How animal passions became arousedBMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7280.244 (Published 27 January 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:244
- Rhona MacDonald
The Rise and Rise of Animal Rights, Channel 4, Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 January at 8 pm
Animal rights issues have dominated the news in Britain over the past few weeks. MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of banning hunting with dogs, and protesters have kept up their campaign against the beleaguered medical research firm Huntingdon Life Sciences.
So Channel 4's two part documentary—which tried to answer the question “What gave rise to the notion that animals have rights, and do they?”—was rather timely. It started with a romp through the varying ways in which we have viewed animals during the past few decades. The 1950s marked a new fascination with animals, with every species thought of as potential pet material, even cheetahs. The 1960s reinforced the idea that animals existed for our entertainment, with television programmes such as Desmond Morris's Zoo Time and a young David Attenborough's Zoo Quest.