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Is it ok to kill one species off to save another?

I'm not talking about culling herds to maintain a balance, I mean causing one to become extinct to save another.

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Asked by NotPanicking at 4:59 PM on Feb. 10, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • No, and nobody would do that, unless the animal in question has nothing to offer to the world and environment.

    Answer by truealaskanmom at 5:01 PM on Feb. 10, 2010

  • Ummm, you'd have to be more specific... But in general, no, I don't believe that's ever a good idea. It would upset the natural balance of things. Every species has a specific role in nature.

    Answer by Anouck at 5:02 PM on Feb. 10, 2010

  • I think if it's between the human species and another species, I do think humans should be given precedence.

    Answer by Adelicious at 5:33 PM on Feb. 10, 2010

  • We should respect life (I know, this risks getting into the abortion issue, but ...).
    However, I have seen this principle used by activists to wield power over other people and to trash their lives with a self-righteous enforcement of the activists' chosen agenda. Any way you slice it, that turns into despotism.

    Human beings are not God. It does not devolve upon us to wrest Nature into line with how we think things ought to be. If some animal species is waning, I don't advocate killing off some other species to save it.

    (This question is awfully broad, isn't it? The drosophila fruit-fly vs. the spider-monkey?)
    And I do not count human beings as just another "species". Wanton ravaging of nature can be addressed - and is BEING addressed. But, in the situation of a recent question, cliff beetles are NOT more important than people. ... And if they are valuable to the surrounding area, then MOVE them to the surrounding area

    Answer by waldorfmom at 5:34 PM on Feb. 10, 2010

  • unless the animal in question has nothing to offer to the world and environment

    How do you determine what's to offer? Asian carp are invading the great lakes. This is a natural response to climate change (not man made OH NO WE'RE GOING TO DIE climate change, but the kind that will happen whether we're here or not). There are lots of plans to keep the asian carp out of the great lakes, including exterminating them as a pest. If we weren't here, the asian carp, along with other species, would be free to travel into the lakes, they'd destroy some species and others would adapt to survive in spite of them. That's usually known as natural selection. Is it right to kill off the carp to save the species in the lake that are less able to adapt than the carp?

    Answer by NotPanicking at 6:50 PM on Feb. 10, 2010

  • With the Asian Carp example, they need to be controlled. They did not arrive on their own. They were brought in by catfish farmers in the 1970s for algae control. When humans screw something up, humans need to fix it.

    If your neighbor buys a bunch of ostriches and then doesn't maintain his fence and those birds come and destroy your yard and peck at your dogs and you've got a huge vet bill, then your neighbor has to get rid of them and get your dogs some stitches, right?

    Removing a species from a place where humans put it is totally different than causing global extinction of a species.

    Answer by ecodani at 7:34 PM on Feb. 10, 2010

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