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Author Topic: Defending Wildlife  (Read 2152 times)

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Re: Defending Wildlife
« on: November 13, 2014, 09:07:56 pm »
Do We Really Need to Keep Killing One Species to Save Another? 

by Alicia Graef

November 11, 2014


The bigger problem is that even if the proposed experiment appears to help northern spotted owls, there’s no end for it in sight. Cornwall writes:

Even if we manage to negotiate the moral thicket of killing one owl to save another―and emerge at the other end with gun at the ready―we run headlong into a practical question: What’s the exit strategy? Can we kill 10,000 barred owls every year forever?

He notes that’s the number some experts believe it will take to help spotted owls. Some believe as the forests continue to recover, the killing may eventually stop, but others worry that recovery will bring more barred owls and end up “creating a never-ending killing operation.”

Earlier this year, Friends of Animals and Predator Defense, refiled a lawsuit in Oregon to save the barred owls, arguing the plan violates the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

While that plays out, other species still continue to be targeted and killed as a result of our shoot-first mentality. Fortunately, going forward, the emerging field of “compassionate conservation” is continuing to gain traction. Marc Bekoff, a University of Colorado professor emeritus and animal behavior expert, explains the guiding principle of this field is ‘First do no harm’ and that every individual animal matters.

As more and more species become imperiled, conservationists and wildlife advocates fear the problem is just going to get worse. While there aren’t any easy answers, hopefully we can take a more reasonable approach than simply looking at numbers and continuing to murder our way out of problems that are mostly a result of our own actions.

Separately, Bekoff says:

What animals feel matters to them and it must matter to us. The lives of individual animals must be taken very seriously and researchers must make this a priority (see also). We are responsible for who lives and who dies. We can do anything we want but this power does not give us the license to ruin a spectacularly beautiful planet, its wondrous webs of nature, and its magnificent nonhuman residents.

Compassionate conservation is a wonderful “meeting place” — a much-needed paradigm shift and social movement — for everyone concerned with protecting all animals. When we ignore nature we not only harm other animals but we do so at our own peril.


Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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