Animal protection is theoretically and practically subject to cultural changes, as can be clearly illustrated by the preferential treatment of pets. The term “intensive mass animal farming” already implies the rejection of a practice that many at least suspect to permanently violate animal welfare. However, as consumers, many at the same time support the conditions they reject. In contrast to this, pets are advancing to the status of family members. That alone does not guarantee animal appropriate keeping conditions. The question how much therapy should be granted a pet before it is euthanized opens up its own field of conflict. The use of methods from human medicine to treat pets together with the parallel social upgrade of animals demand a re-adjustment. Animal protection is increasingly shaped by ideological equalization of humans and animals. These egalitarian features become especially evident in the new legal standing of animals and culminate in an animal protection movement that demands an end to the use of animals for any purpose. Animal protection as a subject will probably become increasingly important, also by means of egalitarian thought patterns that are becoming more popular. It also will become more polarized because the forms of animal use are becoming more extreme. Because more parties with very different value horizons are shaping the discussion, the concept of „animal protection” will also become more controversial.
Keywords: changes in animal protection, human and animal, animal ethics, livestock