So earlier this week we observed love your pet day and social media was filled with appreciation posts for pets worldwide. This got me once again thinking about the favouritism and preference that is showed to certain species (pets) while we oppress and bestow suffering upon the other animals of this world. We keep pets in our homes, we groom them, feed them, play with them and shower them with love. But what is the difference between that dog, cat or rabbit that we love so much, and the chicken, cow or fish that is on our dinner plate?
There is none.
Both groups of animals (pets and animals reared for food) consist of sentient (meaning they are able to feel pain), loving beings. Instead of taking this into consideration, we are quick to call ourselves animal lovers. But how can you claim to love something and then inflict a lifetime of suffering and eventual death upon them? That doesn’t seem right now does it?
There is often a ruckus created annually around the time of the Yulin dog meat festival. Persons become appalled and petitions to stop it are circulated. Surely we can’t be treating dogs like that. BUT this is what we do to billions of farmed animals annually. We shouldn’t be against the suffering of one type of animal when we oppress and kill countless of types of animals in our day-to-day lives. It’s time that we stand up for ALL animals and stop turning a blind eye to those who we may not deem as ‘cute’ and ‘loveable’. ALL animals are living beings who deserve a chance at a good life.
Just like there is racism and sexism, there is also speciesism. This is the perception that one species is better than or more deserving of life than another.
“As long as Man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.”
I hope this post opens your eyes and sheds some much-needed light on the issue of speciesism.