December 14, 2020

Human Beings and Being Human

Syl Ko with Adam Ferner and Darren Chetty

Mainstream animal advocates argue that “speciesism”, or arbitrarily giving moral weight to members of the species Homo Sapiens, is primarily responsible for animal oppression. But they have a difficult time convincing those outside the movement that speciesism is anything like racism or sexism. Even worse, they arrive at a seemingly insuperable impasse with those fighting for their civil rights, who are forced to appeal to the fact that they are human beings to have their struggle recognized. In this conversation with “Do you even Vegan?” hosts Adam Ferner and Darren Chetty, philosopher Syl Ko will explore the idea that animal advocates may be wrong to draw parallels between phenomena like racism/sexism and speciesism. Feeling that the term “speciesism” misdescribes why animals are in their current situation, Ko introduces a new ground for an animal ethic that restructures the relationship between the injustices that affect humans and those that affect animals, revealing that human supremacy should not be confused with the (necessary) valuation of being human. 

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