Speciesism: an unjust ideology
Humans have the tendency to treat different species in different ways depending on the level of societal conditioning that has taken place, most notably in the formative years. How we were raised largely dictates our relationships with other humans and other nonhuman species. If we were raised in an environment where mutual respect occurred between species, say between a human and a dog, or between goat and a pig, and we were constantly surrounded by other species, either wild or domesticated, we would tend towards to a greater level of respect and understanding for these and other species. If we were raised in an environment with little interaction with other species, maybe only a dog that was yelled at all the time, and spent most of its life in a kennel outdoors, we would likely develop very differently.
For many people the formative years were likely experienced in a situation somewhere between these two examples. No doubt most people were raised with the belief that a dog, cat, budgerigar or goldfish are “pets”, and that pigs, cows, chickens, and tuna are “merely food”. This is speciesism. The belief that arbitrarily drawn lines exist between one species and another. The belief that certain species were put on the earth for us to “pet” while others exist only for us to “eat”.
The reality is that all sentient beings have the will to live. They experience emotions like joy and sadness, and they feel pain as well as pleasure. To say one species is “better” or “superior” to another is fallacy. We can only say that one species is different from another. We should treat all species equally, and we should respect their lives and their interests, and recognise their intrinsic worth.
A cow is a sentient being who has feelings and emotions just like a human. End speciesism.
A chicken is a sentient being who has feelings and emotions just like a human. End speciesism.
A sheep is a sentient being who has feelings and emotions just like a human. End speciesism.
A pig is a sentient being who has feelings and emotions just like a human. End speciesism.
Be The Change You Want To See In The World
Make the decision today to end speciesism. It is your choice. It is a relatively simple matter to stop exploiting other species to satisfy your individual wants. Change how you think about other species and make the choice to be considerate and understanding.
Choose a lifestyle that seeks to eliminate suffering of nonhuman animals. Adopt a diet free of any animal products. Wear clothing that causes no suffering for nonhumans. Select personal products with no animal ingredients and not tested on nonhuman animals. Choose respect and kindness for all other beings.
In the vast tapestry of life, every species feels, dreams, and hopes. Just as we cherish memories, so does the cow, remembering those she’s met. Just as we share special times and bond with our families, so does the mother pig with her young. As we strive for a worthwhile future, the chicken tends to her chicks with care and attention, hoping they will grow and thrive. Let us recognise these shared experiences and emotions. We must transcend our biases and embrace the unity of all beings. End speciesism.
World Day for the End of Speciesism
The last Saturday in August each year is celebrated as World Day for the End of Speciesism (WoDES). This is a time when people are challenged to make positive change by recognising speciesism as a widespread problem affecting most of us.
(All images created with Midjourney AI)