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Animal Advocacy can be defined in terms of both its substantive and strategic aims.

Animal Advocacy varies in its approach from an ‘welfarist’ or ‘reformist’ emphasizing gradual improvements in animal care and a reduction of animal suffering, to an “animal rights” approach promoting wholesale change including the protection of animals from being used or regarded as property by human beings. The latter, “abolitionist” position argues on behalf of ending human practices that routinely utilize animals; for example, as a source of food, clothing, entertainment or science.  A reformist position accepts these institutions in principle but seeks in various ways to improve them in practice; for example, by enlarging cage sizes for animals used in research.