An Ecological Triage – Matt McDaniel

I don’t like our textbook.  It seems to imply that conservation is somehow less moral or ethical than other ecological concerns.  Personally, I think that the exact opposite is true.

Let me start by saying that I love animals and respect nature.  I enjoy seeing undespoiled nature and recognize the importance of it, but I cannot fault people whose only concern is conservation.  We are on the verge of a global ecological catastrophe. They say within 50 years we could see the terrible results of global warming and see an unprecedented loss of human life as well as seeing us thrust back into the dark ages.

In the face of this crisis, we must consider what is most important or most pressing and focus upon that before anything else.  As an emergency room will treat patients with a head wound before they will treat one with a broken arm based on severity, we must make choices that will not be easy.  Conservation makes that choice.  It recognizes, perhaps selfishly, that all the environmental practices in the world will mean nothing if humans aren’t around to benefit from them.  Perhaps this is greedy, or perhaps nothing more than the biological imperative instilled in us from evolution, but our species surviving matters more than any other ecological facet.  Once we’ve ensured the survival of mankind

Perhaps this is greedy, or perhaps nothing more than the biological imperative instilled in us from evolution, but our species surviving matters more than any other ecological facet.  Once we’ve ensured the survival of mankind, then we can focus on the other parts.  I know how important the rainforests are, and how endangered the whales are, but my first priority has to be the survival of mankind.

The world isn’t going to end.  Life will continue without us.  Something may crawl from the mess that mankind has created, but I’d rather it be mankind that crawls from the mess and that’s where my focus lies.  If killing every whale ensured the survival of the human race?  I’d be sad, but would say goodbye to them without hesitation.

I’m only Human.


9 thoughts on “An Ecological Triage – Matt McDaniel

  1. I agree, obviously as human, that our survival is most important to us but I think what you are missing is the fact the without ecological services, such as carbon sinks (forest), our survival will not be possible. Destroying clean water systems, polluting the air we breathe, decimating entire populations of wildlife without even knowing the benefits of their existence, these will be the real death of our race.


  2. This angers me. what gives you the right to live over anything else? Just because you can walk on two feet and have thumbs? What are you contributing to society that justifies your being? A lot of animals were here before us but since we have thumbs and verbal communication we just kill them off. You are so self centered.


    • I absolutely am. Would you swerve off a road and hit a raccoon to avoid hitting a kid that’s in the road? I would, even though it’s not the raccoon’s fault that the kid is in the road I absolutely put human life above all others.


      • And yes, ideally you would brake and hit neither, but if that’s not an option, human life takes precedence. I have the right to decide that because I’m capable of making decisions.


  3. If you haven’t read the lowest animal, you should. I think it might help to change some of your perspectives that are a bit too human centric in my opinion. – Madeline Howard


  4. I wholeheartedly disagree with everything you have said. We will not be able to survive if we do not take proper care of our planet and all its inhabitants. Biodiversity, which is a fundamental value of conservation, keeps this planet moving forward. It boosts ecosystem productivity, on the most basic level. We are not the end game here. Some of the animals on this planet have existed longer than humans, and we have a duty to them and to every other living being to preserve this planet for them and for future generations. They did not cause global warming, or climate change, or the mass extinction we are on the verge of. They do not war with each other, constantly discovering new ways to kill each other. They coexist, and it sounds like you have a lot to learn from that ideal.
    -Jordan Wilcox


    • Oh I know we are to blame and I know that biodiversity matters a /lot/ to our continued existence, but the reason I care is because it’s important to /our/ continued existence


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