Why do we protect endangered animals?
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06-05-2012, 02:45 AM
RE: Why do we protect endangered animals?
Since no one seems to have brought this up (maybe because I might be wrong) I will. There's a natural order (as mentioned by others) that relates to the cycle of how nutrients and resources are consumed and recycled. If we continue to act as though our hunting hobbies and toxic industrial developments are a reflection of natural selection, we will eventually kill off most of the tertiary, quaternary, or apex predators. These predators serve a role to maintain the health of the ecosystem (I wont explain how since I don't want to bore y'all). In addition, low-level predators serve their own purpose as well. Imagine if pandas are extinct leaving few animals to eat the bamboo; it will continue to grow vigorously (this is a hypothetical situation and is untrue, but it serves to express a concept).

Think about it in a different way; population of lower-level consumers always need to be controlled either by microorganisms or lack of nutrition. If you don't see the importance of this idea than relate to the human population. We are constantly increasing in numbers in a way that, I feel, is not maintainable by the earth due to the lack of resources. It sounds cynical but I sometimes feel that we shouldn't try so hard to save each others lives. It's just a radical thought that I've pondered from time to time and do not truly believe; but how can we live if most of the world is as dense as China in the future.

I like your point that the gap will be filled but that's not a guarantee. Microorganisms that kill off certain species, in recent times, are introduced by humans. We are the breeding grounds to these pathogenic viruses and bacteria so why are we being inconsiderate and say "that's your fault for not developing an immunity to a pathogen that I introduced." Mutations take a while to occur; our immunities aren't a cause of mutation but of existing intelligence (only possessed by us) to utilize weakened or similar-but-not-pathogenic versions of the organism. You can't seriously expect other animals to have such a luxury.

But the point that I really want to make is that human habits are not really "natural" (in my opinion anyways) since it's unseen in nature before our arrival. If tigers are endangered, it is a sign of an imbalance in the ecosystem causing it to be unsustainable for stable life in the long-run. Yeah, I believe Pandas are being saved mainly because of their cuteness but the concept of ensuring the survival of endangered species is important for the natural order. Much like time travelers should not mess with the past, humans should not severely interrupt the ecosystem. (Man, I hate that I sound so much like an environmentalist)

Sorry if I went a little off topic. I just noticed that the same answer is repeatedly being given.
I've started to question the legitimacy of natural selection in the human era. If we so hardheadedly believe in it, what do we make of mutations in our society like down syndrome or cystic fibrosis?
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RE: Why do we protect endangered animals? - dxnguyen89 - 06-05-2012 02:45 AM
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