As for cages themselves, an ordinary citizen who kept dogs in similar conditions for their entire lives would risk prosecution for cruelty. A pig producer who keeps an animal of comparable intelligence in this manner, however, is more likely to be rewarded with a tax concession or, in some countries, a direct government subsidy.
I'm convinced that welfare reforms deserve our support, both because they are better (or at least much less bad) for the animals involved (the Golden Rule), and because they push the envelope, moving us closer to the compassionate world that all animal rights activists are working toward...On the other hand, working toward welfare reforms has the immediate benefit of helping improve animals' lives today and acts as a crucial stepping stone toward animal liberation.
...the nervous systems of other animals were not artificially constructed - as a robot might be artificially constructed - to mimic the pain behavior of humans. A capacity to feel pain obviously enhances a species' prospects of survival...it is surely unreasonable to suppose that nervous systems that are virtually identical physiologically, have a common origin and a common evolutionary function, and result in similar forms of behavior in similar circumstances should actually operate in an entirely different manner on the level of subjective feelings.
By ceasing to rear and kill animals for food, we can make so much extra food available for humans that, properly distributed, it would eliminate starvation and malnutrition from this planet. Animal Liberation is Human Liberation too.
Animal liberation is also human liberation. Animal liberationists care about the quality of life for all. We recognize our kinship with all feeling beings. We identify with the powerless and the vulnerable, the victims, all those dominated, oppressed and exploited. And it is the non-human animals whose suffering is the most intense, widespread, expanding, systematic and socially sanctioned of all.
The animal liberation movement is saying that where animals and humans have similar interests - we might take the interest in avoiding physical pain as an example, for it is an interest that humans clearly share with other animals - those interests are to be counted equally, with no automatic discount just because one of the beings is not human.
Philosophy ought to question the basic assumptions of the age. Thinking through, critically and carefully, what most of us take for granted is, I believe, the chief task of philosophy, and the task that makes philosophy a worthwhile activity.