Letter to the editor:
I want to talk about something that has been bugging me a lot lately. I myself am a part of a vegan and vegetarian community (I eat plant-based foods, but would not necessarily call myself a vegan). In this community, life is highly valued, ANIMAL life that is.
Now do not get me wrong, I have no problem with animal life being valued; I value animals and their rights. I want them to lead good lives and that no harm comes to them. I do not want them killed when they do not have to be. This all vegans would agree with me on, vegetarians too.
Indeed most people are starting to value the lives of animals and want them treated better, and that is great. The hypocrisy of many vegans is that they do not want to kill even the smallest of things, not even insects. Most vegans do not even eat oysters, yet very few I have spoken to are pro-life. How can this be?
Vegans often talk about something called speciesism. This is the origin of all oppression, some vegans say. It is when we think one species is superior to all others, thus leading to mistreatment of these other species. Even though they can feel pain as we do. Even though they clearly are full of life, just as us. Nevertheless, a little different, but nonetheless they are no less valued by the vegans.
When other humans treat the human race as better than any race of animals, vegans are soon to call them out on their speciesism. They use it all the time when people refuse to acknowledge animals and their suffering. When an animal is slaughtered, it is speciesism. When we use animals for fur, it is speciesism. And so on and so forth. Even fish and insects are given value. Most vegans would say that choosing to kill other animals (unless necessary for survival etc.) is an immoral choice. A choice that cannot be defended.
However, as soon as we talk about a HUMAN life, there is a different tune. Killing a human fetus in utero is nothing to talk about and indeed to some even praiseworthy. It is a woman’s body, a woman’s choice. Choosing to kill and eat an animal is awful; choosing to kill a human fetus is a woman’s choice not to be judged by others.
A human fetus has less worth than an insect. I have even talked to vegan people who find it outrageous to compare a clump of cells to insects. Insects are apparently much more advanced beings than human fetuses. If that is not speciesism, I do not know what is.
You cannot possibly think you value all life equally if you think killing one species offspring is okay but not another’s. That is the very definition of speciesism, treating another species as if they are less worth than another is. If you were to be truly vegan you must be pro-life, anything else would be hypocrisy.
*disclaimer* I know not all vegans are like this, but a lot of them are. And they need to be called out on it