Saturday, July 6, 2013

The "Quantitative ARA"

A friend of mine observed: "... (in this session) there was a discussion here about making a difference to the largest number of animals. I responded, 'But what about the tigers? the mustangs? which species we'll lose soon, shouldn't we as a movement go to those first?' The answer I got was that this viewpoint is 'conservationist' and that's different from animal rights. I did not see myself as a conservationist, only a concerned person..."

I second this person's emotion.

As an anti-hunting activist and wildlife preservationist over the years, I've caught flack along this vein time and again. One asked me how many tigers I was trying to save; I said 4000 max, since that was the maximum number of tigers left in the wild to save. He then chastised me for not only being misled, but misleading others, to devote a disproportionate amount of time, energy, ingenuity and resources to the tigers, thereby thinning out support for the 10 billion chickens slaughtered every year in the U.S. alone. Elephants likewise, rhinos likewise, dolphins likewise, whales likewise.

Speaking of whales, there was even the "Eat the Whales" campaign led by a high profile group essentially saying that each whale contains enough meat to equal that of so many tens of thousand of chickens, so by sacrificing one whale, so many tens of thousands of lives could be saved. Tongue in cheek perhaps, but this goes to show something about the basic "philosophy" of some in which the term "Species" does not exist except in labelling wildlife-oriented ARAs as "conservationists", whom they label as "sSpeciesists".

These "Quantitative ARAs", as I call them, in fact devalue the worth of the individual life by playing the life-game by the number, which I find ironic if not disingenuous.

Picture of tigress at Bandhavgarh National Park, India, by Anthony Marr

Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)

No comments: