The animal populations stage a comeback—something to celebrate?

Well, not entirely, if you listen carefully to CBS, which ends up giving this recovery only 2-1/2 cheers.
The Fast Draw: Pros and cons of growing animal population

This is a well done overview, inevitably oversimplified, of our tyrannical relationship with animals and nature, as no one can deny that those who came to America, first mainly from Europe, descended on this continent like a plague of wild locusts leaving few native things standing. The video chronicles in a rather noncommittal way  (it looks detachedly upon trapping, for example, which should be morally indefensible in any civilized nation and revolting to any decent human being) the loop of savage destruction of several species and then their almost miraculous salvation right on the brink of extinction by exogenous forces (industrialization, urbanization, etc.) and the hand of government, belatedly acting with a measure of wisdom. 

Still, the presenters end up marring the report by falling back on that old reflex, evaluating reality exclusively in terms of human values, and kvetching that the saving of the animals is costing us$28 billion!  Hmm, $28 billion…if repairing a huge crime against nature costs us $28 Bn, and the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—not even factoring in the suffering, cost us $1.4 trillion, and counting, I should regard the former as a great bargain. Alas, speciesism dies hard, even among people who mean well.

—Branford Perry


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2 thoughts on “The animal populations stage a comeback—something to celebrate?

  1. As long as animals are equated with money they are always going to get the bad end of things. Is it too expensive to give breeding sows enough room to lay down and move around in their pens, plus the cost of the piglets that could be “lost” due to the sow laying on them of stepping on them? But no thought to the life of these pigs standing up on concrete their entire miserable lives. Sad to say, but money trumps all.

  2. I think the mindset of “not in my back yard” is also at work. I find that many people, even the most well-meaning, are “liberal” or “compassionate” as long as whatever it is is “somewhere else” and doesn’t affect them personally.

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