Speciesism is the principle that humans have greater moral rights than non-human animals. Racism, I assume, we know all about.
Those who oppose speciesism say that giving human beings greater rights than animals is as immoral as giving white people greater rights than non-white people. Most people working for racial equality will find this comparison insulting - they say that their struggle for equality has moral importance that animal rights can never have.
Ouch! Is that not a double standard being applied here?
How many people, faced with a difficult choice between a human and an animal, would not react in a speciesist way. Consider this example:
A child and a dog are trapped in a fire. You can only save one of them. Which will you save? Most people won't have to think about this for even one second; they won’t consider the moral status of the dog and the child. And I bet society will outright condemn anyone who delayed a second in order to consider the correct moral choice.
But now, replace the child and the dog with two children; one of your own race and one of a different race. Which one will you save? No, don’t answer that. I don’t want to hear lies. It is natural to treat one's own species or race favorably. It is not speciesism or racism. It is not about thinking that you are superior; it is just closer to home.
Virtually all non-human animals treat members of their own species better than those of other species, primates being a notable exception. The ape family is notorious for hunting down and killing its own.
No apes were killed during the production of this blog but during the same time they lost a fair size of their natural habitat to satisfy the greed of another ape species.