Why vegan? Part 3: Ethics and Speciesism

 “We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion they would depict the devil in human form.”

 William Ralph Inge

Most people when they look at a dog, a cat, a rabbit or a dolphin are filled with feelings of love, affection and awe. But then they can look at a pig, a cow or a chicken and all they want to do is eat it. That’s all it is to them. No thoughts about how cute they may be, how playful, how curious, how much they value their own life.

a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy

The truth is, there is no difference between a dog or a pig, and if you want to base it on intelligence, then technically the pig wins. But ultimately, intelligence doesn’t determine moral value. Somewhere along the way humans chose their victims to be pigs, cows, chickens… and then chose the ones they wanted to be kind to… like cats and dogs.

speciesism hippocrisy

 

Speciesism:

speciesism comparison

In the introduction to this series, I demonstrated what speciesism is. Speciesism is just another form of discrimination… saying humans are superior to animals based on irrelevant factors. Just like how a racist or sexist believes his race or gender is more superior than all the others, a speciesist believes that because he/she possesses certain qualities, they have the right to harm and abuse those deemed lesser.

speciesism picture

 “The animals of the world exist for their own reasons, they were not made for humans anymore than black people were made for white or women created for men.”

 Alice Walker

Does this remind you of anything?

One of the worst racists of all time was Adolf Hitler: he believed that his “master race” of Aryans were physically, morally and intellectually superior (just like how we see animals) and he decided he didn’t like certain minorities, so he killed them. To his blind supporters living in Nazi Germany, his absurd justifications made perfect sense…

 

hitler was legal

And the truth is that saying pigs can’t build computers, that chickens can’t drive cars- they’re all just pathetic excuses for trying to justify violent, selfish addictions. In the end, they’re innocent. Cows and pig and chickens never try to harm us. They just want to live happily: free from harm and human interference.

There is no excuse for killing these animals. It’s all irrelevant. Because every sentient creature has the basic right to be alive. Who are we to violate that right?

Slavery:

And the way we treat animals… is it not just slavery? Using every last part of them, exploiting them in every way possible. For selfish greed. For profit. They have been comodified for so long that most be people aren’t even able to comprehend it. When you see a dairy cow, all you really see is a milk machine, when you see a chicken all you ever see is an egg machine. And the truth is, as soon as these “machines” slow down the production of the things we value them for, they’re thrown out, just like a broken old phone; they’re sent to be killed for cheap meat. Animals are victims, the most oppressed beings of all time.

slavery today

“In fact, if one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people.”

 Ruth Harrison

And so many people want to think that they can call themselves animal lovers and still consume animal products, as if cuddling a puppy excuses paying someone to stab and kill a pig. You can’t honestly have respect for animals whilst eating them. Calling a meat eater an animal lover because they love their pets is like calling Hitler a humanitarian because he took care of his Aryans. It’s an oxymoron.

animal lovers

“But they said it was ‘cruelty free’…”

Before I get into what goes on in the meat, dairy and egg industries, I just want to clear up something about all this humane, cage-free bullshit that’s going around these days.

IMG_0398[1]

That stuff doesn’t exist. It’s all just propaganda.

As Gary Yourofsky says in his life-changing speech

“By definition alone, slaughter and slavery are radically cruel and can never be humane even if animals live on free-range/freedom/organic/cage-free/antibiotic-free/hormone-free/grass-fed/local farms, or are murdered with a ‘knife and a prayer’ in accordance with ancient religious blood-draining customs. If animals go into slaughterhouses alive and come out chopped up into hundreds of pieces, how could anyone claim that they aren’t being mistreated, abused, tortured and terrorized? How in the world could SLAUGHTERING BILLIONS of INNOCENT beings be done with love, humanity and concern?”

Animal rights is a justice movement whose time has come.

historical refererences

For more information on ethics and speciesism, study the following videos and articles:

Gary Yourofsky’s speech:

Philip Wollen’s speech:

Earthlings:

Bite Size Vegan on ethics and morality:

(and the whole Bite Size Vegan playlist:)

And check out the Ethics, Laws and Traditions section of Gary’s ADAPTT:

http://www.adaptt.org/veganism.html#

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