Humans have a very delicate relationship with animals. For centuries animals have been used for several purposes, be it as pets to fulfill the need for affection or be it for commute so that they can transfer easily from one place to another.
Ethics and the need to do what is right don’t go hand in hand. It has been a long time that people have assumed that they can do whatever they want and how they want in the name of science. We can easily explain this behavior as playing God.
The concept of introducing non-native animals to other allocation where the natives have already decided their habitats and have found sense of their food and other sorts of requirements is mostly because of the human intervention. This introduction can create quite the catastrophic condition when the native species haven’t even evolved to deal with these threats. That is when the native biodiversity will be in threat because of all the competitive environment, and that is where the “fittest survives” is being proved.
Let us understand what this type of conservation with the help of a little and very basic rudimentary domestic example. We are often threatened by rodents who come inside our houses and try to steal our limelight from us and affect our everyday little life. We intend to use different sorts of poisons in order to kill them or to get rid of them so that we can get on with our lives and their daily tasks.
This is an example of our stabilizing our everyday situations so that these little species do not interfere with our life. This is a very small basic and little element into what culminates and then emerges as “passionate conservation”.
What we are practicing every day in our life is what the scientists or other sort of believers who think that biodiversity can only be saved by culling one species so that the other can rest and reside and then flourish properly are the very basics of this ethical dilemma.
Culling is considered to be one of the most drastic and end of the point solutions to a problem that is considered to be one of the main threats to nature as well as biodiversity.
William Lynn Is a Massachusetts-based scientist with a Ph.D., a university professor, and a public policy ethicist. When he noticed five years ago that federal scientists had begun killing thousands of barred owls in hopes of saving northern supported owls. He claimed that we could not, on the basis of science, make these sort of moral decisions when it comes to the context of other species. He said this in the June 2008 broadcast.
Back in those days, when William was very vocal about the moral compass that humans at that time were taking so that they could save one species on the sacrifice of another, the context of empathy or ethics was believers who think lives not an active part of the conversations or the scientific researches.
In those times, members of the state and federal were frequent about killing one species so that they could save the other. And during those drastic times, none of any environmental, political agency, or national environmental policy act included anything that started with the ethics and the moral compasses that humans ought to have when it comes to their own matters, but when it comes to the animals and their decisions because that is when we turn a blind eye.
These types of conservation decisions are mostly taken to save one particular species in a specific area so that the massacre of other species selected for that thing can be done in other regions.
This act done in cold blood is mostly to suffice a homeland for one species, which is prioritized by the general masses while the other species are neglected by the public, and scientists suffer the damage.
But the question that arises here and that remains very much pertinent to this point is that how on earth and on what basis are we humans justified to make these kinds of decisions within the natural context?
What William Lynn has to say regarding the barbaric decisions that we have been making just so that we can save one species while we are continuously trying to undermine the other one is that the data that we are relying on to make such sort of inhumane decisions is very limited and needs to be done in the right places with the right research-driven motives.
He also argues that when we are deciding such sort of things, we’re not only tampering with the way nature has done or is doing what Darwin has explained quite poetically as the fittest survival, but we are also deliberately snatching the individuality of animals. Furthermore, we are judging them on the basis of how their species is reacting. This is how biodiversity is taking the lead, and individuality is lost.
A better approach than passionate conversation is to reintroduce a specific species that can act as or provide the right leverage or the need for competition so that the first one who has been creating quite the disturbance can be controlled.
This is a far better approach than culling one species from its natural existence or from its habitat and is a more symbiotic relationship in which not only nature thrives but humans can also restore their moral compass.
A better example of this is the reintroduction of Tasmanian devils in the mainland of Australia so that the numbers of the feral cat can be kept in check.
Another thing and area that needs attention are that it’s not the hunters that should lead this sort of conservation strategy. It’s the conservationist who should do it.
Because hunters have a very predatory set of mind and they only think about killing the other species, while conservationists have a more humane context in these regards, and they can actually have a moral understanding of what ethics are and how they should not be playing God.
Even if we are justifying the culling of one species to save the other, we should make the decisions based on data that is collectively and reliably selected and not just because we like to murder them or because it’s a sport!
We as humans need to have a profound sense of judgment when it comes to these decisions because we are not murderers but the guardians of nature!
Nida Riaz is a freelance blogger based in Pakistan. She started writing about her passion for the environment when the world came to a stop in early 2020.