There is a big difference between Animal Welfare and Animal Rights.
Animal Welfare is the viewpoint that animals, especially those under human care, should not suffer unnecessarily, including where the animals are used for food, work, companionship, or research. This position usually focuses on the morality of human action (or inaction), as opposed to making deeper political or philosophical claims about the status of animals. For this reason animal welfare organizations may use the word humane in their title or position statements. Wikipedia on Animal Welfare
Any person who has a pet believes, or at least I hope believes, in animal welfare. They want to provide their pet with a safe, healthy, caring environment, and do not want to see any animal neglected or abused.
also known as animal liberation, is the idea that the interests of animals— for example, avoiding suffering—should have the same consideration as the interests of human beings. Animal rights advocates argue that animals should not be regarded as property, or treated as resources for human purposes, such as food, clothing, or as pets, but should instead be regarded as legal persons and members of a moral community.
Wikipedia on Animal Rights
Animal rights activists believe ALL animals should be left in the wild. They do not believe any animal should be used for food, entertainment, clothing, or as pets. Their ultimate goal is to BAN ALL PETS, not just exotics. YES, dogs and cats too. Visit Sportsmen's and Animal Owner's Voting Alliance (SAOVA) to find out more information on the Animal Rights Threat, and which Congressmen are funded by animal rights groups. There are two types of Animal Rights Groups. The radical side represented by PeTA, ALF, ELF, SHAC, etc., and the more "respectable," corporate side led by HSUS, which has now incorporated the Doris Day Animal League, Ark Trust and Fund for Animals. The radical side protests, and in regards to the ALF and ELF, actually cause physical damage to property. They are known to break into research facilities, breeding compounds, as well as private residences to release their animals. They also have put bombs in the cars and homes of scientists who are involved in animal resaerch, threatning not only the scientists but their families.
Read News Articles on AR Stunts
ALF Releases Minks, vandalizes trucks
Realistically, we know that dogs and cats will never be banned, because the majority of the United States population owns at least one. Exotic animal owners, however, are a much easier target because there are not as many. Animal Rights groups use false or misleading information and tactics to gain support of the US public. They have many “supporters” who donate money to them in the belief that they really are helping animals, when in reality their money is going towards lobbying to ban pets. They even want to stop people from fishing. I am not making all this up, you can see for yourself by visiting the web site of People For Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). They clearly state it in their FAQ section. (http://www.peta.org/about/faq.asp) Animal Rights groups, such as PETA, Humane Society of The United States (HSUS) (not related to local Humane Society animal shelters), Animal Liberation Front (ALF), and others, believe animals are better off DEAD than in human houses as pets. AR groups profess that animals should be left in the wild and not killed for food, clothing… yet over 70% of the animals left in their care “to find them suitable homes” are actually EUTHANIZED. AR activists are more hypocrites than animal lovers. If you visit the web site of the ALF, it will scare you. They are “protecting animals,” but I do not want to even think of the fear in that poor dog being held by a person in a full ninja out fit! (www.animalliberationfront.com) They can’t even show their faces!
Click here to see number of animals submitted by PETA in Virginia to the Virginia Dept of Agriculture. Recieved 3175 dogs, owners reclaimed 2130 of them. Of the 1044 that they had to find homes for, they euthanized 988. They killed 94% of the animals. Of the wildlife they recieved, they euthanized 248 and released to wild 1.
All of their web pages say that they want to find lasting homes for the animals. Do a quick search on PETA killing animals and you will see, that PETA employees have been caught disposing of dead animals euthanized by them in dumpsters and other INHUMANE ways. Can you imagine giving your beloved pet to someone who tells you that they will be finding them a loving home, and instead they outright kill them? I know many primate owners who are terrified that PETA will come to their home to steal and kill their monkeys!
For this reason I beg that people DO NOT DONATE THEIR MONEY to PETA, HSUS, or any animal rights groups. Fully research the organization you are donating money to, because many sanctuaries, and the such, actually work towards eliminating certain animals as pets with out clearly saying it. I would send food, toys, first aid products, and volunteer rather than make a monetary contribution.