Peter Tatchell Calls for Human and Non-Human Animal Liberation
At a talk in London, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell argued that speciesism is analogous to homophobia, racism, and misogyny.
Our understanding of who is deserving of rights has, thankfully, progressed considerably throughout history. There was a time in the not-too-distant past when women were denied the rights to own property, gain custody of their children, and vote. Black people were once regarded as “subhuman” and undeserving of even the most basic freedoms, and gay men were not only denied the right to choose a partner but also experimented upon. Now, people are waking up to the view that legal rights should not be determined by your species any more than by your gender, skin colour, or sexual orientation.
Peter explained why animal liberation is so important:
We have, I believe, a moral duty to stop abusing other animal species. They aren’t really that different from us humans. Indeed, many vertebrates share much of our DNA and our capacity for thought, feelings, emotions, memory, sociability, language, altruism, and empathy. We need to recognise and embrace our common animalism. If we did that, the excuses and rationalisations for treating other species badly would fall away. It’s time for human and animal liberation.