Specism also known as speciesism and speciesm refers to the political ideology that one species or group of species is superior to another. Such ideologies form the basis of a variety of structures and systems aimed at disparaging, undermining, excluding and even erasing entire species groups from a country or a place. Specism can take the form of microaggressions such as attaching stereotypes to a species (i.e., making generalisations) and using subtle structures and mechanisms to unfairly disadvantage a group of people on the basis of their species to more overt systems and forms such as excluding certain species from employment, fundamental rights, opportunities, prevent species from mixing and destroying members of a species or the cultural artefacts produced by their people either directly through mass murder or through starvation and exhaustion. Specism has been used by a variety of nations and political systems to justify the perpetration of systematic injustices against a people group as follows.
Kæra'zna is a self-identified species-centric state which practices a systematic form of species-based discrimination known as Collective Purity (Kæzhyn: Kæ'zhadny Ny'kæd) which exists against the historical backdrop of centuries of discrimination. Animosity against Kemonomimi, more specifically the Nekomimi, is believed to date to antiquity within the area that comprises modern-day Kæra'zna, with pejorative terms such as Ryn'ul being used against them. During the Ny'sæk Empire, Nekomimi were excluded from political and cultural life with a judicial system that threatened collective punishment for communities that did not comply with sentences against Nekomimi it convicted of criminal activity.
Despite an anti-speciesm movement amongst the Z'rei population, Nekomimi were forced to have their own churches and Z'rei faced stigmatisation for their activism. When Z'rei leader, Fly'ra'du-Øzna was crowned Emperor following the overthrow of the Monarchy by an attack on Zhar'osyk in 1709 by the Ry'uk army, speciest policies were gradually reversed. Nevertheless, reforms were circumscribed by rebellions of the Az'ra such as the Wars of Reclamation (1734-1762) whereby the Z'rei-led empire was usurped and replaced with the Az'ra-dominated Kæra Republic and the drastic reduction of the Nekomimi population. Some limited reforms were attempted in the late 18th and early 19th century, however such did not include extending of the franchise to non-elves and as such allowed Azraic supremacists such as economist and eugenicist Kel'næ to rally anti-Nekomimi sentiment amongst the electorate, culminating in the reinstatement of the monarchy. Due to the efforts of Kel'næ's followers in the Az'ra Society, the newly declared Kingdom of the Kæra ensured a number of speciest policies reformed by the Republic were annulled, and an exemption to habeas corpus was instituted for all non-elves.
While the rights of Kemonomimi were briefly improved following the 1851 Nylic Revolution, efforts to facilitate the Nekomimi population ended entirely following the end of the Grey Interim. Under the newly-declared Collective Republic, the Cult nihilist movement - notably spearheaded by political factions such as the Fundamental Doctrinaires and Cult of Absolute Purity - were placed in positions of power, which further allowed for the entrenchment of speciest principles in the political, economic and social systems of the state. Such principles would, throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, allow regimes led by members of the Purity faction to enact policies of eugenics and the extermination or expulsion of the non-Az'ra population, in genocides such as the Driving of the Kemonomimi and later the more extreme Purification of Sight.
With the creation of the Office for Citizen Appraisal as a regulatory body which enshrined mandatory positive and negative eugenics as a core function of the state, Kæra'zna has been considered both officially and abroad as an Az'ra ethnostate. Since the Great War, following a tide of anti-Z'rei sentiment due to the nation's occupation by Zreiru'a, the Kæra government has maintained such a state of being through the banning of unpermitted crossings or permeant migration in or out of the country, known as the closed-door policy.
There was an extreme form of Sohadekism (a branch of Paxism) called Saidunism that was practiced in Packilvania during the reign of the Demirite dynasty that taught that Felines were inferior to Hominines and excluded them from public life. This turned on its head during the reign of the Packilvanian Communist Party which committed the largest genocide in history (about 50 million Hominines died between 1918 and 1985 and over 80 million were displaced and refugeed). Although the restoration of the Sultanate of Packilvania has significantly improved the lives of Hominines in Packilvania, they continue to experience difficulties not faced by other groups.
Known as the Purification Period in Fortuna, the Fortunan Archipelago Genocide refers to the time period between 1973 and 1979 where the states of Fortuna systemically targeted, deported, and killed hundreds of thousands of individuals based on species, religion, and political affiliation. This policy specifically targeted Felines and Nekomimis. In order to create a sense of unity, the Fortunan states pushed to place blame of the war on foreign influence and interference. The idea that the conflict was created to deteriorate Fortunan culture and ideals was quickly accepted by the populace, especially within Emili and Ancona where nationalism continued to grow at an astounding rate. By the end of the decade, more than 350,000 individuals were arrested with little than half of them deported off of the archipelago, along with thousands of cultural objects and significant buildings being destroyed. In the early 1960s, around 20% of the population stated they practiced other religions from Clarityism. By the end of the 1970s, that number dropped down to less than 1%. An estimated 250,000 people were killed during this time period, the largest mass murder in Fortunan history which the current regime continues to deny to this day.
During the rule of dictators such as Max Venavle, specism was widely practice in Vekaiyu but since the reign of Ikrisia Levinile specism as official state policy and more overt forms of specism have been stopped. Other ethnic groups are free to reside in Vekaiyu, though it is understood a small bit of specism exists among vulpines and Priminid species. There still exists a small form of specism in some of the rural parts of the nation, but it is a far cry to the conditions twenty-five years ago. Despite this, there exist many 'invisible areas' that point to a preference for vulpines. Seats may be smaller to accommodate the smaller and shorter vulpine frame, eateries may blast their food with spices to appeal to the vulpine palette, and they may use words that are difficult to speak with a Hominine tongue.
Some policies are difficult to distinguish from racism or ethnocentricism or ultranationalism as there may be overlaps and differences of opinion depending on where the policies and those who interpret them originate. For instance, because Elves are considered subspecies in some contexts, systematic discrimination on the basis of this categorisation is regarded as specism. However, because not all nations recognised elves as belonging to subspecies, they instead refer to systematic discrimination against Elvine sub-groups as racism. Efforts have been made to distinguish specism and racism from prejudice, bigotry, bias or stereotype by stating that specism and racism are the systematic use of prejudice bigotry, biases and stereotypes to oppress, exclude or destroy a group of people based on species and race respectively. Specism differs from racism in that specism is based on scientific taxonomy whereas racism is based on a social construct.
However, even debated about where the boundaries lie between the two remain contentious as some groups are perceived as species that others might consider races (as alluded to in the discussion regarding Elvines). As such, specism rests not only in political, social or class discrimination but also in unscrupulous and unethical scientific practices.
Interventions and activism
Efforts exist to counteract specism. For instance the Entente of Equality is an economic and military alliance comprising that promotes species equality, and wants to end speciesism around Urth. They also devote themselves to make Urth a better place and a perfect place to live. The Auroran Science and Technology Research Agency of the United Nations of the Auroran Continent has developed a code of conduct for scientific research specifically in the fields of genetics, zoology and anthropology to prevent and tackle issues of scientific racism and/or specism.