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UP #123: Speciesism: The Root “ism” Of Our Separation From The World With Trisha Roberts

UP #123: Speciesism: The Root “ism” of Our Separation from the World with Trisha Roberts

All conflict, destruction and violence on this planet stems from the illusion that we are separate. We “otherize” one another, non-human animals and the Earth, becoming mere commodities in the end. Separation psychosis is conditioned into us from birth and is nurtured by every dominant belief,and cultural system within our civilization. The deepest, most pervasive, and destructive root of our separation is specieism.

The basic definition of speciesism is, “the assumption of human superiority leading to the exploitation of animals.” But it is far more complex than this.

From the website, “Discrimination is based on judging others not for who they are but for what they are not. The lives and experiences of nonhuman animals are usually considered less important than those of human beings simply because they are not like humans. Yet nonhuman animals have emotional lives and feel pain, pleasure, fear and joy. Devaluing their lives simply because they don’t have some characteristics that most humans have is discrimination.

The most common manifestation of speciesist discrimination is moral anthropocentrism, which is the devaluation of the interests of those who don’t belong to the human species. But speciesism includes favoring some nonhuman species over others. For example, usually greater moral consideration is given to dogs than pigs, simply because dogs belong to a certain species and pigs do not.”

Many decry racism, sexism, ableism, and heterosexism without realizing that by not decrying speciesism, they only end up perpetuating the very root of all of ‘isms’: separation. We cannot ever live in non-separation if we negate the non-human world.

This week I speak with vegan abolitionist, Trisha Roberts, a passionate ethical vegan from Tasmania.

I was connected with Trish’s work through a podcast listener who sent me a blog post she wrote a few years back titled, No One Left to Remember, No One to Tell. In many ways, this post was similar to my lengthy essay from last spring. When I read her post, I knew I needed to have her on the show.

I’ve been interested in speaking with an outspoken abolitionist for a while, but it never felt aligned because I do not support violence of any sort. Many abolitionists are exceedingly aggressive in the language and words they use that judge and attack others. I am vehemently against this as all it does is perpetuate the very separation of which I am so against.

Trish and I are kindred spirits. Both of us live very different lives from the status quo. We are both ethical vegans with female partners living with an awareness of our imminent collective demise. We are both spiritually connected and believe in abolition from a place of non-separation. We both see the bigger picture and connect all the dots without denying that our time as a species is rapidly coming to a close. We both speak openly to this.

Trish is the first person I know (other than my partner) who understands it all—and who denies none of it through hopium or wishful thinking. Despite living with the collective end in mind, Trish, like myself, is not giving up on the world and instead, is living from a profound state of purpose. Needless to say, I was very eager to speak to a like-minded, like-hearted Soul sister.

In this week’s sobering conversation, we discuss:

  • Awakening to the pervasive nature of speciesism.
  • The welfare myth.
  • What is abolition and how it connects with non-separation.
  • The myth of “humane”.
  • Living from essence.
  • The intersection between justice movements and how speciesism is at the root of all oppressive behavior.
  • The injustice of domestication.
  • What is urgent purpose?
  • Overpopulation…
  • The importance of humor in dark times.
  • Our unnatural world and how we are not meant to live in this dysfunction.
  • Feeling marginalized in a separated world.
  • How spirituality is key to navigating these dire times.

This is a potent conversation between two very passionate women with a profound love for this Earth. Enjoy this powerful conversation with Trisha Roberts.


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This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. I love how often the Green Party gets mentioned on your show, Deb. I also love the shout-out to Sane Progressive (another Deb on fire!). I’ve even thought of recommending her as a guest on your show (A conversation with Deb and Deb and Deb).

    So many of our collective problems manifest politically, and she’d be great to talk with about the role of politics in rejecting status-quo and mourning a failing political paradigm (as a microcosm of our larger paradigm of separation), all the while maintaining fierce integrity no matter the outcome. Would love that conversation.

    Thanks for your amazing work, Deb! It, like Sane Progressive, keeps me sane.

  2. What an incredible episode! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! Its so heartening to know that there are others in this collapsing world who think and feel like we do.

  3. Amazing podcast! I’ve been vegetarian since 1976 and vegan for the animals and planet since 1999. In the early 1980s, I decided to NOT have children to protect other species. Thank you so much for calling out the deep green and NTHE movement on their apathy towards COMPASSION IN ACTION towards other species. It’s also highly prevalent in Buddhism and Wicca…to wish all beings free from suffering (harm none), wishing all beings peace…and yet denying the moral obligation to STOP contributing to the torture and slaughter of billions of sentient beings. As we ride down to extinction, I want to send so much love out to all the vegan folk who, in their gut and soul, understand.

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