Tom Regan's four explanations of animal rights are examined and rejected as inadequate. A superior interest based account of animal rights is proposed. This derives an animal's right to freedom from harm from interests that are implicit in the conscious life of the animal.
According to Tom Regan, there are four possible accounts for dealing with the issue of how animals should be treated: (1) the ‘Kantian account’; (2) the ‘cruelty account’; (3) the ‘utilitarian account’; and (4) the ‘animal rights account’ (Regan, 2001
, pp. 41–55). In this paper I propose to briefly survey these four accounts and argue for a fifth view, the ‘interests account’, which I believe is the most reasonable of the five accounts.
International Conference for Ecology Education,pp.1-17