In this paper I will attempt to discredit as much as possible the argument made by Peter Singer. Singer believes in animal liberation, and that their interests deserve equal consideration to our own. He is not attempting to say that humans and other species are equal. Singer believes humans are speciesists, and our eating of other species at mealtimes is our biggest qualification for that label. I will present two cases: one will deal with Kant and the other will focus on Singer’s question about why we would choose an adult healthy dog over a mentally retarded infant in lab experiments.
Singer makes the analogy of animal liberation today with the racial and gender discriminations in the past. What Singer wants to make clear though is that humans and animals do not need to be treated as equals, but that their interests should each be respected. “The basic principle of equality, I shall argue, is equality of consideration: and equal consideration for different beings may lead to different treatment and different rights.” (Singer, 34) It is on this principle that speciesism should be condemned. It is Singer’s hope that we can put ourselves in the places of a species other than our own—animals—so that we may better understand their situation.
Singer mentions a passage written by Jeremy Bentham that ponders whether non-human animals will ever have the right to equal consideration. Bentham finishes by saying that it is not the ability to reason, but whether a being can suffer that should decide the right to equal consideration. Singer also adds that there can be no moral justification in refusing to take suffering into account. A being that suffers or can show happiness means that this being must have interests. Speciesism then occurs when one species makes their interests more important than another.
According to Singer most humans are speciesists. The decision...