Re: Devil's Advocate
I have no time for PETA. But I profoundly disagree with your argument. It is the notion of black and white differentiation between humans and 'animals' that promulgates, rather than reduces, human inequality. If your notion of what does and doesn't deserve such rights is based on an arbitrary benchmark (human vs non-human), you create a construct that allows people to set that arbitrary line wherever they like. Throughout history, groups of people have been demonised and categorised as 'sub-human', and this distinction used as a way of eroding their rights.
A distinction based on objective measures (things like the ability to experience pain, emotional distress, joy, familial relationships) actually makes it much harder to withdraw those rights from any human being, but also leads to the inescapable conclusion that higher order animals also deserve the same or similar protections.
It can be a rather challenging notion, as if forces an examination of what is, for most of us, an uncomfortable truth we avoid.
If you really want to be challenged on this, read Peter Singer. You will find your world view challenged, which I hope you will find stimulating. (Unfortunately most people find such challenge is unwelcome and summarily dismiss it).