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Toward Ethical Treatment of Animals in Hawai'i's Natural Areas

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Title: Toward Ethical Treatment of Animals in Hawai'i's Natural Areas
Authors: Stone, Charles P.
Issue Date: Jan 1995
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
Citation: Stone CP. 1995. Toward ethical treatment of animals in Hawai'i's natural areas. Pac Sci 49(1): 98-108.
Abstract: Human alienation from nature is evidenced by minimal understanding
of interrelationships in the wild and an emphasis on individual wild
animals. Different viewpoints (utilitarian, biocentric, and theocentric) about the
natural world and the place of humans in it color ideas about management of
natural areas and the species therein. Decisions about nature should consider a
complex of human values including the economic, aesthetic, spiritual, ecological,
and humane, along with a preservation ethic for the future. Control of introduced,
or alien, animals in Hawai'i, where endangerment and extinction
rates of native species are among the highest in the world, and where alien
species cause severe degradation and disappearance of near-natural communities,
has recently become controversial as a result of confrontational activities
by animal rights activists. However, people who "speak for" animals in the
world involve a wide variety of groups, including natural resource managers,
hunters and fishers, scientists, agriculturists, conservationists, and humane and
animal rights groups. An ethical system for wild animals must make good-faith
efforts to protect all human values. A good-faith approach to conflict presumes
that most groups have codes of right and wrong (ethics), even though some may
not be as completely developed as others. We need to "outgrow" narrow views
of nature by better understanding human relationships to it through meaningful
participation (hunting, management, scientific study, observation, etc.). Actions
and nonactions must be governed by a holistic and flexible ethic practically
applied to different conflict situations.
ISSN: 0030-8870
Appears in Collections:Pacific Science Volume 49, Number 1, 1995

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