I put down my fork. If I believe in equality, and equality is based on interests rather than characteristics, then either I have to take the steer’s interest into account or accept that I’m a speciesist. For the time being, I decided, I’ll plead guilty as charged. I finished my steak.
This is a good example of how the charge of speciesism is not as damning as abolitionist vegans would like to think it is. They spend so much time trying to paint speciesism as being morally equatable to racism and sexism. In fact, if you tell them that you’re really sick of hearing the analogies, they will probably get mad at you and call you a speciesist some more (and maybe a racist and sexist, if they’re really frustrated). So it really blows their minds when someone can just casually admit to being a specieisist and still feel like a normal, moral person.
And just to be clear, I don’t agree with Pollan’s reasoning in this little snippet. I’m just making the point that the speciesism = racism = sexism etc. analogy that so many vegans like to use is not nearly as effective as they think it is. You can tell someone all day long that speciesism = racism = sexism, but if there is just a little part of them that rejects the idea of species equality, they will reject what you’re saying and feel justified in munching down on some flesh. You will have to to try to find another way to (not so) subtly imply that they’re racist or sexist or that they approve of rape.
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