Humans intensively interact with animals. Thus, some animals are used as food. Some kinds of animals are exhibited in zoos or live with people as their pets. Besides, humans like hunting animals or using them for scientific researches. Today, there are numerous opinions about the ways in which people should treat animals because we do not know exactly what they need.
According to Holmes Rolston III (63), environmental ethics should contain some concerns and animals should be our moral patients. I do not completely agree with this statement. I believe that the best approach to animals is not to intervene in their life. They have lived thousands years without people’s support and they are able to live further. Animals are part of system. Supporting of specific kinds of animals could lead to their overpopulation and threats of other species. For example, I know cases when avoidance of killing wolves in the forest has caused significant increase of their amount and threats for weaker animals. In this context, hunting is not as negative as many humans believe. Although people sometimes hunt for sport, I think that hunting helps to deal with cases of overpopulating. On the other hand, I agree with Holmes Rolston III (70) that some rules are necessary for hunting. For example, hunters can ask rangers about species that can be killed and saved.
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Besides, I agree with Holmes Rolston III (73) that animals need to feel some pain. This is necessary for their development. We cannot treat animals as people because animals are in wild ecosystem and participate in the natural selection. Humans live in culture, so they are not involved in these natural processes. On the other hand, people do need to protect some rights of their domestic animals because these animals do not live in the wildness. I agree with Holmes Rolston III (75) that people primary should minimize sufferings of domestic animals, particularly they have to provide them food, water, comfort and nonpainful death. Avoidance of meat is not a solution. I believe that each creature has own mission on the Earth. The purpose of animals is to participate in food chains and be food of humans. As for pets, I believe that this interaction with animals is positive for both sides. Thus, pets receive shelter and food, whereas humans learn to care about animals and develop empathy.
Another important question is keeping animals in zoos. Holmes Rolston III (83) claims that zoos provide such benefits as recreation, education, scientific research and conservation. However, I think that the most important function of zoos is creating some connections between animals and humans. For example, I remember how it was exciting for me to see live animals. I understood that people and animals share many similar features. In particular, animals also can feel pain, express aggression or kindness as well as support their children. As a result, I do not support people, who make animals suffer.
In addition, animals are used in researches. I think that it is a right decision because such practices help to improve human health. If we had banned experiments with animals, we would not have so many treatment options. Although we do not participate in wild natural selection, we should protect either human health or animal health. I choose human health because human beings can create treatment options not only for themselves but for other species. Animals can protect only themselves. Therefore, human life is the most valuable in the ecosystem.
Inclusive ethics protects all living things including bees and plants. However, it is sometimes difficult to answer what organisms need support because all they are parts of the ecosystem. Giving more protection to some of the species could lead to their overpopulation. Therefore, humans need to carefully analyze all the factors.
Holmes Rolston III (91) supports the idea of biodiversity saying that God also stands for respecting all living things. I agree with this idea because all trees, plants and other organisms have value. For example, we cannot live without bees because they are necessary for pollinating plants. Reducing of bees would lead to worse crops, so people would have lack of some plants. Some organisms participate in recycling. Therefore, it is important to carefully monitor, which living things need protection and which ones should be slightly reduced.
Human activity also has negative impact on population of organisms. For example, deforestation has led to distraction of common environment of many species, so some of them died or had to move to other places. Besides, humans like moving organisms from one place to another. Although 90% of these living things adjust to new living conditions, I think this action is wrong (Rolston 107). For example, exotic animals can create troubles for original species. Thus, they have to search food, which would affect existing food chains. In my opinion, exotic animals resemble foreigners, who come to a new country. Some of immigrants integrate in the society and start bringing benefits a new place of living and its inhabitants. There are also people, who only destruct a life of local inhabitants. For example, they do nothing useful for the community and only make illegal actions or live for money obtained from a budget of a new country. Holmes Rolston III (110) compares such living things with “weedy”. I do not agree with such comparison. I think that all living things have various levels of adaptability to a new environment, so it is inappropriate to blame species without analyzing their life on a new place.
In addition, Holmes Rolston III (107) states that we should value and respect all the living things on the Earth for they are in themselves, not just their mind. I support this statement because it coincides with God’s instructions about unconditional love to all creatures on the planet. Millions of living things on our planet do not have mind but all they perform their own role, which allows the whole ecosystem live in a harmony. Today, humans tend to forget about these easy rules of co-existing with other inhabitants of the planet but I believe that eventually we would come to biocentrism. In fact, some people have already started to respect all living organisms and appearing of environmental ethics is a proof of moving in the right direction. However, the humankind needs more time to realize that focusing only on human needs is a mistake.
At the same time, respect to all living things sometimes requires humans to kill some organisms to save other ones from extinction. For example, people have to kill animals to save some plants. I agree with Holmes Rolston III (110) that it is a reasonable approach. If some plants disappear, we will not be able to see on the Earth again. However, humans should also carefully monitor the population of animals in order not to put them in danger. I think it is a brilliant idea to open reserve areas where animals, plants and other living things cannot live together without interventions of humans. This would help organisms survive until all people will understand the importance of biocentrism.
To sum up, humans should not intervene artificially into the lives of animals, because it can destroy the balance in the wild ecosystem. However, they should minimize sufferings of domestic animals, research animals and zoo animals. Zoos and pets should not be forbidden because they help to create compassion towards animals. Besides, other living things also require respectful approach. Only biocentrism would allow reaching balance on the Earth.
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