I've always been turned off by the hysterics that seem to dominate the debate over animal liberation, but perhaps that's because I can't fully grasp the moral complexity of the issue.
To me, it's pretty simple. I don't value animals in anything like the same way that I value humans, and I don't think that animal life carries any significant moral weight. Thus, I'm against giving animals considerable legal protections. And while I can understand the impulse to try to limit animal suffering--by enacting basic animal cruelty statutes, for example--I don't get the attempts to preserve animal life.
Having said that, I realize that values are subjective, and that animal rights advocates will actively try to prevent me from eating meat. This is fine, as long as it's done within the confines of the law--by lobbying for greater restrictions on meat products, promoting discussion, and staging public relations campaigns with scantily clad pornstars. Obviously, I will oppose and mock all of these efforts, while I slowly develop heart disease and die from eating too much red meat.
So, what's the real issue here? As much as animal rights advocates would love to find some objective standards to cling to, it seems to me that this is always going to be a question of personal morality. If logic played a factor here, it may be worth debating. But how can we adjudicate between competing value systems?
As an old professor of mine once said--when you start framing an issue in moral terms, you might as well take it off the table.