Striving for social justice is the most valuable thing to do in life. (Albert Einstein)
In Western as well as in older Asian cultures, the concept of social justice has often referred to the process of ensuring that individuals fulfill their societal roles and receive what was their due from society.
The relevant institutions often include taxation, social insurance, public health, public school, public services, labour law and regulation of markets, to ensure fair distribution of wealth, equal opportunity and equality of outcome.
This includes treatment of an individual or group, based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or social category, ‘in a way worse than the way people are usually treated’.
It involves the group’s initial reaction or interaction going on to have an effect on the individual’s actual behavior towards the group leader or the group, restricting members of one group from opportunities or privileges available to another group, excluding individuals or entities based on logical or irrational decision making.
Discriminatory traditions, policies, ideas, practices, and laws exist in many countries and institutions in every part of the world, even in ones where discrimination is generally looked down upon.
Social oppression is based on power dynamics, and an individual’s social location in society. Social location, as defined by Lynn Weber, is “an individual’s or a group’s social ‘place’ in the race, class, gender and sexuality hierarchies, as well as in other critical social hierarchies such as age, ethnicity, and nation.”
An individual’s social location determines how one will be perceived by others in the whole of society.
It maintains three faces of power: the power to design or manipulate the rules, to win the game through force or competition, and the ability to write history.
It is usually for financial or sexual gain and the exploited are looked upon as nothing more than a product.
The discriminatory, oppressive, exploitative behaviour of violence and crimes against humans, mostly usually because of a person’s ethnicity or race are found throughout history.
This discriminatory, oppressive and exploitation also occurs daily against billions of land and marine non-human animals as speciesism.
We believe that non-human animals matter morally just as much as human animals and are victims too of discrimination, oppression and exploitation.
All life on earth matters and we must therefore strive to seek social justice protection for all human and non-human animals.