There are many “isms” worthy of our protest. Racism, militarism, fascism, sexism, ageism, totalitarianism and more.
But for those of us in the vegan community, by far the worst isms are speciesism and carnism.
These two isms are the most destructive dominant paradigms taught to humans.
First, let’s define these two paradigms.
Speciesism is the parent of carnism.
It’s a belief long held by humans that we’re by far the most valuable and important species on the planet.
Specieism tells us all other species are inferior to us. That they don’t count anywhere near as much as we do.
They have no rights at all. They’re just property. They’re just “dinner.”
Speciesism includes the belief that the earth itself, and all its biosphere processes, can and should be exploited by humans.
Specieism is the parent of harmful actions against animals including animal experimentation, using animals to make leather, fur coats, and similar materials, circuses, zoos, SeaWorld abuses, and on and on.
A very direct child of specieism is carnism.
The term was first used by heroic scholar and psychologist Dr. Melanie Joy and her must-read book Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows.
Carnism is the belief that it’s morally acceptable for humans to use animals for food.
The destructiveness of these two dominant paradigms is worldwide and horrific.
For humans, speciesism and carnism cause delusional thinking that leads to violence, biosphere mass extinction, and human health degradation.
Let’s be honest: there’s absolutely no rational evidence that humans are “the best” species.
That would be like saying an apple is better than a carrot, or Classical music is better than Celtic music.
It’s always an opinion and value system installed by society whenever someone believes that humans are the best and most important species on the planet.
It’s always scientifically inaccurate too.
In fact, speaking from a purely ecological perspective, humans are the worst species on the planet.
Why is this so? Because unlike all other species, we’ve jumped past evolutionary biology and ecosystem integrity so that wherever we go we create a net loss in natural biodiversity and ecosystems health.
Every other species in an undisturbed native ecosystem—from ants to lions to birds to trees and fungi—is an integrated part of the ecosystem that contributes to biodiversity and ecosystem services such as aerated, nutrients-rich soil.
But when humans come into those systems, they utterly decimate them.
Clearcutting, ranching, agriculture, fracking, use of fossil fuels, technology, machines, chemicals, urbanization, bulldozing, paving, and other common human activities wipe out native ecosystems and the species that depend on them.
Human activities create pollution and extinction. They leave dead zones in their wake.
Here’s the stark truth: the earth is dying because of how we live.
And when you look at carnism, you see a worldwide genocide of BILLIONS of sentient beings per year all so humans can choose to eat animal foods that we don’t need to eat and that are bad for our health!
You absolutely have to get and read Dr. Joy’s book, and also watch the embedded videos in this article, to see the earthshaking scope of carnism’s violence towards animals.
In the short time it takes you to read this article, tens of thousands of animals are killed for food in the USA.
Ten billion animals are killed every year in the USA alone.
This mind-blowing total doesn’t even include fish and other sea creatures.
Many of these innocent animals are killed in ways that humans don’t kill each other. They’re skinned, sawed, chopped up, tortured, boiled… alive.
Faced with these facts, a Vegan Samurai is a warrior against the dominant paradigms of speciesism and carnism.
Yes, many other isms are horrible too.
What Hitler did to the Jews, wars, oppression of women, minorities, the poor… all are terrible.
But only if you subscribe to specieism would you say the bad things humans do to each other every day are more worthy of protest than the monstrous things humans do to tens of millions of animals every day.
A Vegan Samurai realizes that every animal humans harm has personality, emotions, a desire to live a safe and happy life. We see animals as having personhood.
Thus, the scale of the bad things humans do to animals dwarfs the harms humans do to each other.
More animals are killed by humans every year than all the humans who’ve been killed by other humans since humans evolved on this earth.
Please stay tuned to VeganSamurai.org for more articles based on Dr. Joy’s research into the roots of carnism and what carnism does to Nature, animals, individuals, and society.
In the meantime, consider it a point of honor to go beyond being a vegan. Become a vegan activist who works with all your heart to purge humanity of its brutal, uncaring, and violent actions based on specieism and carnism.
Defending the defenseless is what being a Vegan Samurai is all about.