Speciesism is a belief system that assigns different moral values to individuals based solely on their membership in a particular species.


Speciesism is a form of discrimination that is rooted in the assumption that humans are superior to all other animals, solely on the basis of their species. It involves treating animals as resources or mere objects of human use, disregarding their inherent worth, interests, and capacities.

Origins and Background:

The term “speciesism” was coined in the 1970s by British psychologist Richard D. Ryder. It draws parallels with other forms of discrimination, such as racism and sexism, highlighting the unjust and arbitrary nature of differentiating moral consideration based on membership in a particular group.

Forms of Speciesism:

Speciesism can manifest in various ways, including:

  • Viewing animals solely as resources for human consumption or exploitation.
  • Supporting the use of animals in entertainment, such as circuses or zoos, without consideration for their well-being.
  • Conducting experiments on animals without proper justification or exploring alternative methods.
  • Perpetuating the pet industry and breeding practices that prioritize human desires over animal welfare.
  • Using animals for fashion or cosmetic purposes, like fur or animal testing for beauty products.

Arguments Against Speciesism:

Opponents of speciesism argue that all sentient beings, regardless of their species, should be treated with equal moral consideration and have a right to be free from unnecessary suffering and exploitation. They emphasize the importance of recognizing the inherent value and individual interests of animals, promoting empathy and justice across species boundaries.


Speciesism perpetuates an unjust hierarchy that prioritizes human interests over the well-being of other animals. Recognizing the moral value of all sentient beings and striving for equality and compassion is essential to combat speciesism and build a more inclusive and ethical society.