Colin Blakemore, a professor of neuroscience at Oxford, was recently appointed as head of the Food Standards Agency. He is a man who unapologetically done animal testing (but opposes it for cosmetics), and has had nail bombs mailed to his home for it.
He prefers to reframe the whole debate, to talk of responsibilities, rather than rights. "The reason why I don't mistreat my own cat is not because it has some kind of rights. It's because I try to be a decent person. Our primary responsibility is to our own species. As for, say, mosquitoes, do we have responsibilities to them? No. Do you swat them? Of course. They don't have rights. They're bloody awful, carriers of disease. None of this, ah, pseudo-Buddhism."
It's an interesting article.