Everyday we discriminate animals based on species, this is fact. In this blog post I will break down some of the reasons why we consume animals and some of the excuses for this, which are all great examples of speciesism.
An Introduction to Speciesism
Speciesism is the unwarranted discrimination of animal species. A good example of this is the difference between our designation of domestic animals and those that are raised for meat. Domestic animals are far from the most intelligent of animals, in fact pigs and other animals that we imprison/consume are far more intelligent, with the pig having a consciousness parable to a three year old child. So why do we consume the animals we consume? Because rather simply, and rather bluntly, they taste good.
The Everyday Contradictions
We in society have created a very strange and peculiar form of contradictions. For some reason it has become that we can love animals, yet simultaneously consume them as if we had no choice. We can say we love pigs, but ultimately what we love is the image of a pig that we have created and not the actual animal, otherwise we probably wouldn’t eat them.
When we campaign for some animals and not others we are committing speciesism. For example, when we ignore the suffering of animals born into factory farms but decry the cruelty of the grey racing industry. We prescribe to a script that is full of loopholes for the justification of the commodification and discrimination of animal species. We are taught that to kill an animal for no reason is wrong, but this seemingly only goes so far as the animals that we have deemed worthy of life.
An attempt at Anti-Specism
When trying to not be speciest there is really on three options. You can either prescribe that all animals are inherently below us and there for we can use them all how we want, we can base what we do with them on actual weighted arguments such as intelligence, or we can treat them all with respect and acknowledge that all animals have the right to live. It’s not rocket science, yet societal norms make it impossibly difficult.
Singer, P. 1975, Animal Liberation, HaperCollins, United States.