Could You or Someone You Love Be Speciesist?
Nick Pecoraro - 12.14.2018
Just in case you forgot.
Funny, I didn’t notice the little sticker in the corner that says, “Remember to pray to end abortion.”
That’s an odd verb to use, “end.” It’s almost like when people only discuss finding a CURE to cancer or diabetes or AIDS. Well, of course finding a cure would be incredible. But we have a cure for stopping the spread of many things, and that’s prevention. I digress.
Now, to address the sticker: we don’t have to pray to prevent abortions. We have to educate.
I bring this up because—and most, if not all, animal rights activists will recognize this—nearly every week when people learn I’m a vegan animal activist, it’s almost guaranteed at least one person (who typically has a southern accent and identifies as Christian) will ask me if I’m pro-life.
- just because a person opposes systemic animal abuse does not mean she is liberal. (Although I am.)
- just because a person is liberal does not mean she’s progressive. (Although I am.)
- just because a person is progressive does not mean she’s plant-based. (Although I am.)
- just because a person is plant-based does not mean she’s vegan. (Although I am.)
- just because a person is vegan does not mean she’s pro-life— according to your definition.
All lives DO matter, but black lives need a lot more attention at present in America. I AM pro life in the literal definition— that’s why I’m vegan. I ACTUALLY think ALL lives matter. I don’t support killing individuals if it’s not absolutely needed for survival. However, I would NEVER support disallowing women sovereignty over their own bodies. This is a situation similar in some ways to when a lot of people ask me the outlying and rarely-seen hypotheticals, “well would you eat an egg from your pet chicken?” Or “would you drink milk from a pet cow if she didn’t have a calf?”
Why engage in these scenarios when there are a minimum of 55 billion ACTUAL scenarios we can actually engage in right here, right now, that are probably occurring in your very own city? I don’t know if plants can suffer, and I don’t know if I’d eat a goat if I was stranded on a deserted island and there were no crops growing. But I do know that giving men power to legislate women’s bodies is riddled with issues, some of which are a) women do not have equal and proportionate representation in Congress and b) sometimes, to endorse the exception is to endorse the rule. Men have wielded abusive and exploitative power over women for most of documented time. I will not give them one more vote to continue to do so.
In a similar, but of course different way, humans have wielded abusive and exploitative power over nonhuman animals for most of documented time. I will not be one more human to do so.
Why do we continue to engage in blatantly speciesist behaviors? If you are unclear what a speciesist behavior is, let’s define speciesism.
Speciesism according to dictionary.com:
discrimination in favor of one species, usually the human species, over another, especially in the exploitation or mistreatment of animals by humans.
Would you recreationally shoot a human being?
The answer is most likely no.
If you choose to recreationally shoot animals, this could be considered speciesist behavior.
To give an even more common example (not all engage in these activities, but if you don’t look twice at a fishing rod when you see one, this means you are most likely, unfortunately, still prone to speciesist psychology):
Would you hide under water and recreationally put a hook through a human’s cheek, then pull them by that hook in their cheek into said body of water? After this, you will take the hook out of this human animal’s cheek, maybe pose for a picture with the bleeding, frightened, and suffocating human animal, then release them—wounded—back into their natural habitat.
If you choose to recreationally do this to fish animals but not human animals, then this could be considered speciesist behavior. This behavior is violent and absolutely unnecessary.
A further question: Would you impregnate a human woman to eat her baby and steal her breast milk? Keep in mind: it is ENTIRELY unnecessary to do this for human survival.
Would you do it to a cow? (This includes paying someone to do it for you). If you choose to recreationally do this to cows, these actions could be considered speciesist. The behavior is violent and unnecessary.
Am I saying cows and human women are “equal” in this scenario, as many would suggest? to answer that, let’s define what equal means.
Equal: 1) as great as; the same as; 2) like or alike in quantity, degree. Perhaps a synonym of “equal” is better.
Equitable: characterized by equity or fairness; just and right; reasonable.
So the question is really simply are female cows worthy of equitable treatment in comparison to that which we grant towards human women?
If your answer is no, female cows are NOT worthy of equitable treatment, I would simply ask why.
If you are not sure how to answer that question, or are currently drinking or have engaged in the consumption of any cow-derived dairy product in the last 7 days, realize that your actions convey your answer.
Why do you believe female cows are not worthy of equitable treatment relative to that which we grant human women?