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Racism, Speciesism, and Science

Speciesism is a form of discrimination against non-human animals and any irrational differentiation between human and non-human animals.

The term was created in 1973 by Richard D. Ryder but since became widely used in animal rights and animal liberation social movements.

Forms of speciesism[edit]

There are many different rationalisations for speciesism, some of which are unique to this discrimination, while others apply to any other one.

Sentience driven[edit]

Some people argue that all beings who are not sapient are also not sentient, and therefore no moral and ethical guides and regulations of our society can be applied to them. A subsegment of this reasoning argues that since non-human animals do not exhibit morality of thier own, human morality cannot be applied to them, similar to humans who suffer mental illness and lack moral or ethical understanding. Others give examples of animals morality and ethics, such as non-humans who risk their lives to save fellow companion animals such as humans.


In many religions humans are seen as hierarchically above non-humans. In Christianity and Islam all non-human animals are seen as subjects that are given to humans,

Many scientists also view humans as being the "most evolved" out of animal kingdom.

A circular argument of "We (humans) are currently on the top, therefore we can stay on the top" also implies the inherent hierarchy of life.


Confusion of equality and sameness is often used to promote the idea that animals must automatically be inferior because they are different.