Animal Lovers/Rights Activist vs Conservationist differences? Watch

Dinosaursrcool
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I know what both a Conservationist and an Animal Rights Activist do and stand for.

I am more asking on what the usual mentalities/personality differences between them? What's your experience with them?

I know they are on the same side most of the time but at times they do headbutt with each-other.......

In my experience Animal Rights Activists/lovers are generally easier to get on with (note I am not talking about the weirdos at PETA) and have some social skills (at least better then a lot of Conservationists).

A lot of Conservationists come across as being a bit arrogant, rigid and serious.

So could you explain to me why Conservationists and Animal Rights Activists have different mentalities? Despite being on the same side (most of the time)?

Also if you like both which one do like most or if hate both then which do you hate the most?
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Friffinghell
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(Original post by Dinosaursrcool)
I know what both a Conservationist and an Animal Rights Activist do and stand for.

I am more asking on what the usual mentalities/personality differences between them? What's your experience with them?

I know they are on the same side most of the time but at times they do headbutt with each-other.......

In my experience Animal Rights Activists/lovers are generally easier to get on with (note I am not talking about the weirdos at PETA) and have some social skills (at least better then a lot of Conservationists).

A lot of Conservationists come across as being a bit arrogant, rigid and serious.

So could you explain to me why Conservationists and Animal Rights Activists have different mentalities? Despite being on the same side (most of the time)?

Also if you like both which one do like most or if hate both then which do you hate the most?
I find this easier to consider if you look at it with regards to one scenario.

So lets say conservation programmes in zoos just for the sake of it.

So many conservationists work in zoo affiliated programmes to boost species numbers and learn more about them.

Many animal rights activists would argue that zoos shouldn't exist in the first place and no animal should be in captivity.

Is it better for an animal to go extinct naturally or to be conserved and reintroduced at a later date?

For me personally- I think the latter is more important. Look at the studies reintroducing wolves or beavers into Scotland for example.

As humans, and as a conservationist - we have a duty to these animals and our planet to ensure as much biodiversity as possible.
If we allow animals to live natural lives (or as natural as possible given the changes humans have made to biodiversity and geography already) to the detriment of the species as a whole as an animal rights activist would argue - are we really doing the best for them?

It's quite complex but i think there's a good moderate middle ground to be met.
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dukemarmalade
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I love that you asked these questions. I know you said that both groups tend to agree in most aspects but, in a somewhat stereotypical sense, I would say that Animal Rights Activists and Conservationists differ in their ideals in a very important way.

Here's how I think of it. I don't want to be judgmental of either groups - and I'll probably make some assumptions here, fair or not, but this is just my understand of their values.

If someone is a Conservationist, they believe in the conservation of species. I think they tend to take a more scientific approach (which is where the rigidity you mentioned might come in). From what little I know, conservation efforts seek to protect species or habitats. I don't want to imply that this isn't a good cause or effort, because it is. However, I think that at the very moral core of that ideal, there's a flaw. Let's simply use zoos as an example. Zoos are good, right? They take endangered animals and protect them from extinction. They give us a chance to witness wild, unknown species up close. Scientists and researchers study these animals to learn about how they live and perhaps bring that knowledge back to their natural habitat for rehabilitation.

I think it is instinctual to say that species extinction is wrong. If we can prevent it then we should, by any means. Even if that means keeping them in cages? It doesn't matter how well maintained their enclosure is; we are keeping them there for ourselves, in an unnatural, enclosed space. It is sad to lose a beautiful and natural animals species, yes. Especially when it's our fault. But they won't be sad about going extinct. I think we, especially conservationists, need to evaluate why this cause is so important and who it's really for.

Wildlife conservation is slightly different, in terms of protecting animals in their natural habitats. We aren't keeping them in captivity when we work this way. But at this point (in the sense that humans have spread so far across the world and our population continues growing rapidly), there's almost no way that humans can't infringe upon, to at least some degree, natural habitats. At this point, the most we can do is learn to co-exist. To me, efforts like Big Cat Initiative are really epitomizing the need to live in nature without fighting or controlling it.

Animal Rights advocates, on the other hand, take a less scientific approach; it's almost more philosophical. Here, I think, there is a greater strain on what is right for the species or animal in question, with as little human input as possible. To have rights is to have your own voice. It's a different kind of protection than conservation. It's the fight to stick up for beings that can't stick up for themselves. I'm sure some activists agree with species conservation and some don't. I, personally, disagree with it on a fundamental level but as all things it is not black and white.

Sorry for the rant. In short, I think Animal Rights Activists have a most holistic scope of what it means to protect or do right by animals, and Conservationists have a more specific focus on what it means to protect species. This is a huge generalization to make and there is a lot of grey area, but it's my outlook I suppose.

If anyone is interested, I created this survey a little while ago. I'm curious to know what people have to say. Any responses would be very much appreciated.
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RF_PineMarten
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Firmly on the conservationist side. Animal rights people are concerned with individual animals.
Conservationists aim to conserve populations of wildlife and to prevent and reverse declines of those which are threatened - in other words, they care about the wider picture, about whole populations, whole habitats and ecosystems. Quite often they're trying to rectify problems caused by us humans.To me, these are orders of magnitude more important.

In fact, I'd say animal rights people and conservationists are actually not the same side at all. Animal rights groups here in the UK flat out oppose conservation measures such as the culling of invasive species to protect native wildlife, and the culling of deer and rabbits for woodland regeneration. They campaign against groups like the RSPB because of it. Some groups campaigned against a woodland creation proposal near Aberdeen because it would require a deer cull. They even go into full on science denial territory on occasion, such as by claiming that grey squirrels are not a threat to red squirrels (they are, and there is decades of research to prove this) or that culls of animals don't work (when there is real world evidence that they do). Animal rights and conservation are enemies, not friends. At least in the UK.
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username457532
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(Original post by RF_PineMarten)
Firmly on the conservationist side. Animal rights people are concerned with individual animals.
Conservationists aim to conserve populations of wildlife and to prevent and reverse declines of those which are threatened - in other words, they care about the wider picture, about whole populations, whole habitats and ecosystems. Quite often they're trying to rectify problems caused by us humans.To me, these are orders of magnitude more important.

In fact, I'd say animal rights people and conservationists are actually not the same side at all. Animal rights groups here in the UK flat out oppose conservation measures such as the culling of invasive species to protect native wildlife, and the culling of deer and rabbits for woodland regeneration. They campaign against groups like the RSPB because of it. Some groups campaigned against a woodland creation proposal near Aberdeen because it would require a deer cull. They even go into full on science denial territory on occasion, such as by claiming that grey squirrels are not a threat to red squirrels (they are, and there is decades of research to prove this) or that culls of animals don't work (when there is real world evidence that they do). Animal rights and conservation are enemies, not friends. At least in the UK.
I feel the same as you. I'm pro-conservation and I care about animal welfare but I'm not supportive of animal rights activists. I'm not supportive of badger culling (because I've not seen any evidence it helps to prevent the spread of TB in cattle) but I'm supportive of deer culling to maintain healthy populations - especially when that venison is eaten.

A lot of animal rights activists are vegan and don't have any idea what they're talking about e.g. thinking that we'd produce more food if we grew crops on livestock farmland despite lots of land used for livestock being totally unsuitable for arable farming.
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