By C. Ben Mitchell, PhD, CBC Board Member and Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy at Union University in Jackson, TN

Hello. My name is Ben and I’m a speciesist, a member of Humans Anonymous. I confess that I’m addicted to the human species, and that I am uncontrollably addicted to being human myself. Furthermore, I have the audacity to believe that being a member of the species Homo sapiens entitles me to a whole bundle of privileges, responsibilities, and rights. I take seriously the claim enshrined, for instance, in The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights that “Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable right of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world.” I believe it is self-evident that, as the founders of the American republic put it, “all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Believing as I do in the priority of the human species among all other animal species probably makes me, ironically, a dinosaur, but happily, I’m not alone.

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