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Animal Welfare Debate assignment

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Animal Welfare Debate assignment

Postby veralidaine » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:52 pm

So I thought I'd put this here since the description for the subforum includes 'Animal Rights Discussions' but feel free to move it somewhere else if it doesn't fit.

One of my courses this semester is 'Animal Welfare' which is pretty interesting. Our professor is a pretty prevalent expert in this area and is often featured in textbooks and documentaries discussing animal welfare.

One of our assignments was an online debate where we were randomly assigned a topic and had to write both a 'For the House' and an 'Against the House' post. Lo and Behold, I got "This House believes that the money spent supporting zoos and exotic animal collections in Canada would do more for the animals if it was used for conservation in the animals’ native countries." Coincidence?

Anyways, I was able to think of a good 'against' post right off the bat but could not, for the life of me, figure out what to say for the 'for' post. I understand that it's good to be able to see both sides of the issue but I just couldn't think of a good argument. I basically ended up BS'ing it so we'll see whether I get a good mark or not.

Here is my 'for' post, called 'habitat destruction is the underlying problem''

"At the moment, a justification of putting money towards maintaining zoo animal and exotic animal collections is that we wish to keep the species from going extinct and plan to release some of the captive population into their wild habitat. Unfortunately, this does not address the underlying problem. Without significant habitat restoration, any released animals will not be able to survive and we will eventually be right back where we started.

If we direct the money used to maintain zoo and exotic animal collections, towards restoring wild habitat, we stand a better chance at resolving the underlying problem, which will naturally make way for restoration of the species; our original intention."

(I know, it's really weak and I basically blow it out of the water with my opposition post but it was the best I could come up with)

Here is my opposition post called 'Extinction in captivity would lead to extinction in the wild';

"The opposition believes that the money being used to maintain zoos and exotic animal collections should continue to be used for that purpose, rather than being redirected to conservation efforts. To redirect that money to conservation would be assuming that habitats could be restored in two decades, since that is roughly how long it would be until captive populations died out if we stopped breeding.

The opposition does not believe that this is a realistic assumption. The simple fact is that habitat destruction is too extensive to adequately reverse in time to maintain wild populations of certain species. One need only look at the conservation efforts of the last couple decades to see how slowly progress is made, regardless of how much money is spent. To take away funding from zoos and exotic animal collections would cause the extinction of species in captivity and ultimately, extinction of certain species in the wild."

What do you guys think?
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Re: Animal Welfare Debate assignment

Postby Ash » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:56 pm

Well, I 100% agree with you. ;) I would have a really hard time writing the supporting argument too, because honestly I can't see anything right about it. I think what you have is pretty good.

I like the title to your opposition argument. It's very down to earth and true.

While I think introducing captive born species back into the wild is a good idea in theory, it just doesn't work like how it's supposed to. (Maybe with some smaller species, but definitely not for things like tigers). Plus I think it is completely unfair to people living in, say India, to introduce tigers into their forests.

How would we like it if people released a huge population of panthers in the US? (I know you're not from the US, sorry; just making an example) I would not be very happy. I wouldn't feel safe to have that many wild predators walking around again.
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Re: Animal Welfare Debate assignment

Postby amyers » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:00 pm

Reintroduction has been a big thing here with the FL panthers. The habitat is right and the space is right to move them to more northern parts of the state, but people won't have it. There is a lot more livestock here than in more southern parts of the state where they are, and, in the case of Ocala, some super-fancy, super-expensive (many thousands of dollars) horses that people don't want eaten.

From a conservation standpoint, it makes a lot of sense. There isn't much area for them to move around down where they are. They've about maxed out what they've got. The only real hope for survival is moving them where they can spread out, but the people don't want them up here. Sad, really. Everyone likes the idea of big beautiful predators.... somewhere else.
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