Debate: “Do animals have rights?”

During January 2012, the Rutgers University Federalist Society sponsored a debate on animal rights between Chapman University philosophy professor Tibor Machan and Rutgers University law Professor Gary L. Francine. Below is a video recording of the event. Dr. Machan is author of the book Putting Humans First. Notice the calm, precise and rational manner Dr. Machan states his views and answers Prof. Francione’s points while Francione tends to drone on speaking in a very emotional manner, almost to the point of irrationality.

When it comes to the issue of animal rights, humorist Dave Barry once quipped:

It seems that a Rockville, Maryland, restaurant call The House of Chinese Gourmet installed a lobster tank, which greatly upset some customers who belong to a group called People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, whose members apparently have (1) a deep respect for all living things and (2) a tremendous amount of spare time. They bought seven lobsters from the restaurant for $40, removed them from the tank (a PETA member “talked softly and rubbed the lobsters to reassure them”), and then paid $200 to fly the lobsters to Portland, Maine, where they (the lobsters) were released in the ocean, where we are sure they will live happy, productive lives until they are recaptured by lobstermen.