Animal Rights Timeline


Speaking Out About Animal Cruelty


Jeremy Bentham was the first person to use the philosophy of utilitarianism on animals and speak out against animal cruelty. “But a full-grown horse or dog, is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month, old. But suppose the case were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?”

Cruelty to Animals Act


The Cruelty to Animals Act was created in the U.K. and its purpose was to protect all animals from harm.



The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was created by Henry Bergh.

Rise in Animal Testing

1950 - 1959

Bands of Mercy


The organization, "Bands of Mercy" is formed, later called “Animal Liberation Front”. These organizations illegally remove animals from laboratories and farms, destroying facilities, arranging safe houses and veterinary care, and operating sanctuaries where the animals live.

Animal Liberation


Peter singer publishes Animal Liberation, a book about specieisism, or the exploitative treatment of animals.

NC Animal Protection Act


The North Carolina Animal Protection Act protects pets and their owners in North Carolina. Its purpose is to protect pets from the theft, to prevent the sale or use of stolen pets, to insure that animals are provided humane care and treatment, and to prohibit the sale, trade or adoption of ill animals, unless veterinary care is assured.

Improved Standards for Laboratory Animals Act


The Improved Standards for Laboratory Animals Act was put in place to provide regulations for lab animals. Regulations include walking their animals, providing large living spaces, and minimal pain to the animals.

Groups Today


Many of the previously mentioned organizations still remain and many more recent groups have been formed.