On SPECIESISM, by Joan Dunayer

Animal Person

I finally read SPECIESISM , by Joan Dunayer, which was published a couple of years after ANIMAL EQUALITY , which I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. To old-speciesists, nonhumans must justify their existence by proving useful to humans; in contrast, some or all humans have inherent value.

SPECIESISM, by Joan Dunayer, Part Deux

Animal Person

I realize that in writing about "old speciesism" I failed to define this term that Dunayer uses. I think of "old speciesism" as analogous to racism and sexism in that it is exploitation based on species. The advocacy component of old speciesism isn't the campaign to end that exploitation, however. Here are some of the my favorite quotes: In reality, species don't evolve toward greater humanness but toward greater adaptiveness in their ecological niche (105).

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On "Pets" and "Its"

Animal Person

The reason we need to save the gorillas and their habitats (it's a book on gorilla "conservation") is--and this is from memory so there could be more--that gorillas have thumbs, just like humans do. Meanwhile, gorillas don't live in a traditional human family structure of mom, dad and kids, but somehow their family structure is an important reason for us to save them. Tags: Books Ethics Language parenting publishing speciesism veganism

Steve Best on The Left's Ignorance of Cognitive Ethology

Animal Person

But " Minding the Animals: Ethology and the Obsolescence of Left Humanism " is a great look back at how we humans have managed to always find a way to consider ourselves unique, despite what the reality of the nonhuman world tells us. S]ince the opening of modernity five centuries ago, human beings have had to confront (for starters) four major discontinuities which problematized their alleged radical uniqueness and special status in the universe.

ALA 100

On Animal Abuse Registries and Anthropolatry

Animal Person

The outcome: "worship of human beings." What a fitting addition to discussions about speciesism! This morning I posted " On California's Animal Abuse Registry Proposal " over at Animal Rights & AntiOppression and welcome any discussion about it. I should be able to watch the press conference about the bill this afternoon if a conference call doesn't take too long, and I'll update if there's anything new and exciting.

Mylan Engel Jr and Kathie Jenni on Prejudice Against Animals

Animal Ethics

First, both argue that all conscious, sentient animals with desires and interests deserve equal moral consideration (regardless of whether these animals are human or nonhuman). Both authors consider the attitudes of most people toward animals to be nothing more than an arbitrary prejudice in favor of our own kind that many now refer to pejoratively as "speciesism" (a term coined by Richard Ryder).

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On Peaceable Kingdom, Part Deux

Animal Person

But the message remains the same, and it's the only such message available in film to my knowledge (and please let me know of any others): there's simply no way to kindly, politely, "humanely" take someone's life when you don't need to.

On the Banning of Eating Cats and Dogs in China

Animal Person

It seems like the answer to most questions/responses to most issues is one of these: Speciesism. Here's an interesting combination of great sentiment and horrible sentiment that involves two responses from the above list: "Online critics said it was hypocritical to protect only dogs and cats, and that the government should focus on human welfare before protecting animals." Yes, it is hypocritical (speciesism), but who said that we either protect humans or animals?

China 100

On ANIMAL EQUALITY, by Joan Dunayer

Animal Person

And now that I've read Animal Equality and begun Speciesism , I think I know why. Minus that role, the term implies, such an animal has no place; if they aren't some human's companion, or their companionship fails to please, they can be abandoned or killed" (8).

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On Food for the Soul

Animal Person

His passion and compassion for humans is immense, but he appears to have some kind of mental block with nonhuman animals. I suppose speciesism/human exceptionalism is at the heart of the matter. He just doesn't believe that other beings lives might have a purpose all their own that is entirely unrelated to humans. The New York Times ' Nicholas D. Kristof frustrates me.

Dogs as Smart as 2-yr-old Kids

Animal Person

When I saw the Live Science article about dogs being as smart as 2-year-old kids I knew that if there were any talk of ranking, my beloved greyhounds would be at the less-desirable end of the list (not from personal experience, but from reputation), and I also knew that there would be a whiff of speciesism. Because when you compare two species, or rather a nonhuman animal species to the human animal, the humans almost always come out on top.

Deconstructing Slate's "Pepper" Series

Animal Person

For Engber, who dispassionately describes procedures most of the time, the "advances" in the medical care of humans are all well worth what he and other vivisectionists do to dogs and other sentient nonhumans. By the end of my time as researcher, I was performing behavioral experiments on humans. I'm sure we could do a much better job of ensuring the humane treatment of our laboratory animals--but at this point it's very difficult even to start the discussion.

Moral Vegetarianism, Part 7 of 13

Animal Ethics

The Argument from Speciesism If there is some doubt whether the arguments from monkeys and from glass walls should be considered moral arguments, there can be no doubt about the moral import of the argument from speciesism. According to this argument, the view that eating the meat of nonhuman animals is morally permissible but eating the meat of human beings is morally forbidden is analogous to racism or sexism. KBJ: Would Martin say the same thing about humans?

Moral Vegetarianism, Part 1 of 13

Animal Ethics

In recent years another type of justification has been given: vegetarianism has been justified in terms of human suffering, rights, etc. People who care only about humans, for example, will not be persuaded by “old” vegetarian arguments, for those arguments rested on concern for animals. People who care about both humans and animals will have two reasons, rather than one, to abstain from meat—provided, of course, that the arguments are good ones.