Homo sapiens has a tendency to assume itself to be overwhelmingly superior to all other species, having the right to kill, mutilate and enslave the others at will. Speciesism has been defined as the high barrier placed by man between the human species and all the rest of the animal species.
Speciesism is analogous to sexism or racism. It is a distinction made between individuals that is arbitrary and indefensible. It is fallacious to argue that faculties such as reason and language create a higher moral plane on which man relates to man when such rights are extended in practice to the morally innocent such as babies or the mentally handicapped. Just as such people are not denied the rights to moral treatment by their condition, the same should apply to animals. Furthermore, what is known of human suffering is also true of animal suffering, with the added moral imperative that animals are unable to defend themselves.