An International Perspective
By Mark A. Michael (Editor)
(Humanity Books, Paperback, 9781573927277, 307pp.)
Publication Date: October 1, 1999
On the surface, the claim that we should preserve wildlife is unobjectionable. Few people would argue that driving elephants, pandas, or whales into extinction and cutting down the rain forests would result in a significant loss. There is also a consensus that humanity's interactions with wildlife have been based on ignorance, self-interest, and even maliciousness, and that the decimation of wildlife throughout the world must be reversed for the sake of ourselves, future generations, and the animals themselves. Yet arguments for preservation are met with a wall when the conversation turns to hard policy questions.
Many wildlife preserves in question are in underdeveloped third-world countries that wish to develop into industrial powers. This raises the questions: Are the superpowers—those ardently calling for preservation of these wild places—afraid that small countries will eventually challenge them in the global economy? Is preservation a true environmental issue or a political issue? Furthermore, does saving endangered species somehow harm other species in the delicately balanced process of evolution? Issues such as these force wildlife preservation into the field of international economic, political, and social debate.
Preserving Wildlife examines the issues in four key areas: Individuals and Wildlife Preservation; Strategies for Conservation and Management; People, Politics, and Wildlife; and Utilizing Wildlife. The contributors are Cathy Sue and Roger Anunsen, Victoria Butler, Andrew Neal Cohen, Richard B. Harris, Gilson B. Kaweche, Roger J.H. King, Dale Lewis, Robert W. Loftin, Michael V. Martin, Jim Mason, Ackim Mwenya, Roderick P. Neumann, R.J. Putnam, Alan Rabinowitz, Victor B. Scheffer, James R. Udall, and others.
Mark A. Michael is on the faculty of the Department of History and Philosophy at Austin Peay University in Clarksville, TN.