Still have reservations? See the following FAQ:

Animals are not as intelligent as humans - if this is a useful argument against the rights of animals, it also supports the idea of children and the mentally disabled having no rights of their own either - a position untenable by all but the fascists of our world. Similarly, if a more intelligent alien race were discovered, they would be well within their rights to use and abuse us however they wish. The attribute of rights in morality is primarily to protect those whose attributes need protection (the weakest) and not to protect the strong/'clever' at the expense of the weak/'stupid', or to protect the ruling class/species at the expense of the others.

Humans have always used animals - such an argument is only useful if it can be shown that things which have happened regularly for centuries are always good or moral behaviours. The instances of human slavery, sexist societies and capital punishment for minor crimes suggests this is not a good claim. If anything, these things from the past should show us that the whole of society can often support things that are in their very nature wrong, and immoral - in our time that big error in mainstream thought is the way we view and use animals.

Other animals kill, so we should/can too - an excellent point, so long as we allow each other to kill our young, maim even our minor enemies and devour our partners during intercourse! Of course some animals kill, they have no moral agency like we do, and often they have no other choice but to kill to live. This is not the case with humans. We have moral agency, and can choose not to kill other creatures/cause suffering for our own pleasures. Perhaps this claim would be stronger if it weren't the gentle vegetarian species like cows, pigs, chickens and sheep that we farm - the ones who do not kill. But either way the idea of farming lions as they eat meat and so deserve it is nothing short of 'moral vengeance' - and those are not two words that fit together!

We need animal products (like meat, eggs and dairy) to live healthily - this argument is perhaps the weakest of them all. A really good description of human nutrition, and how it is better satisfied with vegan diets, can be found on the following site: Vegan Nutrition. And besides, drinking the infant milk of another species throughout our lives, eating the menstrual products of chickens, and consuming flesh which started decomposing upon death? Does anyone really think these are healthy when you know what they are!

We would be over-run with animals if we all became vegan - simple reason and economics disproves this. Due to the fact it is HIGHLY unlikely that by turning vegan everyone else will immediately, this doesn't seem much of a concern. We know how economics work - we know that if demand is reduced, then less products are produced. Due to this fact, even if everyone went vegan in ten years (which is a little optimistic!) the problem wouldn't realistically be that big. We have to remember that animals in farms live very short lives, veganism would have to become the norm within a VERY short period of time for this to be a problem at all. Plus, on a vegan diet less than 1/4 of the farmland is needed - as animals require to be fed many more times their worth as food to be raised for food. So with all those extra resources freed up, and a human population living on a vastly more efficient diet, even if the whole world went vegan overnight their seems little reason to worry for the animals who will naturally reduce in number as they no longer become artificially impregnated quite so often (and of course, the vast majority of farmed animals are female, and they can't mate with each other!).

Animal Rights is all very well, but animal research is vital for effective human medicine/treatments - and humans must come first - once again, this is a sensible sounding opinion, however it is one of past years, and is no longer a relevant or accurate portrayal of the situation. A quick look at the Safer Medicines site will show that better options exist nowadays, and that animal research continues mainly out of tradition and habit - and it does so with a great inefficiency, and at the expense of human health ("You really have to design the medicine for the species of interest…You'll find it very rare to find a medicine that will work in both" Patrick M. O'Connor, head of oncology research for Pfizer quoted from the safer medicines site). But what if it were an effective method of developing medicines? Does it make sense that I should be able to test drugs on other individuals, against their will, so as to cure your disease? The moral case for vivisection, though mute in an era where animal testing should be outlawed purely on medical reasoning, is strong and in the same sort of completeness as the argument for the rest of animal rights - after all, it too rests on reason over habit.

I agree with animal rights, but there are humane ways of farming animals so it isn't always immoral - despite what animal welfare charities may have told you, or what farmers may spend millions of pounds each year promoting to you, there is no humane way to farm animals - and there can't ever be one. The childhood vision of the farm yard with chickens and cows and sheep all playing together doesn't exist, and the economics of farming mean it never could. We all know farmers who care for their animals, but that care is never going to be paramount to a farmer - after all he has to act economically to make a living. In economics, rule one is to only act in ways which increase profit. Animal welfare undoubtedly increases profit nowadays, as people are becoming more aware that animals are living creatures. However, these welfare changes will never occur more than financially necessary - which often means whatever sounds nice to the consumer. 'Cage free eggs' or 'free range eggs' require that chickens simply be able to move, that's about it. These terms certainly don't stop all the male hens being gassed or shredded at birth - or a hen being denied all of her natural behaviours - and they never financially could if we are being realistic and not living in a fantasy world. Similarly organic milk is little better, I mean how can you have the milk of a cow without tearing it's child away at birth? Cows are just mammals remember, they don't naturally produce a greater ratio of milk than any other mammal. So how on earth could a farmer make a living out of that, say, 10ml extra a day? Perhaps by charging £200 for a pint of milk - but that's just not realistic, and you'll notice that on the supermarket shelves the milk does not have this price.

But moreover let's be realistic. Human law logically recognises that it isn't the type of torture, or the type of murder that is wrong, it is all torture and all murder that is wrong. It is not agreeing with animal rights to say 'okay, I will only kick my dog 5 times today', so why should it be a similar case in your food choices - 'okay, I will only eat a cow that has been tortured after walking around, and murdered without knowledge that it had seconds to live'. Animal rights doesn't uncover the fact that we must be nice to animals, it uncovers the fact that we should respect them. The very basic level of respect you can afford an individual in these environments is to stop demanding they be there.