Don’t Demean “Invasives”: Conservation and Wrongful Species Discrimination
Philosophy Department, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV 89154, USA
Philosophy Department, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX 78666, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 September 2019
Revised: 24 October 2019
Accepted: 25 October 2019
Published: 27 October 2019
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), “invasive” species are “alien” or non-native species “whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health”. On this basis, many state agencies encourage the eradication of invasive species. We argue that this constitutes wrongful discrimination against members of endangered species. Although there may well be cases where it is permissible to kill them. the reasons that these agencies provide often are not sufficient to justify the killing. More importantly for our purposes, though, the killing is not the only injustice here. Additionally, it is wrong to categorize animals as invasive, and we show how to reach this conclusion by borrowing from Deborah Hellman’s account of wrongful discrimination.