Wilderness Ethics



Lavar McCullough
February 11, 2000
Essay #2
Wilderness Ethics

Wildlife can be found all over the world. Animals come in all shapes and sizes and some still haven’t even been accounted for. Animals were on this planet long before man, but they may not be here when man leaves. The animals’ downfall results from the extensive studying, exploitation, and the destruction of their habitats, which should be against the law.
There is a lot of information that can still be learned about certain species of animals. This information is good, only if it furthers human knowledge and the animal’s well being. Studies done on animals involve clinical research. Taking an animal out of the wild simply to research it for common knowledge is unnecessary. Information on any animal can be gained by observation of the animal in its own natural habitat.
Altering the behavior of animals is a different form of “injustice.” The best example of the behavioral alteration is the circus. Under the big top of the circus, wild animals are taught to do tricks upon command. The audience sees obediently trained animals; but cannot see the process that it takes to tame those wild animals. The wild animals have a home in the circus until they lose their ability to perform. When the animals lose their ability to perform, they also lose their ability to fend for themselves in the wild. Therefore once their career in the circus is over, they must remain in captivity for the rest of their lives.
Zoos are another business that profits at the expense of animals. Wild animals are hunted down and purposely taken from their habitat only to be put in cages. Over the years, zoos have become nicer and can accommodate a large number of species, but they are not the best home for animals. A life behind iron bars cannot compare to the life the animals would have running or flying free in the wild. The zoos’ only justification is that the animals are taken care of well.
Animals must be treated better, and their environments need to be saved if they are going to survive. Studying animals has a few benefits; but when the research is over, the animals are no better off. Despite the fact that zoos and the circus do more harm than good for the animals, they both will probably be around for along time. Therefore humans must learn to coexist with animal species that inhabited this planet long before man arrived.




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