Speciesism – Ever heard about it?
What is speciesism?
Speciesism is defined by the arbitrary discrimination of those who do not belong to a particular species. Most humans are speciesist towards the other animals. They consider them inferior beings and put them on a level below their own. Speciesism gives animals no rights at all.
Humans belong to the animal group and as animals we have our own interests and needs. These emotions and needs do not only occur with humans, they occur independently of the species to which we belong. Yet humans make a great difference between themselves and other animals. The interests of humans always prevail to the detriment of the interests of nonhuman animals.
Most common arguments against speciesism
Human rational ability is often used as an argument for denigrating other species. So how about small children whose rational ability is not developed or adults who due to illness or even some accident have their rational abilities limited? Does this intellectual limitation give us the right to exploit, abuse, and exploit other humans without their permission?
Another argument often used is the lack of empathy we have with other species. Lack of empathy can be compared to another type of discrimination that occurs between humans – racism. For decades we have exploited and enslaved other humans only by the difference in skin color. Today we exploit and enslave other animals just because they are different and we do not empathize with them. This is speciesism.
“Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, The Basis of Morality
Animal Welfare and common mistakes
Speciesism goes against each living being’s ability to feel, to suffer, to enjoy emotions, and to feel their own needs. All animals must be respected because everyone has the capacity to suffer and to be affected by the acts that are done against them.
Speciesism establishes not only that there is no equality between human and non-human animals, but it is also seen when comparing non-human animals from different species. It is not uncommon for people to strongly oppose the killing of dogs and cats for consumption, but they readily accept and include pigs, cows, and chickens on their menus. This differentiation strongly affects all animals.
Many animal protection organizations and movements are eager to defend dogs and cats from mistreat or violence. Many people are opposed to bullfight, fur industry, animal test and other polemical issues seen in the media on daily basis. However, these people feel no remorse in having a dead animal on their plate. Even vegetarians disregard the cruelty behind the dairy and egg industries. I see many people saying hunting is an outrageous act, but they forget how their food was murdered sometimes even in worse conditions.
Stop Speciesism – We are all Earthlings
When we renounce speciesism, we defend equality and respect for all who have the capacity to suffer or to enjoy emotions. We are one!
“He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”
– Immanuel Kant