I studied a bit of wildlife “management” in college and the one thing that comes across loudest and clearest in that discipline is how animals are not to be regarded in the context of their place in a healthy, freely functioning ecosystem, but by what value they have as a “game” species. Our fellow beings are viewed in terms of ”population densities,” a convenient way of ignoring the welfare of individual animals.
Wildlife “mangers” have dreamed up their own language—their own special terms—to degrade animate non-humans to the level of rocks or soil. A deer isn’t a precious creature, it’s a “resource,” and killing one isn’t murder, it’s “harvest.” As a scientist, the biologist is expected to look upon their fellow animals as a geologist would see a vein of minerals to be melted down to feed the hungry human machine, rather than as fully-formed sentient beings with their own self-interests in whether or not they are exploited or made to suffer.
The late, great Edward Abbey (author of such inspirational works as The Monkey Wrench Gang and Heyduke Lives) imparted, “To speak of harvesting other living creatures, whether deer or elk or birds or cottontail rabbits, as if they were no more than a crop, exposes the meanest, cruelest, most narrow and homocentric of possible human attitudes towards the life that surrounds us.”