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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
    6
    6.12%
    It only matters if the animal actually does something of value for humans
    15
    15.31%
    Animals have inherent value and we should care if they die out regardless of usefulness
    77
    78.57%

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    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.


    (Originally Posted by wrnicholls)
    Don't be an idiot. Clearly meant right to survive and live not right to a justice system.

    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
    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.


    (Originally Posted 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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    Well David Attenborough would be out of a job for starters...
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    (Original post by Kiss)
    Well David Attenborough would be out of a job for starters...



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    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
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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
    Couldn't put it any better!
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    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.
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    No food.
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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.
    Wholly depends on the organisms role in food chains and trophic levels. It will always be detrimental to a particular ecosystem but the extent to which it is depends on its niche. Its also a decrease in biodiversity and biodiversity is important for a number of reasons e.g. ecological, ethical, aesthetic and economical.

    I can't tell you why pandas or rhinos specifically are important, that is a question for someone more dedicated to studying those individual species though I guarantee that there will be an effect if any species were to become extinct.

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    Sure there are few logical reasons but logic isn't the answer to everything you know.
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    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.
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    (Original post by Jaegon Targaryen)
    Sure there are few logical reasons but logic isn't the answer to everything you know.
    I disagree.
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    Three major reasons;

    1. The ecosystem - fine, some animals die out naturally, but if humans suddenly introduce dramatic changes and it happens too quickly for the ecosystem to re-balance the whole thing has a totally unpredictable knock-on effect. We kill all the lesser spotted algae eaters, suddenly there's too much algae, all the fish die, all the things that eat fish die... you get the picture.

    2. I don't want to live in a world where everything is concrete, even if it was physically possible to survive. We need to preserve the natural beauty of the world.

    3. Anything you can get from these animals is a limited resource if left unchecked. If poachers take all the ivory / whalebone / fur coat material sooner or later there will be none left. If we regulate the industry, and find synthetic alternatives, then these things are sustainable.

    It's all about limiting the impact that our massive industrialised population has on what is essentially the only small bubble of life support within several thousand light years. I'm not too worried about the Earth - the Earth has faced several mass extinctions in the past, and come back in a slightly different but just as productive form. I just don't want me or my descendants to be part of one of those mass extinctions.
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    Have you ever heard of the food chain?
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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.
    One of the most interesting posts I have read on TSR in months, genuinely.

    nice one.
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    I don't really understand either. I think it's hubristic to suggest that if humans drive an animal to extinction it will foul up the whole Gaian edifice and cause meltdown.
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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.
    -The suffering caused to that particular species, as well as its predators and other animals effected by its extinction.

    -Some countries rely on money generated from tourism which said animals bring.

    -It limits what future generations can see. I mean, wouldn't you like to go to a zoo to see a dodo? I never got to do that.

    -Some of the animals that are endangered are very closely related to us, so it could limit our ability to learn about ourselves and our own evolution.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    I disagree.
    The cynic will know the price of everything, but the value of nothing.
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    (Original post by NW86)
    One of the most interesting posts I have read on TSR in months, genuinely.

    nice one.
    If you're intrested: http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.230...21102125785907 This is the paper i used as a source.

    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    I don't really understand either. I think it's hubristic to suggest that if humans drive an animal to extinction it will foul up the whole Gaian edifice and cause meltdown.
    Given that we rely on natural resources for virtually every industry on the planet, it'll come back to bite us. Agriculture, medicine, construction, anything involving paper, fisheries, textiles, the list goes on everything revolves around natural resources. Those natural resources are maintained by ecosystems and biodiveristy.

    Lack of diversity caused the Irish potato famine, as there wasn't enough diveristy to allow adaptation to potato blight.

    We produced PCB's as an industrial lubricant and insulator. It got into the water, caused cancer and other health problems in fish causing a massive drop in fisheries and the fish that were caught caused a high rate of cancer in people that ate them as the chemical biomagnified up the food chain.

    Top predators such as lions, tigers, and wolves maintain the populations of their prey so they don't grow out of control. Guess what has happened now that the wolf population in britain is dead. Deer populations have grown out of control severely damaging the countryside and agriculture land, as well as hampering virtually every reintroduction project in northern britain.

    It doesn't matter what the cause is, species extinction ****s things up. This period of time however has been arguably refered to as the sixth mass extinction event (the fifth was the meteor that killed the dinosaurs) due to the rate species are going extinct and we're the cause of this one. We've introduced invasive species, killed native ones, destroyed habitats and converted land to agriculture, all of which damage ecosystems that we rely on.
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    First they came for the Rhinos, but I did not speak out, for I was not a rhino.
    Then they came for the Pandas, and I did not speak out, for I was not a Panda.
    Finally they came for me, and there was nobody left to speak out for me :sad:


    Posting this because some wonderful people above have answered the OP completely and utterly, and there's not really much more to say. I was just going to talk about keystone species and biodiversity.
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    Every heard of cycles? Gene pools etc?
 
 
 
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