Meh… I see what they are going for, but I think that “humanization” only moves the goalposts of bigotry. If you think that concepts of respect and agency have some species-specific significance, then you’d better check yourself.

(Yet another issue where I think “both sides” are framing it in fundamentally mistaken ways.)

I’d welcome a world where jews, romany, armenians, communists, atheists, native americans, blacks, the handicapped, tutsi, and countless other groups could at least avail themselves of their common humanity. If that makes me “speciest” so be it.


When oh when will you finally acknowledge that insects are people too??


Humanity is just another stereotype. Like hoping somebody will “man up”, or “act like a white person”. It’s an aspiration to a category which has been based upon an abusive privilege over other groups, but it has been normalized. If I told people to treat me as if I were white/male/christian/rich/etc because that is what it means to have agency, then I think it would stand out that it is not as inclusive and liberating as it sounds. People would be rightly critical of it. It’s based upon a subversion. People could simply demand and recognize respect, and agency, and other emancipatory ideals without trying to anchor them as the exclusive province of a special group.


Are you not human?

I think you just doxxed popo.

They are Devo!


It’s not about me, it’s about trying to be consistent in the general principles of how people socialize. Hiding bigotry by expanding the winner’s circle hides symptoms but leaves the underlying mechanisms and rationalizations intact, which only shifts the boundaries again of ingroup/outgroup, oppressed/oppressors.


Hang on! Almost there for you…

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It’s like the portrait of Dorian Gray, just, ya know, without the portrait.


I’m not sure if this is not an elaborate troll, but you do realize that this would expand the “in-group” to literally every person on the planet, leaving nobody to be oppressed?


No, I realize that humans are a vast minority. And that recognizing personhood of only one group IS the mechanism of oppression. The semantics of which operate by saying that those who don’t fit under that umbrella (such as non-humans) supposedly are not oppressed because since they are excluded categorically, they don’t matter in the context of the discussion. But that’s the same exact way bigotry has always worked.

Of course, I can empathize that humans conceding their ‘stewardship’ of the planet would seem really inconvenient. But as some say, ‘When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.’

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Because that certainly rolls off the tongue. And if you think about it, we can be pretty sure that respect and agency actually are species specific ideas. You can debate what species, sure, but all plant matter constitutes both life, and a wide variety of species. I would argue that grass, of any variety, is not deserving of respect or agency. You can plant it, mow it, step on it, whatever. It’s grass. It doesn’t care.

Likewise in the animal kingdom, I have a gnat problem in my house. I don’t think it makes me one of history’s greatest monsters to leave out apple cider vinegar traps for them.

What’s attracting the gnats is my cat, who I certainly believe has more rights then they do, but he still has to go to the vet and get his checkups, regardless of his personal feelings on the matter.

And, of course, humans have rights that our closest kin don’t. We don’t let other primates vote in elections, and I believe that’s a wise and fair decision, as they do not appear able to understand the issues, or even what it is that they’re doing.

In conclusion, an appeal to humanity, or human rights, is a perfectly valid one.


As a vegan for the last twenty-two years and counting, I heartily endorse this proposition. Should we widen the circle of compassion and respect to include (more) nonhuman beings? Damn right we should. Can we have a discussion about humanity and human rights without talking about frogs? I fucking hope so.


Present leadership would appear to contradict the first half of your assertion.


Are you vegan?

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Are you dancer?


The reductio-ad-absurdum of that position, assuming you’re serious (my irony meter is broken today), is that there are surely things out there that do not have agency in the same sense that we do, Conway’s free-will theorem notwithstanding. I don’t think that an electron, a rock, or a toilet need to be accorded all that much autonomy, and they need to be respected only to the extent of “if you make a mess, clean it up as much as possible.” We can argue about where to draw the line, but it almost surely should encompass all functioning members of our species.

As an ecologist, and botanist, I allow myself to disagree on principle. You ought to respect grasses, and if only for the services and provisions they provide. Utilitarian bullshit aside, I can still cut the grass and respect it inherently. Not so sure about your agency point, though. =)