Merriam-Webster defines “speciesism” as “prejudice or discrimination based on species; especially: discrimination against animals” and I have to admit that I am an enthusiastic practitioner of this form of prejudice.
‘ I don’t believe animals have any rights other than those that man gives to them. If animals want their rights, let them have a revolution, overthrow the humans, and then they can write their own Constitution.
‘ When I hit a deer with my car a few months ago I was more concerned about my car than the deer. However, I did briefly consider sticking the deer in the trunk so I could take it home and eat it.
‘ I don’t have any moral qualms about neutering dogs although I’m sure they’d have strident objections to the idea if they could speak.
‘ If I had to choose between saving the life of a human being and the life of an animal, it would be a no-brainer for me to choose the human. That would be the case even if the animal was cute and fuzzy and the human in question was Noam Chomsky…(OK, if the human was Yasser Arafat, you might have me but that’s an extreme case!)
‘ I don’t think apes, dogs, or dolphins are particularly intelligent. If they’re so smart let them write up their own articles to get across their point of view.
‘ I think refusing to drill ANWR because it might impact the habitat of caribou is an insane position. Personally, I’d be in favor of taking every caribou within 50 miles of the drilling site and grinding them up to make grease for the pipeline if it would help get the oil flowing a couple of years earlier.
‘ If I have a choice between letting farmers get water for their crops or having enough water for some endangered salmon, the farmers will win out every time.
‘ The majority of species on the planet was wiped out before man even hit the scene. So if spotted owls go the way of the raptors, I’m sure we’ll do just fine without them.
‘ I think the Endangered Species Act should be revoked. The Constitution says you can’t be forced to quarter soldiers against your will, so why should private landowners be forced to quarter animals?
‘ When I heard that California spent millions of dollars to move a hospital in order to protect the habitat of Delhi Sands fly, I thought they could have saved a lot of money by just buying a fly swatter.
‘ I think the best way to protect animals is to allow humans to own them. Do you want to protect bald eagles? Sell them all to Microsoft. Want to see the Spotted Owls thrive? Allow them to be sponsored by IBM. Better yet, figure out a way to make a delicious sauce out of an animal and we human beings will make sure they’ll never be wiped out. There sure aren’t any shortages of cows are there?
‘ I don’t feel bad about eating animals. The day I start to feel guilty about it will be the day a pig walks up to me and says, “Please don’t eat that piece of sausage…that was my girlfriend Petunia!”
All that being said, I love animals and I don’t think we should be needlessly cruel to them or wantonly slaughter whole species just because we can. But are we superior to animals? Absolutely we are. Are the interests of humans much more important than what we think animals may want? Unquestionably, the answer is yes. Humans are infinitely more consequential than animals and we need to keep that in mind. Whether we’re talking about giving legal ‘rights’ to animals, drilling in ANWR, or water rights at Klamath Falls, humans should come first.