Issues concerning animal rights are often at the centre of political debates and controversies. For example, the decision to ban fox hunting was made due to the alleged cruelty of the sport an issue frequently raised by animal rights campaigners who supported the ban. However, this is just one example the rights and welfare of animals has been a major concern to people throughout history as animals play such an integral role in our society. Attitudes concerning the welfare of animals and how they should be treated have changed and developed significantly over the years and varying attitudes and opinions have been exhibited in different cultures and points in history.
Animals have many uses in our society most commonly for the food they yield and the conditions that farmed animals are kept in is often a concern of animal rights groups. There have been numerous campaigns against the poor conditions that many farm animals are kept in, particularly those which are intensively farmed to yield higher profits. The plight of hens in battery farms has been brought to light in the British press recently and several notable celebrity chefs and animal rights activists have spoken out against the intensive farming of chickens. Many supermarkets and retailers have picked up upon the popularity of the opinions expressed by many of the people campaigning for animal rights and have consequently made significant efforts to promote their organic and free range meat products.