“[W]e cannot maintain that the value of nonhuman life is less than the value of human life for the purpose of justifying the use of nonhumans as replaceable resources without assumptions that are explicitly speciesist, such as that animals are not self-aware in the same way that humans are, which is probably true, and, therefore, that their lives are of less value, which does not follow and which I absolutely reject.
To say that, for the purposes of being used exclusively as a replaceable resource, humans enjoy a different level of protection because they have a representational form of self-awareness, or to fail to recognize that sentience alone is both necessary and sufficient for deserving the right not to be exploited and killed, is speciesist.
In fact, I would call it ‘deeply speciesist.'”
~ Gary L. Francione
Excerpt from: Animal Welfare Regulation, “Happy Exploitation,” and Speciesism