According to studies at Brock University, racial prejudice and discrimination may be associated with a strong belief that humans are superior to animals. By encouraging children to interact with animals in a thoughtful, compassionate way, you have a better chance of humanizing their response to people who appear to be different.
– Ft. McMurray’s animals and the evolution of human empathy
We all want a more peaceful world, right? No one except a few highly disturbed individuals is wishing for more division and conflict. We have long had educational programs that seek to “teach tolerance”. So why aren’t we all just “getting along” yet?
We know that high states of stress increase the propensity to stereotype and detract from receptivity on both the emotional and intellectual levels. Educational programs that do not address the collective traumatized nervous system will be limited in effectiveness. Certainly that is part of the problem.
What if believing we are superior to other animals is an additional symptom that in turn also becomes part of the problem?
What if even having sympathy for other species is a good start, but doesn’t take us far enough because too often the sympathy continues to hold arrogance within it?
What if the way we see other species is not factually based in reality, but instead, based in our conditioning, rationalization, convenience, exaggerated entitlement and privilege? In other words, what if we dominate, not because we are better, but merely because we can?
There are a lot of things in this world that need much more attention. Species-ism is one of the most fundamental and destructive, yet, it remains greatly under-recognized and unaddressed.
Tomorrow evening, please summon your courage, bring your open-mindedness, and come prepared to leave seeing the world differently. Please join us at 6:30pm, Sunday May 22, in Irvine, for A Screening of Speciesism – (RSVP).