Every single ‘product’ we take or manufacture from the bodies of nonhuman individuals, every single use we make of their lives, involves some practice that we would consider completely unacceptable if it were to be done to a human. We would be outraged, and rightly so. And surprisingly, we would have no problem at all in seeing through the lies and evasions of any who would claim that what was being done was ‘humane’ or who promoted regulation of the torture that is an inherent part of treating any individual as a resource. Almost every human would instantly spot the flaws in the arguments and ‘justifications’, would rapidly recognise exactly how the scales of justice are weighted against the victims, would rail and protest against the injustice, the brutalising of helpless, vulnerable souls.
The fact that we excuse our nonvegan selves for being the perpetrators of the most horrific injustice of our time because our victims are not of our species – that’s speciesism. When we turn a blind eye to what is done to those whose very existence is a torment destined to end in the stench and horror of a slaughterhouse – that’s speciesism. When we take everything they have; their freedom, their families, their very lives – that’s speciesism. We wear them and we use them for testing everything from drugs to bleach, we ‘break’ them and ‘train’ them and are ‘entertained’ by their helpless acceptance of our strength and the implements we use to enforce their compliance. We violate and confine, we mutilate and we kill. We eat them. Speciesism.
For most of us, we do all these things from a distance sufficient that we can pretend to dissociate from the slaughterhouse stench of our consumer choices, but we are nonetheless responsible for that for which our money creates a demand.
When we tell the world how we ‘love animals’, when we cosset and adore our nonhuman companions, when we point accusing, critical fingers at what others do to animals without questioning our own behaviour, we create an imaginary world where we envision ourselves as advocates of justice and defenders of the helpless. This world is no more than a fantasy while our every consumer choice is as bad as, or worse than, the practices we so scathingly protest; and while we are in fact full participants in a society that mistakenly assumes that other individuals are our property to do with as we please, to indulge our most trivial whims.
Let’s leave the fantasy behind and change the real world. The way to do that is for each of us to start by changing our own self and becoming vegan. We can be real, we can be vegan.
More about speciesism