process of saving animals.
Here's the thing - someone may be concerned in animal welfare without necessarily being an animal rights activist. The question of whether you're interested in welfare is a simple one - do you believe that animals should not be ill treated and made to suffer? If you do, then tada! you believe in animal welfare.
This does not touch at all on the fact whether the animal has inalienable 'rights' in the sense of the word. Let's give an analogy. For example you may believe that a chicken can be eaten as meat - this does not mean that you believe that you can do anything to that chicken in the process of it being killed, including mutilating, torturing and letting it die a slow, horrible death where it suffers horribly.
At the end of the day, I would argue that someone who has no interest in animal welfare at all is someone I would view with suspicion. To knowingly partake of, enjoy or condone the suffering of an animal does suggest a rather alarming state of mind - and the repercussions are not 'just' about animals.