019 Speciesist Savior Complex
If you save someone’s life, what do they owe you? What do the animals that we forcibly rescue owe us? Do we have the right to pick and choose who lives, and under what conditions?
In This Episode
Nichole and Callie talk about the Speciesist Savior Complex – a term they totally made up – the dangerous idea that humans should intervene in nature to save animals and, by doing so, have ownership over their lives.
We see this more obviously with zoos, animal parks, SeaWorld, et al. Many people excuse what zoos and parks do because the animals within them would have been “dead otherwise.” But is that ok? Would you be grateful to be locked in a cage if it was done under the guise of saving your life? Would you be happy to have someone choose when and what you ate, who you lived with, who you mate with?
This was brought into sharp focus for the girls when they went to the San Diego Zoo Safari for Nichole’s company’s summer outing, and discovered that the vultures that are in the park all have their wings clipped at birth so they can fly. So these birds are clipped and bred, clipped and bred, never returning to the wild and not even able to engage in their most basic function as birds. The price of staying in existence, in this case, is too high.
There is no point in perpetuating a species if we make them prisoners in the process.
By saving lives that didn’t ask to be saved, we take away animals’ agency to have a free life, even if it is a shorter one. By intervening on ecosystems, we’re continuing to disrupt the natural balance and causing unforeseen ramifications down the road.
VWPA! takes the position that we need to leave animals alone and get out of their environments. Most species that are endangered are so because of human influence on their environment. If we can focus our energies on figuring out ways to work with nature, find ways to minimize our impact on this planet, and leave the animals alone, we’ll all be far better off.
Links and Info
- New Zealand Legally Recognises Animals as ‘Sentient’ Beings
- Toll-Free Animal Activist Helpline Launched
Wolves Reintroduced to Yellowstone – How Wolves Change Rivers
How Whales Change Climate