The reasons for believing in the superiority of Homo Sapiens over other species are varied: some think it is our increased ability to reason, some think it culture and civilization, some think it a more complex psychology, some think it imagination, others our ability to make tools and develop complex technology. Whatever the reason offered, it is ultimately a delusion. This is mainly fueled by our inability to psychologically accept our mortal creatureliness a refusal to accept the finitude of life. We are animals and our existence is finite – our denial of this is ultimately the origin of our ill treatment of fellow animals.
The key assumption where this entire mode of thinking is fundamentally flawed, is the difficultly in attempting to judge one animal superior to the other. Most importantly, what is the definition of superior? That the species is the greater number? That the species can hunt more efficiently? That the species can create poetry? That the species is faster? Is a cow superior to an elk? Is a fish superior to a bird? Is an eagle superior to a bear? Is a human superior to a chicken? When one thinks about this, one realises that calling one species superior to another is utterly pointless as it entirely depends on the qualification. The horrible irony is that we ourselves are the ones most gravely guilty of this flawed thinking – essentially the core reason behind our blatant disregard of other animals’ wellbeing and very lives and the unimaginable amount of suffering inflicted upon hundreds of millions of sentient beings every single year, is most tragic indeed.
We feel superior to fellow animals, when we are still driven by the same basic drives and impulses as our “simpler” animal cousins; the difference is that we are in acute denial of this. How tragic we are.
We act as though our entire species are off the charts in terms of our intelligence and rationality. Really, what portion of the human species are truly rational, in the philosophical sense?
The main consequence of this denial? We ignore the rights of animals. To the most heinous degree. Who suffers? Everyone else but us (aside from the slow health decline of consuming an animal-based diet.)