Stop Treating Animals as “Invaders” for Simply Trying to Exist
When we use invasive species rhetoric, we’d not intend for our language to contribute to violence against other animals, but it does. This rhetoric creates distance with other animals, erasing them as individuals who matter morally and erasing the truth that humans attack and kill nonhumans far more than the reverse. This rhetoric makes it easier to rationalize killing other animals instead of checking out ways to peacefully co-exist with them.
Invasive species rhetoric is, of course, not the only way that humans create distance from other animals. We also create distance by calling individual animals “it” and by calling violence against certain animals a “cull.” This language is both a product of, and a contributor to, a deeper ideology that prioritizes human interests in particular else, an ideology that supports a policy of dispatching with perceived threats to human interests by any means necessary.
According to this human-centric ideology, humans (or, a minimum of some humans) have the right to self-determination. Every other animal is assigned a task supported their value to our species. At one end of the spectrum, domesticated animals are meant to live in captivity and supply humans with benefits starting from love to food. At the other end, wild animals are meant to live in nature and supply humans with benefits starting from beauty to ecosystem services. If wild animals play their role, we’d allow them to be. But if they deviate from their human-prescribed role, we respond swiftly and brutally.
Human activity is increasingly leaving other animals without an area to live. Our species is taking up more of the earth , and is additionally , through human-caused global climate change , making more of the earth uninhabitable. it’s no coincidence that pigs, camels, geese, and other “invasive” species are desperately checking out food, water, and shelter. While resource scarcity has always been a threat for nonhumans, humans are making these threats worse and creating new ones. We then punish animals for trying to deal with the issues that we create.
What if, rather than assuming that nonhumans are here for us, we accept that they need to live their own lives? we will learn to feel inspired instead of threatened by the surprising, creative ways in which other animals adapt. Pigs, as an example, only exist within the Americas because humans brought them here for food, yet they have proven remarkably resilient. they will survive in many climates, and are adapting to weather in Canada and therefore the northern U.S. by learning to burrow into the snow, creating so-called “pigloos.”