I’m always hearing people talking about how humans are speciesist against animals like elephants and rhinos that we kill for sport. A lot of people love dogs and hate cats or vice versa and that makes them speciesist, but what about the animals? This isn’t just a one way street of hate. Bears, sharks, scorpions all speciesist towards humans and we’re expected to treat them equally? If you met a bear in person, it would probably kill you immediately because you’re not a bear. To me, that’s about as speciesist as it gets. At least we as people choose certain groups of animals to like, such as hamsters and dogs. Bears don’t really have that, as far as we know. I mean maybe bears get along with giraffes like a motherfucker, but there’s no way of knowing that and odds are, knowing bears’ speciesist asses they’d kill the giraffes too. Where do these bears get off?! -- Leondra from Little Rock, Arkansas
The issue of speciesism is a little controversial and difficult to understand. A lot of people compare it to racism which leads to a lot of confusion. Let’s explore this a little. Speciesism and racism are similar in that they’re taught and reinforced by parents during an animal or person’s upbringing. To use your example, a baby bear might go near humans until the mother bear instills her speciesist beliefs to the young bear. This is very much like racism, however, bears are of such a low intelligence that they can’t be held responsible. Now a lot of racist people are of low intelligence, but to give them their due, they’re slightly smarter than the average bear. In defense of bears, they aren’t deliberately hurting people just because they’re people. Bears murder people to eliminate a perceived threat to their families in the name of survival. You wouldn’t be considered racist if during a zombie apocalypse you shot a bunch of Vietnamese people trying to break into your house. They just so happened to be Vietnamese, they could have been French or Guatemalan and the same thing would have happened. Now if bears were to gather in the woods with signs that say “Die, Filthy Humans!” Then maybe you’d have a point, but their speciesism isn’t a collective, concerted movement in the same way the speciesism and racism of humans can be.
|Some individuals make it hard not to play the species card.|
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