Specieism: Treatment of My Kitten vs My Child
Should we treat our kitten different than our young child? How much protection do we owe the animals we own? And if they need to be protected against pain or death, why do we need to do that? Is it for our own comfort and peace of mind? Do our animals know the consequences of what we are deciding for them? Should non-human species of animals who are believed to be able to think be treated the same or differently than humans? If cattle can think, why do we kill them for food? If dogs think, why, in some cultures, they are killed for food? Is it fair for humans to behave in a different manner depending on what species of animals are being considered and acted upon? This is all bioethics and currently on a bioethics listserv these questions are being considered. One of the ethicists on the listserv wrote the following questions today which I am reproducing here. Maybe some visitor can provide an answer to one or more of my questions or those of the ethicist. ..Maurice.
Is it true that specieism is on a par morally with racism?
Singer thinks that there’s nothing wrong with human animals having sexual relations with non-human animals, e.g., the great apes. Is that true?
Is it true that we are as much responsible for evils we could have prevented as those we cause?
Non-human animals display specie preference (and sex preference). If specieism and sexism are inherently objectionable, shouldn’t we breed that out of them, if possible? If not, why not?
A non-human prey animal’s loss when killed by a non-human animal predator is the same as his loss when imposed by a human animal hunter. Why is predation by non-human animals Ok, but predation by human animal predators not-Ok?
If one objects to wearing the skins of animal martyrs on principle, mustn’t one object to accepting medical treatments developed at the cost of animal martyrs for the same reason?
And mustn’t one similarly object to accepting insurance coverage specifically targeted to offset the costs of products and services developed at the expense of animal martyrs?
Isn’t it perverse to favor further expansion of insurance coverage that fuels an industry based on the idea that non-human animals shall bear the initial costs of product development?