50 minutes ago
Humans relationship with animals is complex. There are some animals we treat very kindly; we keep them as pets, give them names, and take them to the doctor when they are sick. Other animals, in contrast, seem not to deserve this privileged status; we use them as objects for human consumption, trade, involuntary experimental subjects, industrial equipment, or as sources of entertainment. Dogs are worth more than pigs, horses more than cows, cats more than rats, and by far the most worthy species of all is our own one. Philosophers have referred to this phenomenon of discriminating individuals on the basis of their species membership as speciesism (Singer, 1975). Some of them have argued that speciesism is a form of prejudice analogous to racism or sexism.
The research of Caviola, Everett, & Faber showed that the philosophers were right when they drew an analogy between speciesism and other forms of prejudice. Speciesism correlates positively with racism, sexism, and homophobia, and seems to be underpinned by the same socio-ideological beliefs. Similar to racism and sexism, speciesism appears to be an expression of Social Dominance Orientation: the ideological belief that inequality can be justified and that weaker groups should be dominated by stronger groups (Dhont, et al., 2016). In addition, speciesism correlates negatively with both empathy and actively open-minded thinking. Men are more likely to be speciesists than women. Yet, there are no correlations with age or education.