Since grade 8th In school, all of us have studied theories of the food chain. Here’s something we’ve all heard, learnt, and believed to be the gospel truth.
‘Human beings are on top of the food chain’
A simple Google search today can prove that to be untrue. However, the thought shifts us in a very fundamental way, and has a great role in making us believe that we are really the master of all land and sea. This has put us in a position where we think other beings exist, for us, and not in their own right.
Similar ideologies occur within human evolution and revolutions. Some common examples are: Racism- the idea that one man is inferior to another based on their color; Casteism- the idea the one is inferior to another based on their caste or creed . In a similar fashion, an idea that is widely practiced but not worded enough is speciesism – the idea that man is above all other creatures and simply based on the specie it is.
Speciesism assigns different values to a particular species. It leads us to believe that animals are ours to use for our entertainment and lifestyle.They are consumed, turned into clothing, abused and subdued for entertainment, exploited for work, farmed so that their body parts can be used as raw materials in consumer products.
Pet animals on the other hand garner some respect from humans. They are shown preference over other animals when it comes to consuming them. The system however, makes us play God and decide the fate of lives that were never ours to judge.
Speciesism awards rights to human beings alone, taking away the most fundamental right form any specie, the right to live without any suffering.
Animals are conscious, sentient beings and similar to us in more ways that we can imagine. Speciesism is an old idea that needs to be done away with, just like casteism and racism.
Thus, being consuming animals is not a matter of choice anymore, as it is almost always described. Choosing to respect animals is a sign of civilisation, and of progress. Harming animals in any way is not our right, and is an ill that should be done away with as soon as possible.
So do you bit today by following a lifestyle that does not exploit, harm or abuse any animals. Right from circuses, to the food we eat- there is room for change and growth!
No belief system should justify oppression. Speak up against speciesism today.