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Speciesism - Where Humans Have Failed

Updated on May 25, 2019
Zuzanna Szafranska profile image

Just a student shedding light on political, moral and ethical issues.

Speciesism. The controversial and philosophical debate, still foreign to myriads. As the term suggests, it befalls under the same classification as racism, sexism, and so forth. The term speciesism is the violation of the moral principle that all lives deserve to be equal; this explicitly targeting the discriminatory or prejudice action of humans towards other non-human beings. First of all, to elucidate the unspoken matter of anti-speciesism, it merely implies not exploiting the members of other species.

The Misconseption

In many countries, a woman has the right to have an abortion to get rid of her unwanted pregnancy. Contrary, under no law, it is specified that men have this prerequisite, by no means is defined as an act of sexism, as a man would have no use of receiving an abortion. Just like no animal would seek benefit or interest in attending a university or partaking in your elections. In defence of speciesism, Philosopher Carl Cohen asserts it is morally justifiable for humans to victimise other species to protect their kind. The philosopher substantiates that racism and sexism are fallacious due to there being "no relevant differences" amidst the human races and sexes. That being said categorising beings into species is a simple referral to one's genes and appearance. Therefore speciesism falls under the same category as racism and sexism as these acts of discrimination on a basis on features and genes.

While one should be protective of their species, that does not equate to labelling different animals to different categorical treatments. You choose to label a dog as a pet or friend, pig as food, fox as clothing, deer as trophy and tiger as entertainment. Speciesism means - equal pain deserves equal consideration.


Another argument for speciesism is that humans have a preference towards their kind as well as different animals. That is natural, as some prefer dogs over cats and vice versa, and humans over other non-humans. If you prefer cats in the world, as a human it is your moral obligation to treat a pig or chicken with the same concern. A matter of preference for preferring your pet than a farm animal does not equate to moral failure. Who chose to domesticate the select few animals and butcher other for food? That is not speciesist. It is one you make the judgement to segregate those species and choose whom you befriend and whom you eat is when you are not better than a racist or sexist.

Intellectual Superiority

Endorsing the egregious idea that intelligence is the judge on who deserves to suffer or live freely means that artificial intelligence with be rightly justified to torture and enslave the human race. A plethora of studies substantiate animals as being intelligent in their unique way. Just because humans do not possess the ability to communicate with other species does not make others 'stupid'. Why would you judge someone's intellect based on your ability to comprehend them? As a 'filthy' pig's IQ is greater than a human's with an intellectual disability, you would not eat a human with mental retardation if their corpse was in your fridge packed and smelling like delicious bacon. Would you? Who are you to decide who is deserving of equitable consideration? Cease playing God already.


Speciesism is also a feministic issue. Sexism and speciesism are two sides of one coin, as the ideology that women exist for male pleasure is the same as non-human beings living for human pleasure. After all both of these label females as a 'piece of meat'. Where do you think the term 'hen' or 'chick' originated? Those sexist expressions to portray females, arising from chickens who are the most abused animals on the planet. Contrary to primitive and dogmatic belief - cows do not produce milk on a daily basis for human satisfaction. They bear milk for the same reason human mothers do, to feed their young. What feminist supports other females being put on rape racks and forcibly impregnated through insemination, to have their breast milk and child stolen as the outcome.

A Stable Society

A ludicrous argument for speciesism is, it is what is stabilising our current society, without a second thought you decide to warrant to dogmatism. Then why have humans not kept their organisation built on slavery and nihilistic approaches, since that was stable? 17th-century slavery was coherent; people were happy, excluding a few slaves. However, the overall society was resolute. Looking back on how humans segregated their species, because of some trivial matters still galvanises people to this day.

If you deem acts of sexism and racism to be an erroneous act in this era, then why is speciesism not equated to this incongruity? As the human race who created superabundant quantities of inventions, it is phenomenal that this species still resort to bigotry. Thus take the flower by the thorns instead of the bull by the horns.

© 2019 Zuzanna Weronika Szafranska


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