Save the Animals—For Their Sake, Not Mine

Exposing the Big Game

Anthropocentricism is so deeply imbedded into the human psyche that these days it’s even hard to find a wildlife-related action alert which doesn’t focus on how some group of people might benefit from the continued existence of a given species. The well-being of the individual animal—let alone its species—so often takes a back seat to the ways humans benefit or profit from them.
Take wolves, for example. When Montana’s wildlife lawmakers were considering closing a few small areas around Yellowstone to wolf hunting and trapping, the primary reasons given by most wolf proponents for wanting the exclusion zones had to do with the value wolves have as tourist attractions and as part of a scientific study. To the majority of those who testified, the facts that the wolves themselves are sentient beings and/or are essential elements in nature’s design—who don’t deserve to be shot on sight as vermin—seemed secondary to…

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3 thoughts on “Save the Animals—For Their Sake, Not Mine

  1. Man As Center of the Universe, Steward of the Land, of Animals and all Therein
    In the beginning Man created God in his image and commenced to begetting his kind and slaying his neighbors. The feasting, fornicating, and slaying went on for tens of thousands of years. Then Man discovered the bounty of domestication of plants and “other” animals. He began to settle into “civilizations” and specialization of labor forces. There evolved artisans, farmers, ranchers, soldiers, rulers, religious leaders, and politicians. Man decided that he was the center of the universe and all had been created for his stewardship. Rules or commandments were set up which made sin out of much that was fun, such as begetting with your neighbor’s wife and coveting his land and slaying him for such purposes or just for fun. But Man could not help his inherent and old ways of gluttony, fornicating, slaying and coveting. So, religious leaders came up with weekly, and as necessary, righteousness and forgiveness ceremonies which included donations to themselves for their administrations. The politicians also came up with the donations idea. The feasting, fornicating, slaying and coveting continued. Man multiplied to great numbers. He slayed millions of his kind and billions of the animal kingdom. The result of all the feasting and commerce was pollution, desecrations of the air, land, rivers and seas. Some men became alarmed at the results of civilization. Others denied the results were happening. Many of the more religious did not think it mattered because they had invented the afterlife for man. And so wanton feasting, fornicating, slaying continues. Amen.

    RDH 03/06/2015

  2. Thank you, Roger! I’m glad this has been re-posted. Humanism permeates every facet of society–and is so embedded in the philosophy of “game management,” among other things. If a non-human does not have some humanist-perceived “value” it is discarded, dismissed from the realm of protection or recognition–or worse yet, it become a target, listed as a “varmint.”

  3. The anthropocentric view of man as dominator has centuries of religion and philosophy behind it. So the whole earth and every animal and every other living thing were looked upon as a resources. If people wanted to hunt deer and elk, competitors had to be destroyed as nuisances. Every wilderness area had to be open to hunting, trapping, snowmobiling, and skiing. No individual animal was given significance in his or her own right. Only the group or species counted, at least if they were viewed as useful.

    John Livingstone, in the Fallacy of Conservation, gives a vivid description of the consequences:
    “Entirely out of control, the human technomachine guzzles and lurches and vomits and rips its random crazy course over the face of the once-blue planet, as though some filthy barbaric fist were drunkenly swiping with a gigantic paint roller across an ancient tapestry.”

    Fortunately, the new deep ecology movement is taking a more biocentric view with human beings seen as just part of the whole web of life rather than a master at the top. Every animal life is regarded as having value in himself or herself, as are all the plants and trees that contribute to the living planet.

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