An egalitarian school of thought supports equality of some sort. Peter Singer, an author who favors the egalitarian school of thought advocates for a switch in the attitudes towards the moral principles of equality (Singer,169). The existing attitudes and procedures operate to benefit the group that an individual belongs to while disadvantaging other groups of beings belonging to a different species, for instance, animals. I agree with Springer that all beings are equal including animals. This is because the vital points which give a being the rights for consideration for equality extend to all human beings including animals.
The first important characteristic is the capacity for suffering a being possess. Having interest is a prerequisite for a being’s capacity for suffering as shown in the stone and a mouse example. A stone has no interest in being kicked around because it cannot suffer. A mouse, however, has an interest in not being tortured because it will suffer (Singer,172). As such, there is no moral justification for not taking into consideration the suffering of any being no matter the species.
The human race has, however, marked this capacity for suffering in an arbitrary way by arguing that characteristics such as intelligence or rationality mark the boundary of having interest in the concerns of others. Humans dismiss animals as a lesser species and use them to fulfill their own interest by rearing and killing them for food to satisfy the pleasure of taste and nutrient requirements. The suffering animals are subjected by humans is a clear example of speciesism (Singer,172). The human need for protein can be satisfied by using vegetable proteins such as soybeans as opposed to justifying the suffering of animals with the argument that we need the protein.
Denying the need for equality to non-humans as liberation groups champion for equality for all other oppressed humans puts the campaign on a shaky ground. The basis of the argument for opposing discrimination based on race and sex can be extended to include non-humans without sounding absurd. It can be argued that the demand for equality for humans is based on the inherent similarities between the races and sexes which make them equal. Beyond race and sexes, humans differ as individuals, yet people do not rethink the need for their equality based on this. It is clear that the need for equality does not depend on matters of fact but on moral ideals but on the moral grounds of how people should be treated. On the same grounds, speciesism should be condemned (Singer,171). If being white does not equal to using a black person for own gain, being human should not entitle one to exploit animals.
When discussing equality, the issue of treating animals as equals does not often come up. The reason is that humans believe that beings from other species are not actually equal to them. This thinking is flawed because non-humans belonging to other species such as animals have the capacity for suffering as humans do, thus all beings are equal. In this regard, the basic principles utilized to fight for equality for oppressed humans can be extended to fit other species without sounding absurd because all beings are equal.
Peter. “20 All Animals Are Equal.” Environmental ethics: The big questions (2010): 169-175.