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Animal Ethics and Environmental Ethics - Essay Example

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Animal Ethics and Environmental Ethics

There are two model approaches, through which the environmental ethics conception of wild animals is viewed. Both approaches place attention on the problems facing the endangered species, though they advocate for different rationales, in the area of giving animals preference, as opposed to the protection of the ecosystem at their detriment. First: is the anthropocentric view to wild animals, which seeks to guard endangered species from the destructive activities of humans. The second approach is the eco-centric model, which places attention upon the existence and the effects of wild animals, within the intrinsically valuable ecosystem (Des Jardins, 1993, p. 4-6). Discussion The key problem with adopting a perspective, which is informed, primarily, by intrinsic environmental ethics is that, such an approach, fails to fully consider the sentience of the wild animals benefitting from the ecosystem. The concept of consciousness or sentience is based on the fact that their interests should be felt and perceived. Through failing to adequately recognize the sentience of these creatures, for instance, the kangaroos, the policy and laws in operation pay insufficient regard to the ethical needs of kangaroos as conscious beings. However, the notion that there is a conflict between animal rights and environmental ethics chiefly relies on a number of misconceptions about these animals and their effects on the ecosystem. For instance, in the case of the kangaroos, the misconceptions are evident, in the conception of their impacts in the areas of total grazing demands, populations, and sheep replacement. As evidence, Fisher Et al (2003, p. 1801-1808) argues that the effect of Kangaroos is immense on rangelands environs, where pressure on grazing land is evident. This is a misconception, mainly because the pressure on grazing land is not caused by kangaroos alone, but other animals like sheep as well (Des Jardins, 1993, p. 19-21). The moral status of animals is one major question in this debate, mainly because; the question of the distinctiveness of humans, which earns them moral status is raised – and not that of the non-human entities in question. Answering this question is of great importance, among philosophers and the defenders of the rights of animals. In part, answering this question will aid humans to better understand the nature of human beings and the rightful scope of the moral obligations of humans. Some proponents of the debate argue that answering this question will help distinguish the value of humans as opposed to that of other parties of the natural world. However, this approach is considerably aimed at propagating the rightfulness of certain human activities towards the non-human creatures – especially, those that cause discomfort, suffering, pain and death to these entities. The other group – on the other hand – is of the opinion that answering the question will help humans justify granting moral consideration to these nonhuman entities, namely animals and plant life. This is based on the philosophical consideration that despite the differences between humans and nonhuman animals; these differences do not justify denying these nonhuman entities moral consideration. However, the basis of moral considerati ...Show more


Animal Ethics and Environmental Ethics Josh Mills SUNY Empire State College Animal Ethics and Environmental Ethics Introduction The environmental ethics vs. Animal rights ethics debate is a historical concern, which is historically traceable – thus, the need to identify the basic ideas surrounding the historical context, so as to distance the credibility of the arguments for either side…
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Animal Ethics and Environmental Ethics essay example
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