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Beasts Versus the Biosphere?

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Apparent clashes of interest between 'deep ecologists' and 'animal liberationists' can be understood as differences in emphasis rather than conflicts of principle, although it is only too easy for campaigners to regard as rivals good causes other than their own. Moral principles are part of a larger whole, within which they can be related, rather than absolute all-purpose rules of right conduct. This is illustrated using the practical dilemma which often occurs in conservation management, of whether or not to cull animals that are damaging their habitat by overgrazing. Here, and in general, when we are faced with a choice between two evils, the need for scrupulous discrimination and honesty cannot be overstated; but it is not a worthy option to retreat behind moral principles of limited application.

Keywords: culling; environment; habitat management; moral dilemmas; moral judgement; philosophy

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 1992

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has an impact factor (2014) of 1.056.
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