Animal Rights Pioneer Tom Regan Dies at 78

Best known for his groundbreaking studies on animal rights, Tom Regan passed away last Friday at age 78.

A professor at North Carolina State University, Regan was one of the few philosophers whose work was influential outside academia.

Regan was a former butcher turned vegan and a historic figure in the animal rights movement. He wrote many great works on animal rights, but most notable was The Case for Animal Rights, published in 1983. The book discusses the ethics and philosophy behind the movement and stirred much debate. It was later translated into multiple languages.

Peter Singer was among the first to eulogize Tom Regan:

A key difference between Regan and other popular ethics philosophers is that he believed that rights, particularly the right not to be killed, could sensibly be applied to animals.

In a more recent speech on his view of the modern animal rights movement, he observed:
We are not merely trying to change a few old habits about what people eat and wear. Billions of people will embrace animal rights only if billions of people change in a deeper, more fundamental, a more revolutionary way. What I mean is nothing short of this: They must embrace and, in their lives, they must express a new understanding of what it means to be a human being.
We mourn the loss of a legend, someone whose work sparked a compassionate revolution. In Regan’s honor, we will continue our fight for those unable to fight for themselves.

Join us in creating this kinder world by ditching animal products. Visit to learn how.