Peter Singer Speciesism

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Peter Singer’s article, “Speciesism and the Equality of Animals,” claims that human beings should apply the principle of equal consideration of interests to nonhuman beings as well as human beings, and Singer asserts that the capacity for suffering is an important characteristic that gives a human or nonhuman being the right to equal consideration. Simply put, human beings should treat other human beings and nonhuman beings equally. Peter Singer, the Australian philosopher, defines speciesism “as a prejudice or attitude of bias toward the interests of members of one’s own species and against those members of other species” (277); therefore, Singer’s principle of equal consideration of interests is extremely valuable because it sheds insight against speciesism, such that speciesism is similar to racism and sexism. Peter Singer begins his argument against speciesism by agreeing with the philosopher, Jeremy Bentham, that a full-grown horse or dog is a more of a conversable and rational animal than a newborn child (Bentham qtd. in Singer 278). According to both Singer and Bentham the suffering…show more content…
Racism and sexism violate the principle of equality since it favors the “interests of those of another race or their own sex” (278). Likewise, speciesism violates the principle of equality as speciesism favors the “interests of his own species that override the greater interests of members of other species” (278). Moreover, Singer gives three examples of speciesism in practice which includes eating animal flesh for nutritional needs that can be substituted through soy beans or high protein vegetable products (279), meat production that confine sentient animals in cramped and unsuitable environment for the majority of their entire lives (280), and the use of nonhuman animals as items of laboratory equipment
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