Wild animals round the world are being faraway from human communities and killed en masse. What are the animals doing to deserve this punishment?
Earlier, officials in Australia announced plans to shoot and kill thousands of camels. What did the camels do to deserve this punishment? They were trying to find water to drink, and this search brought them into human communities.
Last year, U.S. federal and state governments spent tens of millions of dollars on plans to “eradicate” bands of feral pigs. What did the pigs do to deserve this punishment? They were trying to find food to eat, and this search, once more , brought them into human communities.
This year, Denver is poised to kill more of its canada goose population, after slaughtering 1,600 geese last year. What are the geese doing to deserve this punishment? they’re merely trying to live—Colorado is a component of their historic range—and are seen as a nuisance.
These stories are the tip of the iceberg. While the details vary, the overall theme is usually an equivalent . When human and nonhuman interests appear to conflict, we use violence, often within the sort of organized extermination campaigns, to resolve these apparent conflicts in our favor.
In many cases, we use militaristic, catastrophizing language to justify this violence against other animals. rather than portraying nonhumans as fellow creatures who are simply trying to exist, we portray them as enemy invaders who are coming to destroy our communities. as an example , because the ny Times wrote last month regarding feral pigs: “Ranchers and government officials here are keeping watch on an enemy army gathering to the north, along the border with Canada.”
The idea of invasive species is political the maximum amount as scientific. The U.S. federal , as an example , defines invasive species as “an alien species whose introduction does or is probably going to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.” By this definition, the mere potential to harm economic interests is enough to qualify a non-native species as invasive. Prominent ecologists like Marc Bekoff note that beliefs about the impacts of “invasive species” are value-laden too–especially when these beliefs inform decisions about whether animals live or die.
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