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In our glossary, we explain our use of language and why we do not use some words, use them differently, or use them just so. In addition, technical terms are explained and sometimes illustrated graphically or in pictures.

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Ableism describes discrimination on the grounds of alleged lack of or ability. The term was coined by the disability movement and draws attention to unequal treatment due to characteristics that deviate from the norm.


Anthropocentrism describes the prevailing ideology in the Western world, in which humans place themselves in the focus of considerations and assessments and subordinate other living beings such as nonhuman animals to it.


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nonhuman animals

We use the addition "nonhuman" to show that humans are also part of the animal kingdom. In this way we criticize the sharp separation created between humans and other animals. In texts dealing with a particular group of animals, such as cattle, we use the term "animals". Because in this case the term does not designate all animals except human, but only one animal species, we do not differentiate linguistically.


"So-called" or quotation marks

Nonhuman animals are often referred to not only by their species name, but also by their significance or benefit for humans and the existing system, such as "laying hens", "laboratory mice" or "vermin". In these cases, we enclose the words in quotation marks or supplement them with the addition "so-called." This shows that animals should not be defined according to the purpose of human use and that we do not support the system in which the above-mentioned roles are assigned to them.


animal rights

In contrast to animal welfare, animal rights movements demand rights for non-human animals and in principle call into question the use of nonhuman animals by humans. Since the use of non-human animals usually infringes their rights, it cannot be reconciled with this view.

animal welfare

Animal welfare has developed historically. Until the 18th century, nonhuman animals were protected only for the sake of humans in an anthropocentric understanding of animal welfare. Animal abuse was seen to disturb humans’ moral sentiment, and the treatment of nonhuman animals was meant to serve humans’ education. Moreover, an anthropocentric animal welfare protects animals only to the degree that they still serve as means of production and commodity for humans. Until today, this last approach prevails in the animal industry: the protection of nonhuman interests is motivated by economical interests. On a societal level, animal welfare has transformed into an ethical welfare which protects nonhuman animals for their own sakes. Underlying both approaches is the view that it is acceptable in principle to use nonhuman animals as long as they are treated in accordance with certain guidelines.

animal liberation

Animal liberation does not demand rights for nonhuman animals in the ruling legal system, but seeks a liberated social system in which all human beings and nonhuman animals live in freedom.

animal movements

We want to support agents of all movements in the realm of animal welfare, animal rights, and animal liberation, in their work, as long as they agree with our values. Since there is no suitable word in German that summarizes all currents, we fall back on this term which is neither widespread nor ideal for us.