Speciesism… oh! It’s difficult to pronounce, right? And more difficult is to locate it in our lives. The difficulty for human beings is only the pronunciation, but for some it is the primary reason of suffering. Confused? Don’t worry, we’ll get to its core. Before I began giving the reasons, let’s know what speciesism stands for.
What is speciesism?
Speciesism is an ideology. It is the root cause of an age-old discrimination. Speciesism is the belief that one species is superior to the other species. Makes sense? Let’s go deeper. Speciesism discriminates between two or more species. For instance, monkeys are different from cats, dogs are different from fishes, and so on. However, the key distinction that creates problems is the difference between human beings and animals. I’m not suggesting that there is no difference. There is a difference, but the human ideology exaggerates this difference.
Human beings, i.e., Homo sapiens, are blessed with rationality or reason. This reason is the cause of pride and the thought of being the conqueror of the world. This reason not only differentiates between things and feelings, but also causes biases.
Human beings created the concept of speciesism that refers to the superiority of one species over the other. This distinction’s partial nature results in a grave problem. This distinction gave priority to some species and suppressed some.
Let’s understand this from an example.
A man named John is a pet parent of a dog. He loves to take care of his dog and fulfils all his requirements. John calls himself an animal lover and he loves to eat chicken.
Do you find something wrong in this example?
Is John really an animal lover? Or Is John only a dog lover?
This is speciesism and John is a speciesist.
An animal lover is a person who loves all animals alike and when you love someone you don’t eat them. In the above case, John says he loves animals and at the same time he is eating one of them, here chicken.
This distinction based on ill-reason is the cause of speciesism. Most of the people love having dogs and cats as their companion animals, additionally, they also like other animals on their plates. This is hypocrisy and pure speciesism.
The distinction that makes some species superior to other species is called speciesism. This concept can be understood in contrast with racism and sexism, as brought-forth by Peter Singer . Racism holds that one race is superior to another, i.e., whites are superior to blacks, and sexism is that one sex is superior than the other, for instance, males are superior to females. Similarly, there is speciesism.
I hope now the concept will be clear. So, let’s start with the reasons that could show whether you are a speciesist or not.
9 Reasons you’re speciesist or not
1. If you eat meat, eggs and animal products then you are a speciesist.
When you eat meat, eggs and animal products, this means that you are suppressing the animals’ status as a being. You try to showcase your superiority and power over them, while ignoring the life principle in them. You are treating them as a mere food commodity and feeding your taste buds for a momentary pleasure.
2. When you buy and/or wear animal skin, you become a speciesist.
Wearing leather, feathers, fur and other exotic animals’ skin is refraining them from living, only for your personal pleasure. They need their skin to survive, not you. You have your skin and there are plenty of plant-based fabric to cover you, then why exploit animals. Wearing animal skin is unethical.
3. Do you differentiate between your pet and other animals?
This would be clear from the above discussion. Either love all or love none. Don’t discriminate. I know we all have different likes and dislikes. The statement ‘either love all or love none’ might sound superficial, but every living being deserves respect and love, and their species does not matter.
4. You are a speciesist if you don’t check the label on the product you’re buying.
When you don’t check the labels, such as, PETA-certified or cruelty-free or Vegan, you are walking the path of speciesism. Don’t blind buy anything. Your expensive bottle of shampoo is costing someone their eyes and life.
5. If you love watching animals in cages, you are a speciesist.
If you like going to zoos and like watching them in captivity, struggling to escape, and pay to see their sadness then you are definitely a speciesist.
6. Do you know that riding on animals makes you a speciesist?
Camel rides, horse riding, elephant riding, and riding on any animal is being a party to animal cruelty. Hence, it is a form of speciesism.
7. If you enjoy sports that include animals, you are a speciesist.
When you pay for and enjoy watching animals performing in sports, such as, horse racing, rodeos, bullfights, Jallikattu, etc. you are promoting animal abuse. Consequently, such an act makes you a speciesist.
8. You become a speciesist when animal’s pain and suffering does not matter to you.
Have you seen how animals are slaughtered for food and hides(skin)? Have you ever heard their screams? Have you seen their struggle to escape If yes and you are still eating meat and animal products, this means that you have no compassion and kindness and you are speciesist. If those screams and pain couldn’t change you, nothing in this world can do that.
9. Do you think you are superior to animals?
If yes then you know who you are. Apart from the physiological difference and rationality, there is no other difference between human beings and animals. Animals are sentient, intelligent, have feelings and emotions, have the ability to learn, and so much more. Only this rationality of human beings becomes foundation stone of such discrimination.
So, what’s your score? Are you a speciesist or not?
In some way or the other, we all are speciesist. We unknowingly pay for animal abuse because of the lack of awareness. Our pleasure hides the pain of the animals. We ride elephants because it is adventurous and we enjoy doing that, and in this course, we ignore their pain. The fondness of having furry and feathery clothing blinds us to animal’s torment. Is our pleasure really worth this?
Do we really need pleasure at the cost of someone’s life?
Can we give animals the life they deserve?
Minor changes in our lifestyle can change billions of lives. Are you ready for this change?
What you need to do is be conscious about your every act.
· Don’t eat animals.
· Don’t buy animal skins.
· Don’t buy animal tested products.
· Don’t indulge in activities that cause harm to animals.
· Don’t pay for animal abuse.
They need our help and support. We created and endorsed speciesism, now, we have to promote anti-speciesism. We fought against various evils and now, we have to fight this one. We need to spread awareness about this issue. Most of the individuals are unaware of the reality of how animal products are made. We need to come together and voice up.
Are you ready to change billions of lives?
 Singer, Peter, “All Animals are Equal” in Tom Regan & Peter Singer (eds.), Animal Rights and Human Obligations. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1989, pp. 148-162