Human beings are mammals, specifically we are primates and even more specifically we are great apes ( humans, chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans all constitute the great ape family). Why do we think that we are so above the rest of the animal kingdom? Our intelligence and self-awareness is the result of natural selection, it's not like we earned these traits through hard work. In fact, elephants, non-human apes, dolphins and apparently even rats have demonstrated self-awareness and deep emotions have been found within them and within other non-human animals. Elephants can create abstract art, rats can laugh, dolphins have been known to protect human swimmers from sharks, ants will regurgitate food for other ants etc . The idea that we are inherently superior to other animals, including our closest living relatives (the other great apes), is specieism.