List of animal rights advocates
Advocates of animal rights as well as activists for animal liberation hold the view that to deny the most basic needs of sentient creatures – such as the avoidance of pain – to non-human animals, on the basis of species membership alone, is a form of discrimination akin to racism or sexism. Many animal rights advocates argue that non-human animals should be regarded as persons and members of the moral community whose interests deserve legal protection.
The animal rights movement emerged in the 19th century, focused largely on opposition to vivisection, and in the 1960s the modern movement sprang up in England around the Hunt Saboteurs Association. In the 1970s, the Australian and American philosophers, Peter Singer and Tom Regan, began to provide the movement with its philosophical foundations. Singer argued for animal liberation on the basis of utilitarianism, first in 1973 in The New York Review of Books and later in his Animal Liberation (1975), while Regan developed a deontological theory of animal rights in several papers from 1975 onwards, followed by The Case for Animal Rights (1983).
A distinction persists within the movement – based on the utilitarian/deontological divide – between those who seek incremental reform, a position known as animal protectionism, and those on the abolitionist side, who argue that reform that aims to regulate, rather than abolish, the property status of animals is counter-productive.
Historically speaking it could well be argued that the genesis of the Animal Rights movement was truly in India given the impact that both Buddhism and Jainism had on people in India and the neighbouring countries in Asia. The largest number and highest percentage of Vegetarians per population for any country is in India. Buddhism among the global religions is an animal rights religion par excellence. It has long subscribed to the belief that all life forms including that of non – human animals are sacred and deserving of respect, and extolls kindness and compassion as utmost virtues worthy of cultivation. Buddhism unreservedly embraces all living beings in its moral universe without discrimination on ground of species, race or creed. Buddhist tenets—including the first precept, “Do not kill”—extend to both human and non – human sentient beings. The Buddha was so adamant and protective of the weaker members of the moral community namely the animals that he declared “ He who has laid aside the cudgel that injures any creature whether moving or still, who neither slays nor causes to be slain -- him I call an Arya (Noble person) ” (Dhammapada).
The following is a list of notable animal rights advocates from all positions within the movement, from academics to activists, listed according to their country of birth.
|Name||Born||Image||Country of birth||Occupation||Source|
|Elisa Aaltola||1976||Finland||Philosopher, author of Animal Individuality: Cultural and Moral Categorisations (2006) and Animal Suffering: Philosophy and Culture (2012)|||
|Carol J. Adams||1951||30px US||Eco-feminist writer, author of The Sexual Politics of Meat (1990)|||
|Bryan Adams||1959||Canada||Musician, campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals|||
|Douglas Adams||1952–2001||30px UK||Writer, campaigner for the Great Ape Project|||
|Casey Affleck||1975||30px US||Actor, animal rights activist|||
|Cleveland Amory||1917–1998||30px US||Founder of the Fund for Animals, president of the New England Anti-Vivisection Society|||
|Pamela Anderson||1967||100px||Canada||Model, campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals|||
|Michael Aufhauser||1952||Germany||Founder of Gut Aiderbichl, an animal sanctuary|||
|Greg Avery||1963||30px UK||Co-founder of the Consort beagles, Hillgrove cats, and SHAC campaigns|||
|Alec Baldwin||1958||30px US||Actor, narrator of Meet Your Meat (2002)|||
|Matt Ball||30px US||Executive director of Vegan Outreach, co-author of The Animal Activist's Handbook (2009)|||
|Martin Balluch||1954||Austria||Co-founder of Vegane Gesellschaft Österreich, president of Verein Gegen Tierfabriken|||
|David Barbarash||Canada||Former spokesperson for the North American Animal Liberation Press Office|||
|Neal Barnard||30px US||President of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine|||
|Shane and Sia Barbi||1963||30px US||Models|||
|Brigitte Bardot||1934||France||Former actress, animal rights activist, founder of the Brigitte Bardot Foundation|||
|Kim Basinger||1953||30px US||Actress, model, animal rights activist|||
|Gene Baur||30px US||Founder of Farm Sanctuary|||
|Tom Beauchamp||30px US||Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University, co-author of The Human Use of Animals (1998)|||
|Marc Bekoff||1945||30px US||Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals|||
|Jeremy Bentham||1748–1832||30px UK||Philosopher, author of the oft-quoted "The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?"|||
|Steven Best||1955||30px US||Philosopher, former Animal Liberation Press Office spokesperson|||
|Michela Vittoria Brambilla||1967||Italy||Politician|||
|Brigid Brophy||1929–1995||30px UK||Writer, author of an influential article, "The Rights of Animals," in The Sunday Times, London, 1965.|||
|Mel Broughton||1960||30px UK||Co-founder of the SPEAK campaign|||
|Geezer Butler||1949||30px UK||Vegan since the age of 17, advocate for animal rights, devoted animal lover, bassist and founding member of the rock band Black Sabbath.|||
|Ned Buyukmihci||30px UK||Doctor of veterinary medicine, founder of Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights|||
|Lydia Canaan||100px||Lebanon||Singer-songwriter, first rock star of the Middle East, United Nations delegate, animal rights activist, animal welfare supporter|||
|Paola Cavalieri||Italy||Philosopher, campaigner for the Great Ape Project|||
|Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne||1623–1673||30px UK||Writer, anti-vivisectionist|||
|Cesar Chavez||1927–1993||30px US||Co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association|||
|Alan Clark||1928–1999||30px UK||Conservative Member of Parliament (1974–1992 & 1997–1999), historian, diarist|||
|Stephen R. L. Clark||1945||30px UK||Professor of philosophy at the University of Liverpool (1984–2009), author of The Moral Status of Animals (1977)|||
|Jean Clemens||1880–1909||30px US||Daughter of Mark Twain|||
|Frances Power Cobbe||1822–1904||30px UK||Founder of the National Anti-Vivisection Society and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection|||
|Alasdair Cochrane||1978||UK||Political theorist based at the University of Sheffield; author of An Introduction to Animals and Political Theory and Animal Rights without Liberation.|||
|Sue Coe||1951||UK||Artist, illustrator, author of "Cruel: Bearing Witness to Animal Exploitation" (2012)|||
|J. M. Coetzee||1940||South Africa||Novelist, recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature, author of The Lives of Animals (1999)|||
|Priscilla Cohn||30px US||Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Pennsylvania State University, associate director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics|||
|Rod Coronado||1966||30px US||Animal rights activist, formerly for the ALF, Earth First!, and ELF|||
|Scott Crary||1978||30px US||Film director|||
|James Cromwell||1940||30px US||Actor, played the farmer in Babe (1995)|||
|Karen Davis||30px US||President of United Poultry Concerns, author of The Holocaust and the Henmaid's Tale (2005)|||
|David DeGrazia||30px US||Professor of Philosophy at George Washington University, author of Taking Animals Seriously (1996)|||
|Alain Delon||1935||France, Switzerland||actor, businessman, animal rights activist,|||
|Chris DeRose||1948||30px US||Founder of Last Chance for Animals|||
|Rukmini Devi||1904–1986||India||Dancer, founder of the Animal Welfare Board of India|||
|Nina Douglas-Hamilton, Duchess of Hamilton||1878–1951||30px UK||Co-founder of the Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society|||
|Hugh Dowding, 1st Baron Dowding||1882–1970||30px UK||Commander of RAF Fighter Command, president of the National Anti-Vivisection Society|||
|Muriel Dowding, Baroness Dowding||1908–1981||30px UK||Founder of Beauty Without Cruelty|||
|Joan Dunayer||30px US||Author of Animal Equality (2001) and Speciesism (2004)|||
|John Feldman||1967||30px US||Musician, appeared in Behind the Mask (2006)|||
|Roger Fouts||1943||30px US||Primate researcher known for his work with Washoe the chimpanzee, adviser to the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics|||
|Gary Francione||1951||30px US||Distinguished Professor of Law and Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law & Philosophy at Rutgers School of Law–Newark, leading abolitionist, author of Animals, Property, and the Law (2005)|||
|Lawrence Finsen||30px US||Professor of philosophy at University of Redlands, co-author of The Animal Rights Movement in America (1994)|||
|Bruce Friedrich||1969||30px US||Senior Director for Strategic Initiatives, Farm Sanctuary|||
|Maneka Gandhi||1956||India||Politician, founder of People for Animals|||
|Harish Iyer||1979||India||Animal, LGBTIQ and Child Rights Activist,|||
|Robert Garner||1960||30px UK||Professor of political theory at the University of Leicester; co-author of The Animal Rights Debate: Abolition or Regulation? (2010)|||
|Juliet Gellatley||30px UK||Founder and director of Viva!|||
|Antoine Goetschel||1958||Switzerland||Lawyer, animal advocate for the canton of Zurich|||
|Jordan Halliday||1987||30px US||Animal Rights Activist, Grand Jury Resister & co-host of Which side Podcast|||
|Celia Hammond||30px UK||Former model, founder of the Celia Hammond Animal Trust|||
|Lizzy Lind af Hageby||1878–1963||Sweden||Founder of the Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society, known for the Brown Dog affair|||
|Lee Hall||ca. 1961||30px US||Lawyer, legal director of Friends of Animals|||
|Stevan Harnad||1945||50px||Hungary||Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Sciences, Université du Québec à Montreal|||
|Alex Hershaft||1934||30px US||Founder of Farm Animal Rights Movement and the Chairman of the U.S. Animal Rights National Conference|||
|Barry Horne||1952–2001||30px UK||Animal rights activist, hunger striker|||
|Chrissie Hynde||1951||30px US||Singer-songwriter|||
|V. R. Krishna Iyer||1915||India||Former judge of the Supreme Court of India|||
|Roberta Kalechofsky||1931||30px US||Writer, author of Animal Suffering and the Holocaust: The Problem with Comparisons (2003)|||
|Shannon Keith||30px US||Animal rights lawyer, director of Behind the Mask (2006)|||
|Lisa Kemmerer||1962||US||Professor of Philosophy at Montana State University, Billings. A philosopher-activist working on behalf of non-human animals.|||
|Kesha||1987||30px USA||Singer-songwriter and rapper|||
|Anna Kingsford||1846–1888||30px UK||Physician, anti-vivisectionist, author of The Perfect Way in Diet (1881)|||
|Marti Kheel||1948–2011||30px US||Ecofeminist writer, founder of Feminists for Animal Rights|||
|Niko Koffeman||1958||Netherlands||Senator, Party for the Animals|||
|Elizabeth Kucinich||1977||UK||Director of public affairs for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine|||
|Carla Lane||1928||30px UK||Television scriptwriter, ran Animaline animal sanctuary|||
|Gill Langley||1952||30px UK||Scientist, campaigner against the use of animals in research|||
|Charlotte Laws||1960||30px US||Author, TV Host and Animal Rights Activist|||
|Ronnie Lee||1951||30px UK||Founder of the Animal Liberation Front|||
|Bob Linden||30px US||Host of Go Vegan Radio|||
|Ludvig Lindström||1975||Sweden||Animal rights activist, founder of Global Happiness Organization|||
|Andrew Linzey||1951||30px UK||Theologian, founder of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics|||
|Jo-Anne McArthur||1976||Canada||Photographer, founder of the We Animals project and subject of The Ghosts in Our Machine|||
|Linda McCartney||1941–1998||30px US||Photographer, musician, founder of Linda McCartney Foods|||
|Dan Lyons||30px UK||CEO, Centre for Animals and Social Justice|||
|Mary McCartney||1969||30px UK||Photographer, has taken photographs for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals|||
|Paul McCartney||1942||30px UK||Musician, campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals|||
|Stella McCartney||1971||30px UK||Designer, campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals|||
|Melody MacDonald||30px UK||Animal rights activist, author of Caught in the Act: The Feldberg Investigation (1994)|||
|Colin McGinn||1950||30px UK||Professor of philosopher, University of Miami|||
|Bill Maher||30px US||Comedian, board director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals|||
|Keith Mann||30px UK||Animal rights activist, author of From Dusk 'til Dawn: An Insider's View of the Growth of the Animal Liberation Movement (2007)|||
|Dan Mathews||30px US||Senior Vice-President of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals|||
|Brian May||1947||30px UK||musician/guitarist of Queen and founder of Save Me|||
|Merzbow||1956||Japan||Noise musician, vegan, numerous albums with animal rights themes|||
|Lea Michele||30px US||Actress, campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals|||
|Moby||30px US||Musician, DJ, released Animal Rights (1996)|||
|Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson||1941||30px US||Former psychoanalyst, author of When Elephants Weep (1995)|||
|Mary Midgley||1919||30px UK||Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Newcastle University (retired), author of Animals And Why They Matter (1983)|||
|Heather Mills||1968||100px||30px UK||Campaigner for Viva!|||
|Shaun Monson||1958||30px US||Director of Earthlings (2005)|||
|José Ferrater Mora||1912-1991||Spain||Philosopher, honoured by the Ferrater Mora Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics|||
|Jesús Mosterín||1941||Spain||Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science at the University of Barcelona, honorary president of the Spanish Great Ape Project|||
|Ingrid Newkirk||1949||30px UK||Co-founder and President of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals|||
|David Nibert||30px US||Abolitionist, Professor of Sociology at Wittenberg University|||
|Heather Nicholson||1967||100px||30px UK||Co-founder of the Consort beagles, Hillgrove cats, and SHAC campaigns|||
|Martha Nussbaum||1947||30px US||Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago|||
|Natasja Oerlemans||1969||Netherlands||Politician, Party for the Animals|||
|Peggy Oki||US||Skateboarder, animal rights activist, campaigner against whaling|||
|Kelly Overton||US||Executive Director of People Protecting Animals & Their Habitats|||
|Esther Ouwehand||1976||Netherlands||Member of Parliament, Party for the Animals|||
|Alex Pacheco||1958||30px US||Co-founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals|||
|David Pearce||30px UK||Philosopher, vegan and animal activist|||
|Jill Phipps||1964–1995||30px UK||Animal rights activist, campaigner against live export|||
|Joaquin Phoenix||1974||Puerto Rico||Actor, animal rights activist, narrator of Earthlings (2005)|||
|River Phoenix||1970–1993||30px US||Actor, animal rights activist|||
|Summer Phoenix||1978||30px US||Actress, animal rights activist|||
|James Rachels||1941–2003||30px US||Philosopher|||
|Qiu Renzong||ca. 1933||China||Bioethicist|||
|Tom Regan||1951||30px US||Professor emeritus of philosophy at North Carolina State University, author of The Case for Animal Rights (1983)|||
|Bernard Rollin||30px US||Professor of philosophy, animal sciences, and biomedical sciences at Colorado State University|||
|Craig Rosebraugh||1951||30px US||Writer, environmentalist, animal rights activist|||
|Mark Rowlands||1962||30px UK||Professor of Philosophy at the University of Miami, author of The Philosopher and the Wolf (2008)|||
|Nathan Runkle||ca. 1984||30px US||Founder and executive director of Mercy for Animals|||
|Richard D. Ryder||1964–1995||30px UK||Psychologist, coined the term "speciesism" in 1970|||
|Becky Sanstedt||ca. 1960||30px US||Animal rights activist, former investigator for Farm Sanctuary|||
|Steve Sapontzis||30px US||Professor emeritus of philosophy at California State University, East Bay, author of Morals, Reason, and Animals (1987)|||
|Alicia Silverstone||1976||30px US|
|Isaac Bashevis Singer||1902–1991||Poland||Winner of the 1978 Nobel Prize in Literature|||
|Henry Stephens Salt||1851–1939||30px UK||Civil-rights campaigner, author of Animals' Rights: Considered in Relation to Social Progress (1894)|||
|Anuradha Sawhney||India||Head of Indian operations for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals|||
|Peter Singer||1946||Australia||Philosopher, author of Animal Liberation (1975)|||
|Paul Shapiro||1979||30px US||Senior director of the Humane Society of the United States' Factory Farming Campaign|||
|Henry Spira||1927–1998||30px US||Animal rights activist, founder of Animal Rights International|||
|Kim Stallwood||30px UK||European director of the Animals and Society Institute|||
|Gary Steiner||30px US||John Howard Harris Professor of Philosophy at Bucknell University|||
|William O. Stephens||1962||30px US||Professor of Philosophy and Classics at Creighton University|||
|Pelle Strindlund||1971||Sweden||Writer, founding member of the Rescue Service|||
|Cass Sunstein||1954||30px US||Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs|||
|Elissa Sursara||1988||AUS||Wildlife expert, environmental correspondent and media personality|
|David Sztybel||Canada||Philosopher, writer|||
|Peter Tatchell||1952||Australia||Civil-rights activist|||
|Sunaura Taylor||1982||30px US||Artist and writer|||
|Marianne Thieme||1972||Netherlands||Member of Parliament, Party for the Animals|||
|Lynda Thomas||1981||Mexico||Retired musician/singer-songwriter, anonymous activist|||
|Darren Thurston||ca. 1970||Canada||Animal rights activist|||
|Bob and Jenna Torres||30px US||Writers, animal rights and vegan activists|||
|Andrew Tyler||30px UK||Director of Animal Aid|||
|Jane Velez-Mitchell||1955||30px US||Broadcast journalist|||
|John Vyvyan||30px UK||Writer, author of The Dark Face of Science (1971)|||
|Jerry Vlasak||1958||30px US||Physician, former Animal Liberation Press Office spokesperson|||
|Alice Walker||1944||30px US||Writer|||
|Waka Flocka Flame||1986||United States||Rapper|||
|Donald Watson||1910–2005||30px UK||Founder of the British Vegan Society|||
|Robin Webb||1945||30px UK||Spokesperson for the British Animal Liberation Press Office|||
|Betty White||1922||30px US||Actress, animal rights activist|
|Caroline Earle White||1833–1916||US||Co-founder of the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, founder of the American Anti-Vivisection Society|||
|Liz White||Canada||Leader of the Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada|||
|Jon Wynne-Tyson||1924||30px UK||Founder of Centaur Press, author of The Extended Circle: A Commonplace Book of Animal Rights (1985)|||
|Steven M. Wise||1952||30px US||Law professor, author of Rattling the Case: Toward Legal Rights for Animals (2000)|||
|Ursula Wolf||1951||Germany||Philosopher, author of Das Tier in der Moral (1990)|||
|Roger Yates||1957||30px UK||Sociologist, co-founder of Vegan Ireland: The Vegan Society of Ireland|||
|Peter Daniel Young||30px US||Animal rights activist|||
|Gary Yourofsky||30px US||Animal rights activist|||
|Benjamin Zephaniah||1958||30px UK||Rastafari poet, honorary patron of the Vegan Society|||
- List of animal advocacy parties
- List of animal rights groups
- List of vegans
- List of vegetarians
- List of peace activists
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