What Is Speciesism?

“Speciesism” is the belief that other animal species are inferior to ours and that it’s OK to disregard animals’ well-being for humans’ benefit. For example, when a human parent would do anything to protect and defend their own child but feeds them treats made with milk stolen from a mother cow who loved her baby just as much, that’s speciesist. 

The hypocrisy of speciesism is also apparent when people treat some animal species with more consideration than others. For example, it’s speciesist if someone signs a petition to end the Yulin dog-eating festival in China because they think it’s egregious to kill dogs (truth) but they don’t think twice about eating a panini filled with chicken flesh. Make it make sense. 

It’s also speciesist when humans treat members of a species in a conflicting manner, such as by both admiring their cuteness and condemning them to a painful existence. For example, when someone partakes in goat yoga or feeds and photographs goats at a petting zoo and can’t get over how adorbs the animals are and then eats goat cheese or buys a cashmere (goat hair) sweater, it’s apparent that this person thinks goats exist solely to indulge their every whim.  

Tell Us You’re Speciesist Without Telling Us 

When someone goes on and on about how much they love their dog but also paid a breeder to inseminate the dog’s mother so that her babies could be sold, that’s some speciesist nonsense. Zero stars. 

Why Is Speciesism Wrong? 

Animals have their own reasons for living that have nothing to do with humans. Speciesist thinking ignores their desires, needs, and complexity and instead tries to justify turning them into laboratory equipment, ingredients, clothes, sources of entertainment, modes of transportation, baby-making factories, or property. Treating animals like commodities robs them of their dignity and agency. All sentient beings are individuals who deserve to live freely, and speciesism ruins billions of animals’ lives every year. 


The opposite of speciesism is vegan living. You can’t claim to respect or love animals if you pay others to abuse and kill them in laboratory experiments, eat or wear them, use them for entertainment, or support breeders—it’s that simple! 

Help end this illogical and oppressive way of thinking by going vegan and supporting others in doing the same. 

Text peta2 to 30933 for ways to help animals, tips on compassionate living, and more!

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