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New Book by Professor Gary Francione Argues for an End to Treating Animals as Property

Veganism is the only moral option, says long-time animal rights legal scholar

May 01, 2008 – 

To Professor Gary L. Francione of Rutgers School of Law–Newark, advocates for stronger animal welfare laws are at best wrong-headed and at worst complicit in perpetuating the exploitation of animals. True rights for animals, Francione argues in "Animals as Persons: Essays on the Abolition of Animal Exploitation," his new book from Columbia University Press, can only be realized by ending the property status of all sentient non-humans. Further, says Francione, the only logical and moral choice for individuals who support this abolitionist position is to go vegan. 

Virtually all oFrancione bookf the essays in "Animals as Persons" are "milestones in the formation of the modern theory of the legal and moral rights of animals," says Julian H. Franklin, professor emeritus of political philosophy at Columbia University. Francione expands on the abolitionist approach to animal rights advanced in his earlier books, engaging with key philosophical and legal arguments, including some of the most contentious such as speciesism, the breeding of domesticated animals for pets, and the failings of the animal welfarism movement. 

Professor Francione was the first academic to teach animal rights theory in an American law school. He and his colleague Anna Charlton started and directed the Animal Rights Law Clinic from 1990-2000, making Rutgers the first U.S. university to have animal rights law as part of the academic curriculum and to award students credit not only for classroom work but also for work on actual animal issues cases. He has written numerous articles and three previous books on the subject: "Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog?" "Animals, Property, and the Law," and "Rain Without Thunder: The Ideology of the Animal Rights Movement." 

Professor Francione, who is Distinguished Professor of Law and Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law & Philosophy, has a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Rochester, and an M.A. in philosophy and J.D. from the University of Virginia. He clerked for Judge Albert Tate, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was an associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York before joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Francione joined the Rutgers faculty in 1989. In addition to animal rights, he also teaches courses on criminal law, criminal procedure, jurisprudence, torts, and legal philosophy.