Species in species protection: What animals deserve protection?

Species are ingrained in our culture. Gender-specific way of thinking and behaving causes people to feel superior to other animals and to discrimination against certain types of animals. Species are distinguished against living things on the basis of their species.

Species protection measures that take place in the natural habitats of animals are, of course, very important. Unfortunately, qualitative tendency also manifests itself in this area, because some species are generally considered to be ‘more valuable’ or ‘worthy of protection’ and therefore receive more attention than others. But from an animal rights perspective, every animal’s life is valuable, and all animal species deserve protection.

Species in species protection: Some animal species are considered ‘more important for protection’ and ‘more valuable’

Today, between 500,000 to 1 million animal and plant species are endangered worldwide. The causes of this mass extinction are largely man-made and include animal husbandry, climate crisis, deforestation, mining, fishing, and hunting, among others.

Amphibians in particular are among the endangered species. [1] But insect death is also a huge problem, with their numbers in Europe dropping by 80 percent over the past three decades. However, not many people are interested in fighting for the preservation of some animal species in the same way that we fight with mammals – in part because they are able to identify with some animals in a lesser quality. [2, 3]

beetle in log
Some people hate insects, but preserving them is important to our ecosystem.

Beautiful and popular animal species is favorite

People are more willing to take action to protect the animal species they find attractive. [4] Problem: Most of the world’s endangered species are neither seen as particularly attractive nor overtly beneficial, which is why they usually lack support. Above all, “beautiful” and well-known mammals such as pandas, elephants and lions are often the symbols of species protection projects. In contrast, animals that are less known or seen as less attractive like worms, spiders, insects, reptiles and amphibians receive less attention – even if they are also endangered. [5, 3]

Vertebrates tend to be considered more “valuable” and get more attention than invertebrates – although these animals are also pretty cool. [6, 7] This focus on vertebrates means that critically endangered invertebrates such as mollusks, insects, plants and fungal species have been severely neglected in recent years. [8]

slugs
Invertebrates such as snails are usually not common sympathizers of species protection campaigns.

Aesthetics and financial capabilities are among the main factors that determine which species are considered worthy of protection in the natural world. [9] In this way, the world’s biodiversity is selected for by preserving “attractive” species – regardless of their biological importance and benefit to ecosystems. [9] This preference for some animal species is referred to as ‘conservation bias’ and is linked to species-related thought patterns.

Threats to charismatic animal species are often underestimated

For many species of wildlife, the disproportionate presence in everyday life belies how vulnerable each species is in some cases. Although particularly popular species such as tigers, lions, elephants, giraffes, leopards, pandas, and polar bears are of great public interest, their conservation is not guaranteed – they are still considered critically endangered and some are critically endangered. Many people do not realize how frequently these animals appear regularly on television, billboards, and in zoos. [10]

Icebear
Many people still underestimate the extent of the extinction of popular animal species.

Species in zoos: How useful are zoos when it comes to protecting species?

Zoos market for captive breeding “Protection”. This public gives a false sense of security about the survival of the species – a false consolation that undermines and diverts support from genuine conservation efforts. Wild animals that have spent their entire lives in captivity cannot be released into the wild in most cases. In turn, effective protection of the species occurs in the natural habitats of animals.

Zoos fuel the thinking of species proponents. On the other hand, they convey the basic misconception that humans can dispose of animals as they please and lock them up for their own pleasure. On the other hand, animal species that are perceived by the majority of people as attractive and cute are mainly kept in zoological facilities for reasons of advanced species protection. This shows that zoos are primarily interested in attracting visitors with famous animals who pour as much money as possible into the vaults.

Help end gender segregation – go vegan!

Please inform yourself about zoos and similar institutions that claim to protect the species. Also explain to those around you why sustainable species protection must be pursued regardless of the appearance of an animal species and this can only be achieved in the animals’ natural habitats.

By choosing an animal-friendly vegan lifestyle, you are helping to end the exploitation of animals in various industries. We have no right to place ourselves above other sentient beings, to rank them arbitrarily according to their perceived usefulness or value, and to subject them to fear and suffering for selfish reasons.

  • sources

    [1] Federal Agency for Political Advertising (2017): Threatened Species, https://www.bpb.de/kurz-knapp/zahlen-und-fakten/globalisierungs/52736/endrohte-arten/ (accessed February 16 2022)

    [2] ntv (2019): Discrimination against ugly species in terms of protection, https://www.n-tv.de/wissen/Haessliche-Arten-beim-Schutz-discriminated-article21007321.html, (accessed Jan. 18 second 2022)

    [3] https://www.animal-ethics.org/empfindungsvermogen-abschnitt/warum-empgungesfahigkeit-relevant-ist/arten-individuen-moralisch-zu-beruecksichten-sind/ (accessed 01/26/2022)

    [4] Gunnthorsdottir, Anna (2015): The physical attractiveness of an animal species as a decision factor for its conservation, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.2752/089279301786999355, (Accessed 26.01.2022)

    [5] zdf.de (2017): The lie of protecting species, https://www.zdf.de/wissen/leschs-kosmos/die-luege-vom-rechte-artenschutz-100.html, (Accessed 18 Jan. second 2022))

    [6] Boeing, Niels (2017): due dirty, ugly and mean, https://www.zeit.de/zeit-wissen/2017/06/artensterben-mensch-einfluence-tiere (accessed January 25, 2022)

    [7] Donaldson, Michael R. et al. (2016): Taxonomic Bias and Biodiversity Research for International Conversations, https://www.facetsjournal.com/doi/full/10.1139/facets-2016-0011, (Accessed 25.01.2022)

    [8] Tamara Fernandez (2020): Conservation Bias – An ugly Truth, https://im Imperialbiosciencereview.com/2020/10/02/conservation-bias-an-ugly-truth/ (Accessed 26.01.2022)

    [9] Small, Ernst (2011): Noah’s New Ark: Only the Beautiful and Useful Species. Part 1. Biodiversity Conservation Issues and Priorities, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14888386.2011.642663, (accessed 26.01.2022)

    [10] Rennert, David (2018): Why Endangered Animals’ Charisma Is Deadly, https://www.derstandard.de/story/2000077844784/warum-endrohten-tiere-ihr-charisma-zum-verhaengnis-wird (Accessed 26.01 .2019). 2022)

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