Friday, July 22, 2016

Human-Animal Conflict: Is Humans Saving A Goat From Python, A Case Of Undue Interference With Nature?


The incident took place near the Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh. 

The incident depicted in the video above took place in Uttar Pradesh near the Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, which is a protected area. A huge python tried to crush and swallow a goat whole while a group of villagers attempted, and eventually succeeded with, a rescue.

Such incidents are increasingly being recorded and shared on the internet. But the question is: is it right for humans to interfere with the food chain and save an animal in this manner? Of course, there's the added issue of the proximity between humans and animals indicating the former's encroachment on the latter's habitat.

There’s even a Quora thread discussing whether vegans are okay with the idea of predatory animals feasting on other animals. A group of philosophers are also pondering if there are ways to turn predators into herbivores.

Philosopher David Pearce suggests that humans could “reprogram nature to reduce wild animal suffering”. Here he is, talking about how "genetic engineering and nanotechnology will abolish suffering in all sentient life".

On Aeon, one conversation discusses this very idea about human intervention. Catia Faria writes, “All sentient individuals, independently of their species, can be affected for good or ill, thus being legitimate beneficiaries of human aid. Because of this, an increasing number of people, both in academia and among animal advocates, now claim that we should therefore intervene in nature to prevent or alleviate animal suffering whenever we can.”

An article in Vox on the same issue concludes, "Unfortunately, wild animals lack the power in society to speak out and relieve their own suffering like humans, so it’s harder to recognise the urgency of their needs. But we should act on their behalf."

The recently released film Zootopia, which imagined a world where herbivores and predators live side by side, gets into the act as well. Here's a clip in the movie discussing what predators eat, and if they can ever outgrow this behaviour.
On Bojack Horseman, a show exclusively populated with animals, a recurring topic of discussion was: do sentient animals on the show eat other sentient animals? This advertisement by a chicken farmer on the show tried to answer that question.

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