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Speciesism (coined by British psychologist Richard Ryder in 1973) refers to an attitude of superiority or domination that is acted upon in a way that oppresses the members of a group--in this case, nonhuman animals. It would be considered speciesist, for example, to say that the desire for the taste of animal flesh is justification enough for humans to take the lives of other animals, who are viewed as having no inherent worth or reason for being beyond their use to humans. Speciesism, as with racism, often involves a failure to recognize that others have a right to such things as respect, bodily integrity, and freedom from confinement.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Given that we domesticated these animals, doesn’t that give us the right to use them?
What about indigenous people who kill and eat animals, but do so in a way that respects the animal's spirit?
My religious tradition doesn't forbid killing and eating animals, so that makes it okay, doesn’t it?
Non-violent social change
Path of conscience
Privilege of domination