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6 Books to Combat Speciesism

If you aren’t familiar with the term speciesism, it’s the idea that one animal species is morally more important than another, and should be treated accordingly to this hierarchy. Usually with humans being at the top.

Most people have a human-centric mindset which I believe, consequently, contributes to the cruel treatment of non-human animals. Similarly, a lack of education on animal biology also factors into the normalization of animal cruelty.

These 6 books aim to give a better understanding into the inner lives of non-human animals. Understanding their world will help you foster empathy for other species. Which in-turn combats speciesism and cruelty towards animals.

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 



Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are by Frans De Waal book cover

Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are by Frans De Waal

This book calls for the reexamination of what we’ve been taught about animal intelligence. Are we, in fact, smart enough to understand animals minds? Or has our human-centric biases clouded our judgement?

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in the shadow of a man by jane goodall book cover

In the Shadow of a Man by Jane Goodall

A tale into the life of renowned scientist and humanitarian, Jane Goodall, and her work studying chimpanzees around the world. Follow her expedition into befriending and documenting chimpanzees that would later change the way we understand great apes as we know it.

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other minds by peter godfrey smith book cover

Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith

This book debunks the misconceptions of cephalopod intelligence. Often an overlooked species, Godfrey-Smith aims to showcase their hidden abilities, from identifying their keepers, to turning off lightbulbs, and raiding neighboring tanks for food.

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being a dog by alexandra horowitz book cover

Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell by Alexandra Horowitz

Did you know that dogs primary sense is smell, like how humans rely on sight? Being a Dog allows you to explore the mind of a dog and how they perceive the world through scent.

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Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows by Melanie Joy

This book explores the psychology of eating meat. How is the brain conditioned to be selective about the animals we choose to eat versus love? Joy, a social psychologist, gives us a look into the lives of farm animals, factory workers, and the social conditioning behind eating meat.

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Adventures Among Ants by Mark W. Moffett

Take a trip around the world with Moffett as he recounts his experience studying ants across the globe. Look into the lives of ants and see how they navigate their social structures and dominate ecosystems through strikingly similar human-like behavior.

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A Final Note

When combating speciesism, we must learn to shift our mindset to be more understanding and open-minded. And these 6 books do just that. No matter if they’re ants climbing an ant hill in your backyard, or a dog sitting on your couch, all living beings deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.

Related: 8 Plant-Based Books to Add to Your Vegan Bookshelf

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