Ethical Issues

As with all fields of study, the issue of whether certain practices are ethical comes to question. Endangered species, by no means, is free from such question and therefore society is split on whether animals should be protected or if people come first.  There are some who strongly believe that endangered species should be protected because each species plays an impact on another’s survival. Therefore, under the basis on the butterfly effect, extinction of a specie could lead to lead to chaos and extinction of more species. Such thinkers are often strong believers of the “Animal Bill of Rights”, a list of how an animal should be treated. However, there are those who are more concerned with aspects human life, and they find endangering species allowable if it promotes human growth. Since one of the top reasons a specie goes endangered is because of human expansion into wildlife, some people choose to put human interest over those of animals. By expanding, humans have the ability to better their lives, as they learn more about their planet, even though the cost may be great. But ultimately, who is allowed to determine whether the life of an animal or plant is important since they cannot speak on their behalf?

Image 1: This shows the percent of people who want to protect endangered species versus those who support peoples rights to get land.

Image 2: Public preferences for endangered species management.


Many have suggested that animals facing endangerment and extinction be cloned to increase specie populations. Although such a technique would protect animal populations and solve the issue of extinction, how much is too much? Cloning, in general, is a controversial topic in which society is split. By cloning species, adaption would definitely slow down, and individuality of animals would no longer be existent. Genetically, all animals within a species would be the same and the downfall of some species would become imminent. Also, by having the ability to clone animals, governmental programs for protecting animals would stop, which would be tremendous problem.

An Animal Bill of Rights

1.  No animal should be endowed with imaginary qualities of good or evil to satisfy our superstitious beliefs or religious prejudices.

2.  No animal should be dominated or degraded to entertain us.

3.  No animal should be kept in captivity unless it can be provided with an adequate physical and social environment.

4.  No animal should be kept as a companion unless it can adapt easily to the lifestyle of its human owner.

5.  No animal species should be driven to extinction by direct persecution or further increases in the human population.

6.  No animal should be made to suffer pain or distress to provide us with sport.

7.  No animal should be subjected to physical or mental suffering for unnecessary experimental purposes.

8. No farm animal should be kept in a deprived environment to provide us with food or produce.

9. No animal should be exploited for its fur, its skin, its ivory or for any other luxury product.

10. No working animal should be forced to carry out heavy duties that cause it stress or pain.