I remember the first time I heard the term “speciesism.” It was 1992, I was not vegan, and a friend of mine had an “END SPECIESISM” poster on his walls. I asked him what it meant and he said it was the was the concept that humans believe we are better than other animal species and we use that false assumption as the justification to own, breed, control, exploit, torture, and kill animals of different species. Honestly, in my head, I was like, “aren’t we better?” But better at what? And does being “better” at any particular thing give someone the right to own, abuse, or kill other sentient life for pleasure. 20+ years later, Speciesism the movie is having it’s Seattle premiere on April 3, 2014 with a Q&A with the director post-screening. I’ll be there.
A few of you may have read a bit on ethical philosophy, eco-feminism, liberation theory, etc. and the idea of speciesism and the traditional “rights” based utilitarian philosophy may seem old hat. But trust me, continuing to explore veganism from all angles is still critical to our growth as individuals and our ability to put our ethics into context. If this concept is newer and you find yourself struggling to talk about your ethical choices with the eloquence you desire, then I think this movie may be right up your ally. Let me suggest three reasons why everyone who reads Vegan Score should buy a ticket or two right now:
1. YOU AREN’T VEGAN: Everyone, no matter where they are at in life or where they are going, owe it to themselves to gather all of the information possible so you can make the best decisions for your life. Even if you think the concept that non-human animals deserve moral consideration is absurd, it is still very important to understand other ideas and how you might use those ideas to inform your decisions.
2. YOU ARE VEGAN: If you are are a new vegan or a 30 year vegan veteran, being reminded of the ethical foundations of the practice of a vegan lifestyle is essential for your emotional health. Every day we are faced with thousands of pieces of pro-meat, pro-violence, pro-exploitation propaganda. We are inundated with messages that encourage us to conform, to expect less of ourselves, and to believe that we can both care about animals and kill them. You should give space in your life for the alternative message.
3. YOU HAVE FRIENDS: So maybe you are vegan and think you have nothing to learn about speciesism – let me implore you to take a chance on dragging an open minded friend or family member. Everyone of us required new information to learn, grow, and evolve and you can be part of the dissemination of new ways of seeing the world by sharing this movie with people you love. I don’t mean you are going to bring someone and they are going to have a “eureka” moment – just that they too are inundated with pro-meat propaganda every day and deserve alternative views on the world. It is only fair.
A movie! Q&A with the director! There’s more?! You can go eat delicious vegan food at Chaco, Wayward, Pizza Pi, or Arayas before hand since it is screening in the U-District at the Varsity! Yay for vegan convenience convergence. So I hope to see you there with a friend or two in tow, what ever your reason for going.