The Intrinsic Value of Animals & Our Environment
Should social entrepreneurs, and we as humans, care about animal welfare too?
I think so.
Animal Concerns & Environmental Concerns as Human Concerns Too?
With the current buzz around environmental concerns, many governments and non-governmental charity organizations tend to focus on the current and future condition of climate change, deforestation and pollution specifically.
What about biological diversity, wildlife, endangered species and the welfare of even domestic pets?
Often, they get left out in contemporary debates and advocacy.
Are We Humans Too Selfish and Self-Centred?
Interestingly, many environmental advocates and even global environmental laws place much emphasis on the environment as it affects humans only. I’ve been reading a couple of books on international environmental laws recently, and one of the major arguments from the authors is that the current stance of the international community is inclined towards “anthropocentrism” – which means that many international protections are geared towards helping the environment, if and only if, it serves to benefit humans. Anthropocentrism is the idea that humans are central to the universe and are the mostsignificant beings on it. As a result, there are a lack of protections which serve to help the environment for the environment’s sake, and the intrinsic value of the environment itself is often overlooked.
This goes for animals too. There are a lack of global protections which serve to help animals for animals’ sake.
Having spent a day volunteering with injured dogs and puppies at the International Animal Rescue in Goa, India, I’ve had some time to reflect on these issues in practice.
Personally, I think that our environment, including the animals that live in our environment, do have an intrinsic value to them. They should not be devalued if they do not provide economic human benefits.