Before I begin to explain why I feel that speciesism is a false concept and doesn’t exist, I ask that people just allow me to get my words out with a civil respect shown towards my knowledge on this issue. I am not trying to align myself against the vegan community. I am trying to explain why most arguments concerning speciesism are fallacious and contradictory towards science and the vegan lifestyle altogether. I am not asking for controversial debate and I ask that you do not fill my inbox with hateful messages. Just hear me out.
First, my main problem with this concept of speciesism is that it contradicts science and biological understandings of the human species. Most vegans adhere to a belief system that says that all animal species including humans are equal, not even considering that most people realize that humans are the only animal species who can be considered moral agents. I have a problem with most arguments that vegans make concerning humans as equal to animals, because when you argue with vegans a lot of times you face vegan thinkers who say things like “humans have human privilege”. If humans have human privilege then how is it possible for humans to be equal to all other living things? The very existence of a privilege would give that species dominance over all other species, a reality that most vegans choose not to acknowledge. And who created this dominance and privilege? The answer is no one. Science created this hierarchy of the species through years of evolution. Humans have evolved throughout the years to become the species we are. We have technological intelligence, and moral supremacy over the other species based simply upon the biological growth we have made since the beginning of human existence.
The problem with the idea of speciesism is that it is not actually a material system of oppression and it is not a social construct to develop superiority over the other species in the order of existing life. The very idea of speciesism is so disturbing because it takes all we have learned about the last 7 billion years of evolution and throws it aside to fulfill an ideological fallacy. My friends, this is wrong. You cannot pick and choose scientific truths and theory understanding to suit your lifestyle choices, no matter how morally and ethically correct you claim they are. The truth is humans do have superiority over the rest of the animal order, and it is because of this superiority that we have a moral responsibility to our planet to make sure that these animals can continue to flourish within the ecosystem we all inhabit.
Another problem I seem to have with vegans is the fact that most vegans adhere to a pacifist and theoretical nonviolent approach to protest. I am not going to lay out my problems with nonviolence in this piece, but I urge you to read this and then come back to this post when you are finished. Go ahead, I will wait. Finished reading? Cool, let us continue. Now that you understand how I feel about protest let us go ahead and ask ourselves, since nonviolent/pacifist protest in inherently white supremacist and racist in nature, wouldn’t pacifist and other ineffective forms of nonviolent protest be a form as speciesism as well? I mean, after all pacifism prohibits oppressed people of indigenous groups from defending themselves against active material systems of oppression, and people are animals, so wouldn’t that be considered a form of speciesism? Yes it would, if speciesism was a real social construct, but it’s not, because again most vegans believe that humans have privilege over other species of animals, and this privilege is due to our biological and evolutionary dominance. So the argument of speciesism cannot apply to humans because we have privilege, but we are told by most vegans that we are actually on the same moral, ethical, and behavioral level as other animals. This you see is a fallacy, and it completely contradicts most if not all vegan arguments concerning privilege and oppression. It is nothing more than general bullshit which has been created to create a guilt complex within human beings. To make us feel bad for being on the receiving of the benefits bestowed to us by evolutionary science.
Where I stand on the issue is firm and foundational. I do not believe in speciesism. I do however have a huge bone to pick with capitalism and corporatism as well of the consumerist dogma that has perpetuated our social atmosphere concerning all species of animals. I have nothing but disgust with a system that views living things as a commodity to be sold or traded and even used for labor and capital gain. This means I oppose the corporate sale of animals for food as well as the use of human labor to boost the profit margins of the corporate heads. When we look at this from a perspective of profit, every species suffers at the hand of conglomerate and corporate interests. Human beings who work minimum wage jobs only to make enough money to just get by while CEO’s profit immensely based on the labor of the many is just as disgusting a reality as a livestock company profiting off of the slaughter of cows, pigs, and other species used for foodstuffs or luxury wears. So when a vegan who believes in speciesism tells me I must condone rape because of cows being force inseminated to preserve the milk industry I scoff their statements, because in reality, I do not condone these actions. In fact, I condone them far less than these vegan thinkers because I actually target the real problem, enterprise, not the made up social construct, speciesism and human privilege.
I will forever love and cherish our animal friends because they benefit our ecosystem in an abundance of ways, and I will defend them at every turn, but I will not do so at the expense of oppressing other human species by supporting a flawed and fallacious social construct like speciesism and human privilege. The problem is corporatism and capitalism, not human superiority complex. Science is not mythological, we must forever realize this. Humans do have dominance over other living species, but it does not give us a license to mass produce them and then benefit monetarily over their slaughter. Respecting science for what it is should make us realize that profiting over the suffering over any species is wrong, whether it is human or not.
Whoa, I see you know what you’re talking about. That’s cool. But I dissagree. It’s true that we humans have technological intelligence, and many would also say moral supremacy (though other species such as whales, bats, wolves, and chimpanzees have shown signs of also being guided by some kind of moral code… then again, not many whales have tumblr discussions on sociological oppression, so there you go), but we have that same technological and moral advantages over humans with certain mental disabilities. If you believe in ableism, then you beleive that that advantage doesn’t give us the right to cause pain and suffering in these people, correct? In reply to your comment about privilege and superiority, I think we can agree that in current western society, white people have a definite privilege about black people, and men over women, but this does not make men superior to women, or white people superior to black people. (Though there are some motherfuckers that live around my county that would disagree with me.) Similarly, humans have privilege over animals, but that alone does not mean that humans are superior.
We can go around in circles arguing about the definitions of “privlage” and “superiority” all day long, but in the end, I think the bottom line of speciesism is “what gives us the right?” There are answers to this but, at least to my ears, these justifications sound a little too much like antisemitism or racism or sexism or any of the other excuses passed along by people duped by a systom of oppression. At the end of the day, I’m a human, not a dog or a pig or a tuna fish. But you know what? I don’t like being in pain, and neither do the species we take advantage of. Until I get some kind of divine command, you can bet that I’ll do my best to make sure that their suffering is not so readily condoned, or at least lessoned.
So does speciesism exist? There’s more to this discussion than what we’ve said, but in my opinion, yes it does.