Animal Rights: The Best Introductory Resources

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“The view that only humans are morally considered is sometimes referred to as “speciesism”. In the 1970s, Richard Ryder coined this term while campaigning in Oxford to denote a ubiquitous type of human centered prejudice, which he thought was similar to racism. He objected to favoring one’s own species, while exploiting or harming members of other species. Peter Singer popularized the term and focused on the way speciesism, without moral justification, favors the interests of humans:

“the racist violates the principle of equality by giving greater weight to the interests of members of his own race, when there is a clash between their interests and the interests of those of another race. Similarly the speciesist allows the interests of his own species to override the greater interests of members of other species. The pattern is the same in each case.”

Discrimination based on race, like discrimination based on species is thought to be prejudicial, because these are not characteristics that matter when it comes to making moral claims. . . .”

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