Speciesism Is the Root of All Oppression

Posted by on May 31, 2024 | Permalink

David Gambin

Written by NEO 10Y

The correlation between LGBTQ+ rights and animal rights reflects the intersectionality that underscores how various forms of oppression connect.

At the heart of this relationship lies speciesism, a worldview which posits that discrimination based on species is morally justifiable – much like how racism and sexism seek to justify discrimination based on ethnicity or gender. Individuals within the LGBTQ+ community have faced marginalisation and discrimination based on our sexual orientation and gender identities. Animals are similarly subjected to systemic exploitation and violence solely because they belong to a different species.

Oppression manifests in various ways – from the commodification of animals on farms and in laboratories to the violence that LGBTQ+ individuals experience all around the world. Speciesism is the root of all oppression because its widespread acceptance in society normalises the subjugation of living, feeling beings. How can we campaign against the oppression of some while upholding that of others? If we’re to stand for equality, it must be for everyone. Both speciesism and discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community stem from a mindset that views certain individuals as inferior to others, a misguided notion that many people have been conditioned to believe. This perpetuates systems of power and privilege that benefit the dominant group at the expense of marginalised communities.

As a queer person of colour, I find myself navigating intersecting systems of oppression that often go unrecognised or unaddressed. My identity has heightened my awareness of how various forms of discrimination and oppression are connected – including speciesism. Embracing a vegan lifestyle has been an integral part of my journey towards greater empathy for all beings.

For me, love is the ultimate driving force behind my decision to go vegan: this movement is about recognising the inherent worth and dignity of every sentient being and choosing to live in alignment with values of kindness. Vegan consciousness has opened my eyes to the interconnectedness of all life and inspired me to extend my circle of compassion beyond humankind.

The struggles for LGBTQ+ rights and animal rights share the common threads of liberation and equality. Both movements are working against discrimination and oppression that is rooted in the pervasiveness of speciesism and denies individuals autonomy, dignity, and basic rights. By challenging these systems and recognising the inherent worth of all beings, regardless of species or sexual orientation, we can strive towards a fairer and more compassionate world.

Embracing an inclusive and intersectional approach to activism can strengthen both movements by fostering solidarity and amplifying marginalised voices. Together, we can advocate for everyone to be treated with respect.

The profound message that lies at the core of my artistic expression is encapsulated in my song CHOOSE LOVE. This track serves as a liberation anthem for all living beings, resonating with the universal desire for a “protopian” dimension of peace on planet Earth.

Through its lyrics and melody, CHOOSE LOVE embodies the ethos of compassion and interconnectedness, urging us all to embrace a world where love is the guiding force. This song captures my journey towards greater awareness and empathy and echoes the belief that love is the shortcut to world peace.

This Pride Month, I would love for vegan and queer activists to recognise our collective strength. By participating in isolated social justice movements, we limit our ability to challenge and dismantle the systemic oppression that affects all species. It’s essential to acknowledge that the structures of oppression we face are interlinked and institutionalised. Only by uniting our efforts can we effectively confront these systems and work towards creating a more just world.

NEO 10Y is a recording artist and activist. His songs are dedicated to amplifying love and consciousness, and he has previously worked with PETA to encourage people to turn their backs on leather and leave animals off their plates. He recently discussed a vegan future on Channel 4’s Higher Ground and will be hosting National Animal Rights Day at Wellington Arch in London on 2 June and performing at Vegan Camp Out this July. You can learn more about his journey and philosophies through his website and music.