The argument holds that behaviors reflective of racism, sexism and speciesism are all examples of exclusionary attitudes. Richard Ryder, in ‘The Political Animal: The Conquest of Speciesism’, says that Aristotle thought that animals “exist for the sake of men” while undermining the position of slaves and women (Ryder). According to Richard, it is not a coincidence, as either one can be a caring individual who recognizes and values other beings or one can be selfish caring only for self.
The argument was considered insulting and crackpot when it first came out in 1970. Human equality was the priority with women setting their undergarments alight and the black citizens fighting for the right to vote. Nobody had much time to spare to think about improving the conditions of the gorillas of West Africa. Now, the notion of speciesism has earned kudos and has gained respectability in a variety of professions.
David B Wolf, a social worker, is of the view that his colleagues need I rethink on this speciesist attitude. He says that the aim of the social work currently is enhancing human well-being and helping meet the basic needs of all human beings, he suggests that instead of this the issue of speciesism should be incorporated as one of the basic elements of this profession (Wolf). A Swedish educationalist wrote an article which critiqued the “oppressive human-animal structures of domination” in schools and criticized the speciesism implicit in the textbooks of school children and in the choices of school trips. She has called for such prejudices to be replaced by “respect and compassion for the others”, in broadest meanings of the word(Pederson). Similarly, a professor of cultural studies propagates a nonspeciesist vision for reading art and literature.