During the past 2 weeks of learning, I was a supporter of ecological ethic position at the beginning. Later on, I found my mind has changed. Even though I still hold with some ecological ethics thoughts, ultimately I am tended to agree with the animal liberation position.
In the beginning of the course, I choice to discuss the statement: “Zoos are cruel because they prevent individual animals from living their natural life.” I agreed with the statement because I have a bad experience with zoo, also I feel zoo disturb the normal life of the animal. I think nature is where animal really belong to, wild animals would never behave natural when they are placed into zoo. The initial position I took in this prompt was ecological ethics. I simply believe that human should not disturb animals and leave them alone. Saving them in zoos would be just the opposite of what we wished. Onside we are saving them form the high competition of nature. On the other, we are actually taking away their freedom.
After reading Singer’s argument on human beings is not born equally, I developed the idea that not every creature should be treated in a same way. From the prompt 05, I feel my position started to change. I am partially agreed with the utilitarianism theory that similar interest should be counted as similar importance as the majorities. I insist everyone’s pleasure and pain including animal dose matter to us, and I agreed with Regan’s claim we should not discriminate based on contractarianism. Regan observed the equality we are looking for in utilitarianism unachievable. I found I had similar thought with Regan when he says “the satisfaction of individual’s interest should be base on the basic survival needs but not what we are frustrated about”. And it should be same in both human beings and animals.
Singer’s argument on human equality and Regan’s critique on discrimination really make me start to think whether human have more obligations on nonhuman and nature environments. I believed human have higher moral status and the better ability of reasoning. It automatically makes human beings have more rights than animals. However, having more rights does not saying we have right to do whatever we want to harm animals and taking profit from nature. It means we have more responsibility in taking care of the nature than others. Although it is very anthropocentric to think a species matters because they contributed to, or form an important part of, some other good. I think Russow’s point was right. It is very common we generally consider things based on its benefit and contribution. I realized humans should give up some potential profits they could gain to achieve being environmental friendly. We need to do way more than just merely saying.
In the further prompt discussing on Taylor’s theory “respect for nature” I disagreed with him on we should respect all living things. I thought it is too general and too broad to respect individuals because we cannot prove they are actually valuable to the nature or not. Although I disagreed with it, I really liked it when Taylor claimed, “one’s love of nature is nothing more than the particular way ones feels about the nature environment and its wild inhabitants.” Taylor’s assert make me realize our sense of obligation in nature preservation should base on love and most importantly, in respect to the nature. Finally came to Callicott’s idea of “family obligation comes before than national duties, humanitarian obligation come before environmental duties”. I agreed that would be easier to us if we broke down our biotic community into families and carry out obligations than we do it as a whole, but I cannot agree that humanitarian obligations come before taking care of environments.
After all reading I have done, I acknowledged that I was overlooked the human responsibility on the environment in my initial prompt. Leave animals and the nature alone would not solve the real problem. Zoos are necessary to maintain biodiversity but have to exist for nonprofit purpose. Although I believe human have higher moral status than animals, the nature should be conserved for not only human, but every creature in this world. That’s why I think I am mostly stand on animal liberation position but with some ecological ethics thoughts. Furthermore, now I feel I started to agree with Callicott. To developing human obligations has to be step by step. When basic survival needs are assured, we would have the ability to reasoning and to realize our obligations to the nature. After all, we would capable to make or environment better. That’s how my thought on humanitarian obligation should come before the environmental duties.