The idea of helping animals is a societally accepted and encouraged practice. I mean, who hasn’t seen-and teared up at-the Sarah McLachlan commercial for the ASPCA? Yet there is still an epidemic of poaching and whaling throughout the world. Why?
Because some claim it is vital to a nation’s economy.
There is a commonly used argument in African nations that poaching is a vital economic activity and that stopping poaching is actually detrimental to the nation’s economy. Poachers claim that what they are doing is an important contribution to the local economy of their homeland. That without poaching, a piece of their nation’s economy would be missing and that that would be devastating.
Another argument in support of hunting an endangered species is happening in Japan, where the nation claims it is whaling for scientific purposes. There is evidence that the whale meat is being used for commercial reasons, but Japan stands by its argument that they are simply bringing in the whales for research purposes.
Should we allow an endangered species to be hunted if the motivation is academic? Is poaching a viable economic activity? Is there also a level of cultural significance to hunting these species, a culture that other nations cannot understand and should therefore not criticize them for? Come to SMG 222 this Wednesday from 7:30pm-8:30pm and voice your opinion on international animal welfare!