Writing I find it interesting how strongly aesthetics effects our moral judgments, and how selfish and homocentricly(I made that word up)-inspired many of those judgments are. For example, most people only feel upset about the extinction of beautiful and majestic animals. I don’t see many activists crying over the extinction of an animal like the hag fish. What’s more, why is it that we don’t want beautiful animals to go extinct? Does extinction imply deaths any more painful than the average death of that animal? Does extinction necessarily entail more net suffering than is normal for that species? No. It only means lower and lower rates of reproduction. What’s more, if you really cared about net animal suffering in the world, then you’d have to admit that the fewer animals there are in the world, the lower the level of net suffering. Carnivorous animals necessarily have to brutally murder other innocent animals to survive or slowly starve to death. Herbivorous animals necessarily have to constantly balance between risk of being brutally murdered, and starvation. And if we solved this problem by driving to extinction all carnivores, well then the herbivorous animals would just experience a short boom of reproduction followed by fierce competition and starvation when their food source dwindles. So the only reason I can imagine that someone would want to prevent a beautiful animal from going extinct is because they want to be able to enjoy the spectacle of that animal, or they find nature in general pleasant to observe. No other reason.

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