Naturalized Rights of Animals, Animalized Rights of Nature

62 Pages Posted: 14 May 2024

See all articles by Macarena Montes

Macarena Montes

Harvard University - Harvard Law School

Kristen Stilt

Harvard Law School

Date Written: May 13, 2024

Abstract

In this Article, we argue that animal rights and rights of nature can and should find synergistic connections to tackle some of the most significant planetary threats today, notably, industrial animal agriculture. Until a landmark 2022 decision of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Ecuador, no court or legislation had concluded that animal rights could exist within rights of nature, and scholarship on rights of nature and animal rights has mostly ignored each other. Tackling industrial animal agriculture fits both movements’ goals as this industry is a major driver of climate change, deforestation, land and water use, and soil erosion, and is responsible for the suffering of billions of animals. However, the animal rights movement has had no significant practical strategy or success against industrial animal agriculture, and the rights of nature movement has taken on many issues adjacent to industrial animal agriculture but not the key issues themselves. We examine each movement, identify its history, aims, past practices, strengths, advantages, weaknesses, and disadvantages, and piece together a path forward that is inspired by the Ecuadorean decision and draws upon the strengths of each movement. We propose an approach that can produce an effect greater than the sum of the parts and call the movements together to advance the strategy we launch here. This Article presents an argument and an invitation.

Suggested Citation

Montes, Macarena and Stilt, Kristen, Naturalized Rights of Animals, Animalized Rights of Nature (May 13, 2024). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4826699 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4826699

Macarena Montes (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Law School ( email )

1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Kristen Stilt

Harvard Law School ( email )

1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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