I never had these thoughts before as I always considered myself to be a humanist and that human life (or at least humans who are not mass murderers or psychopaths) is always more valuable than an animal life. I love animals, and I support animal rights. But the same time I always considered myself a speciest. Two common examples (that you probably heard up from moral research) are the burning building with a puppy and a baby and you could only save one, or the bus that is heading for a tourist and your pet. Both cases, while I would attempt to save both the animal and the human, I would save the human, even if it meant sacrificing my beloved cat.
Lately though, I have been looking at articles about the shooting of Harambe the silverback gorilla in order to save the life of a 4 year old child. The comment section of the articles were terrifying, as while there are plenty who agree that the zoo made the right decision, there were many people who would rather sacrifice the child in order to save the gorilla. They were going on at length about the evils of humanity, how we are destroying the world and killing off species, how we are 7 billion why there are only thousands of the silverback gorillas and that the child was worth less than the gorilla.
As I mentioned before, these comments appaled me. While I agree that we should take better care of the environment and animals than we currently do, I do not support the misanthropic view that humans are naturally evil and destructive. Their arguments in my eyes were the words of heartless sociopaths. They reminded me of the Nazi's who cared more about animal rights than the millions and millions of people they killed in concentration camps. But there was one common question that these people repeated over and over and which to my horror I had no logical counterargument to : why are humans considered more valuable than animals?