Individuals v. Species - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-30-2015, 01:59 PM
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Individuals v. Species

I'm in a crap mood, so I feel like stirring the pot a bit. Plus the heap has been so quiet lately.

Do you believe in the rights of the species vs. the rights of the individual?

Back in college I had an ethics class with a professor who would figure out (active) student's ethics and push us into terrifying corners. When we were doing the animal rights portion he knew I was a vegan (as is he) and he put me in this dilemma:

Do you value the lives or rights of a species over the lives or rights of the individual. A good example are invasive species. They massacre environmental areas and put endemic species at serious risk. There may be a great many more invasive individuals than endemic individuals. You might only be killing a few hundred endemic individuals and letting thousands of invasive individuals live. Those few hundred endemic individuals are the only individuals of that species left, and when they die they are extinct.

So, as my darling professor would ask, "Do you pull out your .22 and end the invasive?

You are warned, that professor is a member of this community...

Another way to look at it, do you value the health and preservation of the biotic community (a-la Aldo Leopold) or the lives of the individual animals (a-la Tom Regan)?

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#2 Old 01-30-2015, 02:16 PM
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I'm not sure I understand the question.

In your example, isn't that species vs. species?
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#3 Old 01-30-2015, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by River View Post
I'm in a crap mood, so I feel like stirring the pot a bit. Plus the heap has been so quiet lately.

Do you believe in the rights of the species vs. the rights of the individual?

Back in college I had an ethics class with a professor who would figure out (active) student's ethics and push us into terrifying corners. When we were doing the animal rights portion he knew I was a vegan (as is he) and he put me in this dilemma:

Do you value the lives or rights of a species over the lives or rights of the individual. A good example are invasive species. They massacre environmental areas and put endemic species at serious risk. There may be a great many more invasive individuals than endemic individuals. You might only be killing a few hundred endemic individuals and letting thousands of invasive individuals live. Those few hundred endemic individuals are the only individuals of that species left, and when they die they are extinct.

So, as my darling professor would ask, "Do you pull out your .22 and end the invasive?

You are warned, that professor is a member of this community...

Another way to look at it, do you value the health and preservation of the biotic community (a-la Aldo Leopold) or the lives of the individual animals (a-la Tom Regan)?
This is an interesting conundrum

I would not condone shooting/ killing invasive species, or any species for that matter.

If this was occurring in nature without humanity's involvement then essentially the occurrence of this event would be a selection pressure on the species involved. Natural selection would need to be left to operate on its own. Human involvement by killing selected targets would be against the flow of nature, not to mention ethically wrong.

Theoretically if the co-existence of the two species really was 100% impossible and one or both species was threatened with extinction, then perhaps they could be separated and placed into different environments?

Why is the suffering and killing of animals wrong? Because the value of a sentient organism's life is priceless. They are their own beings and have their own lives and loves. They have higher emotions and thought processes. Their minds are different from ours in degree, not kind - meaning that fundamentally there are critical similarities.
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#4 Old 02-02-2015, 06:24 AM
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Extinction is natural. Something like 99% of all species that ever existed are extinct.
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#5 Old 02-02-2015, 09:52 AM
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Extinction is natural. Something like 99% of all species that ever existed are extinct.
That is how I feel. Species are species; some were here for thousands of years, some hundreds, some years. Let thwm live, the ones most likely to survive will. Humans usually don't help matters any...
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#6 Old 02-02-2015, 10:10 AM
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Individuals. As beautiful as tigers and other endangered species are, extinction is a natural part of evolution. And individuals know suffering, delight, and pain. Care for individuals. If the species can't adapt, then it dies out. That is how it has always worked. Sure if we can avoid extinction that is preferable, but the individual is more important.
Some species should go extinct- like domestic cows and chickens. In a vegan world, there is no place for them except as pets. And I don't think they are the most practical pet for most people. Besides they have not naturally selected for optimal health or stable temperament in generations.


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#7 Old 02-02-2015, 12:25 PM
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I could never, so I guess that places me in the individual column.

It reminds me of the great lengths many of us would go to to extend (even briefly) our life or the life of a loved one at a huge cost to the overall community via very expensive treatments with very short-term results (at a cost largely shouldered by the rest of society as a whole).

I would leverage the entire rest of the human race to save my child(ren). It isn't logical, fair or in anyway sensical, and in the same vein, I could not kill even one innocent individual of an "invasive" species for the greater good of the "native" species.

I know how bad that sounds, but I am being honest.
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#8 Old 02-03-2015, 09:13 AM
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A bigger picture scenario is the human race. Are we not invasive to the earth? Eventually we too will become extinct, and the world will turn without us. Thus the reason I can't possibly be concerned with the global warming rhetoric. George Carlin said it best:

** Probably not work-safe due to language. **


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