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Killing all the lions and tigers...

  1. Jul 30, 2015 #1
    Why don't we kill all the animals that
    1. can have humans as food
    2. top of the food chain
    3. eats other animals that can be food for humans
    4. no apparent use to humans.

    Lions and tigers come in this category. They do not seem to have any particular use to the humans. We could keep a few in order not to get them extinct; other than that, we don't need them. Lions and tigers come in the top of the food chain, so it should not have much impact on the eco system. Humans can eat pretty much all types of food a lion or tiger eats (other than humans). This can help solving a part of food scarcity for humans. What is incorrect in this logic, in an eco system point of view (not the morality part)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2015 #2
    Kill lions> Gazelle populations explode> savannas are over grazed> loss of habitat for multitude of insects, reptiles and smaller mammals> severe decline in their population and disruption of ecosystem.

    BTW I personally don't understand the logic of saving a species from extinction while simultaneously killing it. If you are going to kill a species, what good is saving a handful of individuals of the same?
     
  4. Jul 30, 2015 #3

    ShayanJ

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    The fact that you're destroying part of ecosystem!!! Wasn't that obvious?
     
  5. Jul 30, 2015 #4

    Borek

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    That's where you are wrong.
     
  6. Jul 30, 2015 #5
    Why don't we genetically engineer some to grow less and smaller teeth then mate them with the rest of wild tigers or lions? Having tiny teeth may change their eating habit.
     
  7. Jul 30, 2015 #6
    I don't think lions and tigers are taking over the world , what is all this fuss about ?
     
  8. Jul 30, 2015 #7
    Playing devil's adovocate - we could hunt gazelles too...

    Anthropocentrism? Which seems for me quite reasonable approach for a member of Homo sapiens sapiens.

    Food scarcity is nowadays a financial / political problem, not a problem with being able produce enough food, thus getting rid of a few apex predators would not help, if you take in to account that some societies earn their living by showing rich Westerners wild animals, then it may actually counter-productive.
     
  9. Jul 30, 2015 #8

    Borek

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    Those killing and those preserving are typically not the same people. And what is surprising in the fact different people have different agendas?
     
  10. Jul 30, 2015 #9
    Too much grass. Not sure if there are negative effects of that.
    I was questioning the sentimentality of not killing them all and saving a handful, since OP asked to ignore the morality part while suggesting saving a few of the animals to prevent extinction.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
  11. Jul 30, 2015 #10
    See my previous post. And as for those killing and conserving not being the same people, they just might be.
     
  12. Jul 30, 2015 #11
    Van Gogh's paintings do not seem to have any particular use for humans, either. Not everything has to be useful to be appreciated for its beauty.
     
  13. Jul 30, 2015 #12

    russ_watters

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    That appears to me to be the main reason for preserving species. Yeah, I know, people also talk of "preserving ecosystems", but I think that's pretty much bogus because:
    1. Destroying - or, rather, altering an ecosystem to suit our needs - is done all the time and is not universally judged to be negative. Because...
    2. Part of the reason we alter ecosystems is to destroy pests. No one complains about that; lions are cute, rats and mosquitos notsomuch.

    Pennsylvania used to have lions. It's the mascot of the state school. Those that weren't hunted to extinction (at least in this area) are now hunted as pests.
     
  14. Jul 30, 2015 #13
    Why don't we kill mentally and physically disabled people too - they aren't much use to anyone. And lazy undergraduates too.
     
  15. Jul 30, 2015 #14
    It's only not apparent to you.
     
  16. Jul 30, 2015 #15
    The reasoning for preserving some of them is for, what-if-we-find-a-use-in-the-future logic? Later, some research may show that lion's specific something might be useful for say, stem cell research for curing a particular disease. Humans are capable of controlling the larger species population, in case if we find a use in the future. So maintaining the species is for academic purpose only.

    Gazelle population will not explode. Humans will eat them. The laws of the land will change gradually to adjust to the eco system. South africa started preserving elephants since they were facing threat for extinction. Then elephants became overpopulated, and the government had to pass laws to controllably kill them. They figured out the elephant meat is tasty and now it is being exported worldwide.

    The impact of eco system logic is different for each species, depending on where it comes in the eco system pyramid. The impact is not equal for all the species.
    We make the mistake of putting all the species equally important. An analogy would be, a stack of cups arranged in a pyramid shape. You take one cup from the bottom, the whole stack collapses. You take the topmost, rest of the stack remain in tact. The impact of a change in the top of the pyramid is overrated.

    Humans have evolved so much that we can control parts of the eco system so that it is more beneficial to humans (food). We do not pretend that we have control on the lower end of the eco system. A lion comes at the top of the pyramid, and food of a lion is not an animal that humans cannot control.

    Other than the role of maintaining the eco system, does a lion have any other benefits to the world? I can't think of any.

    Arguments about killing disabled children etc. are off topic here. This thread is specific to lions and tigers or similar carnivore animals that eat other bigger/controllable animals.
     
  17. Jul 30, 2015 #16
    For what it's worth, people have done things like this. There is lore where I grew up that the early settlers in the region decided to wipe out the local wolf population. They burned as much local forest as possible to drive the wolves into the open where they could be shot, and also just to destroy their habitat. This would have been in the early 1800's.

    I call this "lore" because some dispute the fires were set to eradicate the wolves. This faction claims the settlers were just clearing land for farms, and the fires got out of control.

    Regardless, the main effect that can still be seen today is that the local mountain, which is not a very tall mountain, is denuded of forest at the top. Without trees, the topsoil washed away, leaving the top bald. It's just a big rock cap now.

    Also, there are no wolves. Deliberate or not, they wiped them out. Similar story all over the U.S.: the wolf population was nearly completely killed off by one means or another.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
  18. Jul 31, 2015 #17

    Bandersnatch

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    This is absurd. The argument appears to be: 'let's eradicate apex predators so that they won't eat the food that we're not eating anyway'.
    The OP seems to believe that the meat industry in Africa consists of bands of hunters scouring the savannah for gazelles, and whenever there's famine it's because lions ate too many.
     
  19. Jul 31, 2015 #18

    russ_watters

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    I don't think anyone is necessarily suggesting that we must kill them (except, perhaps, in Pennsylvania), just that it isn't necessarily wrong to do so.
     
  20. Jul 31, 2015 #19

    russ_watters

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    Disabled people are people.
     
  21. Jul 31, 2015 #20

    Lisa!

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    What's next? Why don't we kill all humans who seem to be useless or damage humanity in some way like killing other human beings?
     
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