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Don’t Demean “Invasives”: Conservation and Wrongful Species Discrimination

by 1,* and 2,*
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.
Animals 2019, 9(11), 871;
Received: 28 September 2019 / Revised: 24 October 2019 / Accepted: 25 October 2019 / Published: 27 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Ethics: Questioning the Orthodoxy)
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.
It is common for conservationists to refer to non-native species that have undesirable impacts on humans as “invasive”. We argue that the classification of any species as “invasive” constitutes wrongful discrimination. Moreover, we argue that its being wrong to categorize a species as invasive is perfectly compatible with it being morally permissible to kill animals—assuming that conservationists “kill equally”. It simply is not compatible with the double standard that conservationists tend to employ in their decisions about who lives and who dies. View Full-Text
Keywords: invasive species; discrimination; animal rights invasive species; discrimination; animal rights
MDPI and ACS Style

Abbate, C.E.; Fischer, B. Don’t Demean “Invasives”: Conservation and Wrongful Species Discrimination. Animals 2019, 9, 871.

AMA Style

Abbate CE, Fischer B. Don’t Demean “Invasives”: Conservation and Wrongful Species Discrimination. Animals. 2019; 9(11):871.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Abbate, C.E., and Bob Fischer. 2019. "Don’t Demean “Invasives”: Conservation and Wrongful Species Discrimination" Animals 9, no. 11: 871.

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