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Why do people care if animals go extinct? Watch

  • View Poll Results: Why does it matter if a species dies out?
    It doesn't
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    It only matters if the animal actually does something of value for humans
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    Animals have inherent value and we should care if they die out regardless of usefulness
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    78.57%

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    (Original post by Blueray2)
    Every heard of cycles? Gene pools etc?
    lulz, when I read cycles I first thought of Bicycles and was like :erm: irrelevant...
    Mainly because I was looking at which bike to buy ahha


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    I suppose if all the animals in the world which are endangered were to suddenly drop of Earth then the food chain and natural eco system of the world would be in ruins.

    Plus endangered animals bring in tourism and money to the economy and give small businesses the chance to expand etc. etc.


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    (Original post by the bear)
    it is like an orchestra... so what if the double bass disappears... there goes the viola... we've still got plenty of violins... oops there goes the trombone... we've still got the trumpets and french horn... sorry the french horn has been made into aphrodisiacs for Taiwanese ladyboys... well now we are down to three, no two violins and the bongos... they are tuning up for the 1812 Overture. Please switch off your mobile phones ladies and gentlemen and enjoy this evening's performance

    Well said.
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    Humans are animals too.
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    (Original post by Gwilym101)
    I've written a literature review partially on conservation. One of my sources gave the main reasons why biodiversity should be protected. Here is a simplified list.

    1)Aesthetic value; aesthetically pleasing landscapes are maintained by ecosystems that are healthier if they are more diverse. These areas are a source of income for locals and governments through tourism.

    2)Undiscovered value; the estimated biodiversity of the globe is only a fraction of what is being discovered and numerous examples exist of natural substances having direct benefits for us. Such as Penicillin from the Penicillium

    3)Ecosystem stabilization value; Certain species are intrinsic to an ecosystem referred to as an Keystone species, an example are top predators such as Tigers. These serve to maintain the populations of other organisms.

    4)Examples of survival, many species possess unique adaptations for survival such as the silver ant in the Sahara desert.

    5)Environmental baseline and monitoring value; Species such as spotted owls depend on the health of the ecosystems they inhabit to flourish. As such their survival is a good indicator for the health of an ecosystem.

    6)Scientific research value; Species such as Cichlids in African great lakes enables scientists to perform research on questions relating to evolution and ecology, furthering our understanding of the natural world.

    7)Teaching value; species of historical value to science such as the Galapagos finches studied by Charles Darwin serve as ways of illustrating to students real world examples of theories.

    8)Habitat reconstruction value; Similar to the ecosystem stabilization value, certain species particularly plant and insect species alter the ecosystem allowing new niches to form that were once lost. These can be referred to as pioneer species.

    9)Conservative value (avoidance of irreversible change); It is easier to damage an ecosystem than repair it, and certain actions can be irreversible such as species extinction.

    10)The intrinsic value of biodiversity; this is never strictly defined but more implied by the author, that biodiversity is inherently a good thing to protect. This is relevent due to our lack of understanding of many ecosystems and how we have no way of knowing how far reaching the consequences could be of the loss of a particular species.

    Pandas don't cost that much to protect as they're localised and there aren't many of them. They do however act as a symbol for conservation. This is also largely true for Rhinos depending on the species, but they're also a prime example of how we **** over nature for our own gain, as idiots in china think ground up ivory will help you get it up among other things. Also globally ivory is bought because people think it looks pretty and this justifies commiting a slow genocide.
    Excellent post


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    (Original post by Sulphur)
    Are you serious right now?

    Biology 101, the environment is a balanced ecosystem where all species contribute to its overall well-being. Taking away one species is like talking away a piece of this system, it might recover and it might not depending on how sudden the change is. Take for example a recent news story, bee numbers are falling and people don't really understand why, there's some hypothesis but that's about it. Bees are pollinators they bumble about from flowers to flower, collecting and depositing pollen as they go along, this allows some species of plants to reproduce and without the bees they would not be able to because they are so reliant this type of pollination.

    This relationship between species is found everywhere and that's why you have to care for animals and other living organisms. More to the point of mammals such as rhinos and pandas, the simple answer would be that genetic diversity is worth protecting, there are many benefits that can be derived from it such as medicine.
    You're aware that throughout history species have died out, yes?

    Why do you think that suddenly the Pandas will be the last straw and the entire ecosystem will collapse?

    As to the point of diversity being worth protecting simply for the sake of diversity; I don't think it is.
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    You can't break the circle of life!
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    Pandas, say. Or rhinos.

    Why does it actually matter if they die out?

    Do they have some sort of intrinsic value? I don't think so.
    Do they do something useful? Doubt it.
    First of all, they are live beings and have the same rights as humans. Secondly, well I would care less if you would die but I would care more if a panda dies.
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    (Original post by ForgetMe)
    First of all, they are live beings and have the same rights as humans. Secondly, well I would care less if you would die but I would care more if a panda dies.
    So... if they have the same rights humans have, you'd presumably be in support of the idea of setting up a system of justice that applies to animals; if one animal kills another animal (other than in self-defence) you'd support putting the killer in a sort of prison, then?

    If you don't support that idea, why not? If they have the same rights as humans, after all, shouldn't they be subject to the same laws as humans?

    :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    So... if they have the same rights humans have, you'd presumably be in support of the idea of setting up a system of justice that applies to animals; if one animal kills another animal (other than in self-defence) you'd support putting the killer in a sort of prison, then?

    If you don't support that idea, why not? If they have the same rights as humans, after all, shouldn't they be subject to the same laws as humans?

    :rolleyes:
    Don't be an idiot. Clearly meant right to survive and live not right to a justice system.


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    It matters if it's poor decisions on our behalf that have caused an animal to go extinct, BUT extinction is a natural process. It always has happened and it always will happen. The vast majority of animals that have EVER existed are now extinct. We can't categorise extinction as being entirely a bad thing, but we can if it is found that we are responsible for it. Purely because it means we're having an unwelcome negative impact on the earth.
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    (Original post by wrnicholls)
    Don't be an idiot. Clearly meant right to survive and live not right to a justice system.


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    Doesn't the right to survive and live not necessarily entail a justice system?

    If people just have the right to life (as I think they do) and have no justice system, do you think people would just adhere to that with no threat of sanction?

    If someone could infringe upon your right to life and not be put before a court and (if convicted) imprisoned, don't you think they would do it if they wanted to do you harm?

    If people could just steal all your things, don't you think they would if they'd face no sanction? Plenty of people steal things as it is even with a system of sanctions aimed at discouraging it; without it it would be even worse.

    A right is useless if it isn't backed by anything; if there is no system that enforces rights, there is no purpose to rights.

    You can't have a right without an obligation being imposed on someone else. If you have the right to life, I am obliged not to kill you. If you have the right to own property, I have the obligation not to steal from you.

    If you think an animal has the right to life, surely that means that animals, as well as humans, have an obligation not to kill them?

    If such an obligation exists, there has to be a body to enforce it. Without the enforcement of rights, they are entirely meaningless.

    So, if you believe that animals have rights like humans, they need to also be subject to obligations not to infringe those rights like humans, and there has to be a body to support it.

    That to me sounds completely insane as animals are incapable of the level of thought necessary to adhere to laws; and necessarily I believe that animals do not have rights as it is impossible to enforce their rights one against the other.
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    Because, for the largest part, they are awesome. Sorry, I can't really think of a better reason! Who doesn't wish they could still go to the zoo and see a dodo or a sabre-toothed tiger?
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    You're aware that throughout history species have died out, yes?

    Why do you think that suddenly the Pandas will be the last straw and the entire ecosystem will collapse?

    As to the point of diversity being worth protecting simply for the sake of diversity; I don't think it is.
    Pandas are flagship species. They are international symbols for conservation efforts, they're the logo of the WWF. How much money do you think will be lost if that species dies out? That conservation organisations couldn't even protect the animal on the logo?

    If you don't think diversity is worth protecting, you don't know what you're talking about. Diversity is how organisms overcome disease, it's how our crops survive, it's how species adapt. If you don't think it's important you don't know enough about it.
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    (Original post by Gwilym101)
    Pandas are flagship species. They are international symbols for conservation efforts, they're the logo of the WWF. How much money do you think will be lost if that species dies out? That conservation organisations couldn't even protect the animal on the logo?

    If you don't think diversity is worth protecting, you don't know what you're talking about. Diversity is how organisms overcome disease, it's how our crops survive, it's how species adapt. If you don't think it's important you don't know enough about it.
    How much money do I think would be lost?

    What do you mean by 'lost'? Lost from WWF? I don't know. There are other animals I imagine they could incorporate into their logo. I'll concede for the sake of argument that they might get less donations to some degree.

    But this isn't a problem; this is a good thing. People are wasting their money trying to conserve endangered species. If people keep more of their money and spend it on things that they want to buy, that's a good thing.

    As to point 2: why are these animals endangered in the first place? I take it you've heard of 'survival of the fittest', right? If they're unable to compete against humans, they should die out. It is as simple as that for me.

    There are orders of magnitude of additional chickens alive today than before humans started to eat them in industrial quantities; there are more of them precisely BECAUSE they're useful to humans. It is in our interest to continue breeding them at certain rate because they serve a useful purpose; we eat them.

    Pandas are not useful, so they're dying out. We don't eat them. We don't wear clothes made out of them. Their only 'use' is that people like to look at them. If more people owned Pandas maybe more of them would be bred; if people will pay money to see them and there's some economic purpose to preserve them, people will.

    At the moment, there isn't.
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    Depends on the species... E.g. we are trying to stop mosquitoes for being able to procreate in order to save millions of human lives.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    How much money do I think would be lost?

    What do you mean by 'lost'? Lost from WWF? I don't know. There are other animals I imagine they could incorporate into their logo. I'll concede for the sake of argument that they might get less donations to some degree.

    But this isn't a problem; this is a good thing. People are wasting their money trying to conserve endangered species. If people keep more of their money and spend it on things that they want to buy, that's a good thing.

    As to point 2: why are these animals endangered in the first place? I take it you've heard of 'survival of the fittest', right? If they're unable to compete against humans, they should die out. It is as simple as that for me.

    There are orders of magnitude of additional chickens alive today than before humans started to eat them in industrial quantities; there are more of them precisely BECAUSE they're useful to humans. It is in our interest to continue breeding them at certain rate because they serve a useful purpose; we eat them.

    Pandas are not useful, so they're dying out. We don't eat them. We don't wear clothes made out of them. Their only 'use' is that people like to look at them. If more people owned Pandas maybe more of them would be bred; if people will pay money to see them and there's some economic purpose to preserve them, people will.

    At the moment, there isn't.
    Yep, just as I thought, you know jack **** about conservation, biodiversity, ecology or evolution. 'Survival of the fittest' is an inaccurate tautology, that is not used to describe anything to do with evolution. It is only used by people that parrot phrases for their own ends.

    My first post was all reasons to conserve things that were not classified as resources such as things we eat. 40% of all species on the planet, are at risk of extinction. All things in ecosystems are connected, predators need prey, prey needs plant life, plant life needs insects, all organisms need population control from predators, you start messing with that and systems break down.

    And don't give me that line of 'species go extinct naturally' as you missing the point that natural extinction takes thousands of years and is slow enough for other species in the ecosystem to adapt. What we're doing is just wiping out species at a comparable rate to the meteor that killed the dinosaurs, hence why some refer to right now as the sixth mass extinction event.
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    I think people care because they are either selfish or under misapprehensions about what it is actually like to be an animal living in the wild. Extinction is not a problem for animals that do not (and will not) exist. I don't think any creature has the right to be born. The only viewpoints to be considered are of those who will exist regardless of whether a given individual animal will or not (i.e., other animals and humans).

    In general I think it is selfish to force continual generations of animals into existence for human benefit. The animal is not better off for being brought into existence, and is in many cases worse off. Having said this, selfishness in and of itself is not necessarily bad - so long as the animal's quality of life is reasonably guaranteed, I am not against it.

    On the other hand, I'm wholeheartedly against the forced conservation of species in the wild. Animals in the wild do not live happy lives - this is a delusion that we tell ourselves. That lion you successfully released will not be better off for living the life he was 'meant' to live - he is being sentenced to a life with the denial of your zoo's medical care, and to being at the mercy of the elements, with a violent future likely to be inflicted upon him and by him on others. He will constantly be working to stave off hunger and thirst. When he dies, it will be of disease or starvation, of dehydration, of an injury, or of inadequate shelter, and so on. It is likely to be painful and of a quality we would not wish on any animal, and yet we sentence them to it.

    Releasing animals into the wild and conserving the populations of wild animals is defended as being what is natural, but nature is cruel (indeed, we have spent the entirety of civilisation rejecting it and hiding away from it). If keeping animals alive in zoos for our own benefit is selfish, then keeping them alive outside of zoos, not for our benefit, is cruel and insane. It seems very callous to me to see people actively working to prolong these animals' suffering, and working on schemes to see more animals being born into it unnecessarily, or out of mistaken conviction that what is natural is good.
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    (Original post by Gwilym101)
    Pandas don't cost that much to protect as they're localised and there aren't many of them. They do however act as a symbol for conservation. This is also largely true for Rhinos depending on the species, but they're also a prime example of how we **** over nature for our own gain, as idiots in china think ground up ivory will help you get it up among other things. Also globally ivory is bought because people think it looks pretty and this justifies commiting a slow genocide.
    You listed 10 reasons why we are protecting nature for our own gain. It isn't about what is 'for our own gain' and what isn't - it's all for our own gain. What we're really talking about is gain for the few versus gain for the many, with protection affording more benefits to the many (at the expense of the animals who endure it).
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    Doesn't the right to survive and live not necessarily entail a justice system?

    If people just have the right to life (as I think they do) and have no justice system, do you think people would just adhere to that with no threat of sanction?

    If someone could infringe upon your right to life and not be put before a court and (if convicted) imprisoned, don't you think they would do it if they wanted to do you harm?

    If people could just steal all your things, don't you think they would if they'd face no sanction? Plenty of people steal things as it is even with a system of sanctions aimed at discouraging it; without it it would be even worse.

    A right is useless if it isn't backed by anything; if there is no system that enforces rights, there is no purpose to rights.

    You can't have a right without an obligation being imposed on someone else. If you have the right to life, I am obliged not to kill you. If you have the right to own property, I have the obligation not to steal from you.

    If you think an animal has the right to life, surely that means that animals, as well as humans, have an obligation not to kill them?

    If such an obligation exists, there has to be a body to enforce it. Without the enforcement of rights, they are entirely meaningless.

    So, if you believe that animals have rights like humans, they need to also be subject to obligations not to infringe those rights like humans, and there has to be a body to support it.

    That to me sounds completely insane as animals are incapable of the level of thought necessary to adhere to laws; and necessarily I believe that animals do not have rights as it is impossible to enforce their rights one against the other.
    You're looking at this from an angle that you want to be awkward. Clearly they can't back it or turn up in court can they. Thus it's our moral obligation to show respect to the planet around us and stop being so selfish and greedy.


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