please just leave animals alone
“Since we all inhabit the earth all of us are considered earthlings. There is no sexism, no racism or speciesism in the term earthling. It encompasses each and everyone of us - warm or cold blooded, mammal, vertebrate or invertebrate, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish and human alike. Humans therefore, been not the only species on the planet, share this world with millions of other living creatures - as we all evolved here together. However, it is the human earthling who tends to dominate the earth. Often times treating other fellow earthlings and living beings as mere objects. This is what is meant by speciesism.
By analogy with racism and sexism, the term speciesism is a prejudice or attitude of bias, in favor of the interests of members of ones own species against those members of others species. If a being suffers, there can be no moral justification for refusing to take that suffering into consideration. No matter what the nature of the being, the principle of equality requires that one suffering can be counted equally with the like suffering of any other being.
Racists violate the principle of equality by giving greater way to the interests of members of their own race, when there’s a clash between their interests and interests of those of another race.
Sexists violate the principle of equality by favoring the interests of their own sex.
Similarly, speciesists allow the interests of their own species to overweight the greater interest of member of other species.
In each case, the pattern is identical.
“Racism.” “Sexism.” “Speciesism.”
That among the members of the human family we recognize the moral imperative of respect. Every human is a somebody, not a something. Morally disrespectful treatment occurs when those who stand at the power end of a power relationship treat the less powerful as they were mere objects.
The rapist does this to the victim of rape. The child molester to the child molested. The master to the slave.
In each and all such cases, humans who have power exploit those who lack it.
Might the same be true of how humans treat other animals, or other earthlings.
Undoubtedly there are differences, since humans and animals are not the same in all respects. But the question of sameness wears another face. Granted these animals do not have all the desires we humans have. Granted they do not comprehend everything we humans comprehend. Nevertheless we and they do have some of the same desires and do comprehend some of the same things. The desires for food and water, shelter and companionship, freedom of movement and avoidance of pain. These desires are shared by non human animals and human beings. As for comprehension, like humans any non human animals understand the world in which they live and move. Otherwise they could not survive. So beneath the many differences there is sameness. Like us, these animals embody the mysterious wonder of consciousness. Like us, they are not only in the world, they are aware of it. Likes us they are the psychological center of a life that is uniquely their own. In these fundamental respects humans stand on all force of the speak with hogs and cows, chickens and turkeys. What these animals are due from us, how we morally ought to treat them, are question whose answers begins with the recognition of our psychological kinship with them.”
— Joaquin Phoenix, Earthlings