Environmental Wrongs And Animal Rights
The goals of animal rights groups and conservation biologists are often at odds; animal rights groups seek preservation of a species and at times conservation biologist recommend eradication of a species. According to this paper, “scientists in general, and conservation biologists dealing with invasive alien species in particular, should consult with social scientists and moral philosophers to gain a better understanding of the implications of some of their policy decisions. Once they understand animal rights views, the chance for cooperation will be much higher. Examining these two cases can supply the key to future cooperation between the two sides, and can help scientist avoid future opposition from animal rights advocates.”
Two case studies were used to illustrate the author’s points. In Italy, the case involved an invasive species, a squirrel originating from a different continent, known for replacing natives. Here, most scientists supported eradication favoring the killing of one non-native species over the disappearance of the native species.
In the second case, both animals were natives, invading a part of their natural habitat that had been converted by humans, pitting animals against conservation of trees.
In the end, both cases demonstrated that ignoring animal rights groups/public opinion could jeopardize conservation attempts. In addition, both cases show that economic considerations are more influential than social ones for most scientists, where politics are involved.