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My opinion on your opinion: is killing to conserve an option?

The idea of compassionate conservation proposed by Marc Bekoff in his Op-Ed piece for LiveScience is aligned almost exactly with the views of Singer in his essay. This current news article concerns the auctioning off of the opportunity to hunt an endangered black rhino, supposedly for the cause of saving other black rhinos. Bekoff vehemently argues against the decision of the Texas hunting club to take such a measure in conservation. He reasons that killing nature is not a way to conserve nature – which is true, to an extent. This instance in particular is particularly shameful, but only on an individual basis. There is no reason why a critically endangered animal should be killed to raise money to save others. The argument of the Texas hunting club includes the fact that the rhino in question is past its reproductive prime, but that seems hardly reason enough to kill a member of a critically endangered species for pleasure. Although Bekoff is correct in his criticism of this particular instance, his application to all situations of killing individuals is unfounded. He, like Singer, believes that all individual animals deserve to be relieved of suffering and saved from death. However, he does not propose a solution to the issues at hand regarding species preservation. While all members of critically endangered, keystone species should be protected from harm, what about invasive species? They themselves are harming the ecosystem they thrive in, at the expense of endemic and native species. In order to preserve overall biodiversity, ethologists like Bekoff may have to accept that some removal of individuals is necessary to keep biodiversity high and ecosystems functioning properly. The particular circumstance outlined in this article was tragic, but its use as a platform for denouncing all animal killings is misleading.

Bekoff, M. (2014, January 17). Is a rhino hunt really conservation?. LiveScience. Retrieved from

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