The Problem With Speciesism Essay

1123 Words 5 Pages
In this essay, I will discuss and define both speciesism and moral individualism according to Paola Cavalieri’s book, The Animal Question. Additionally, I will provide my opinion on which is the strongest argument for speciesism and why I still disagree with it.
Speciesism is the belief that humans are inherently superior to all other animals, solely based on their species membership. This widely held belief is used to justify the blatant discrimination of nonhuman animals, resulting in a lack of moral rights and the exploitation of defenseless beings.
This view, that humans are of special moral status, is constantly attempted to be rationalized in various ways. One such defense is that we are not morally wrong to prioritize our needs
…show more content…
The speciesist argument fails here for it is more than willing to give moral equality to the severely mentally disabled while completely ignoring the similarly mentally capable nonhuman animals, such as apes. Obviously there is a substantial amount of hypocrisy in this argument but for now it remains that “all human beings are equal and are entitled to the same fundamental moral protection while animals, counting for something, have an utterly inferior status” (Cavalieri, 69).
The idea that being human is a good enough reason for human animals to have greater moral rights than non-human animals is one of the generally held belief that falsely justifies the abuse, exploitation, and moral inconsideration of animals. Speciesism often claims human superiority to the extremist point where the smallest of luxuries for humans often take priority over lowest needs of nonhuman species. Clearly, the thinking that being human is the only way to achieve moral relevancy provides a greatly unequal and immoral system of opportunity between humans and nonhumans.
Throughout her book, The Animal Question, Cavalieri strongly suggests that moral rights should be considered in a case-by-case situation. This means that the individuals, whether human, ape, mentally disabled, or other, would be judged based on their own personal characteristics and not by the average abilities of their species. This theory, known as “moral individualism”, states that we should take into

Related Documents