Written by PETA
How do you plan to observe the third-annual World Day Against Speciesism on June 5? The day is designed to remind people that speciesism, like racism and sexism, has no place in a civilized society. Prejudice toward animals is no more acceptable than prejudice toward humans.
If a person truly believes that kindness is a virtue, how could it be possible to justify scalding chickens alive, forcing chemicals down rats' throats, keeping elephants in chains, or electrocuting foxes and stripping off their fur—all simply because they're "just animals"?
Animals are made of flesh, bone, and blood, just as you and I are. They feel pain and joy, just as we do; they form friendships, grieve for lost loved ones, communicate with one another, raise families, and use tools. But whether or not they are "like us," they deserve respect, compassion, and empathy. In the words of philosopher Jeremy Bentham, "The question is not, 'Can they reason?' nor, 'Can they talk?' but, 'Can they suffer?'"
If you need ideas for honoring World Day Against Speciesism, please check out PETA's Web sites listed above or visit our Action Center. Any one—or two or three—of the suggested actions will make a difference!
Written by Heather Moore
Don't ask me what I was doing nerding around at Wordsmith.org this morning, but this particular Internet detour turned out to be felicitous and surprisingly, um, appurtenant.
Turns out that today's Word of the Day is "Speciesism," which the good folks at Wordsmith have defined for us as "The assumption of superiority of humans over other animal species, especially to justify their exploitation."
There’s also a nice story in there by Charles Darwin’s biographer, James Moore, who quotes Darwin as follows: “To say man is the pinnacle of creation and all things were created for him ... Darwin says that is the same arrogance we see in the slave master.”
Anyway, there you have it. “Speciesism” = today’s word of the day. A small step, in the scheme of things, but a step nonetheless. There’s also a book on the subject, which I can highly recommend for anyone who wants to pursue this topic further.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.