To express disbelief in the concept of animal rights nowadays provokes shock, but such a response is intellectually significant:
The notion of rights seems often to crowd out all other moral considerations. It as if [sic] those who believed in animal rights could conceive of no other reason why animals should be treated decently or humanely than that they were endowed with rights. Without such rights, supposedly, any treatment of them would be permitted. In other words, the concept of rights in this case, as in many others, is a defense against an inner moral vacuum.