There’s a comment on my work blog that says, essentially, “fuck people: what about the fluffy animals?”.
It’s funny, but perhaps uniquely in the history of Planet Earth (if not the Universe) we as humans are in a position to put the interests of another species above our own. Robert Heinlein must be turning in his grave.
Yes, we have to look after/steward the planet and its inhabitants, insofar as that is necessary for our own survival/quality of life. I could quite happily live without giant pandas–as far as I can tell they’re an utter drain on resources and are too stupid to adapt to new conditions. Why should we care about them? Do they make our life better in any way? (Answer: possibly.) And don’t get me started on mosquitos.
Come the Apocalypse, could we eat them?
Actually, come the Apocalypse, can we afford to have people around who would rather save random animals than fight for our survival as a species? That’s not such a daft question–given earthquakes, floods and meteorites, the human race is only a step away from serious trouble. Saving the planet is all well and good if our own survival is assured (and yes, our own survival might very well be contingent on other species’ survival).
Save the planet to save ourselves, sure. But let’s put an end to this nonsense that rates human lives as anything less than mind-numbingly special.