Isaac writes, “In a letter to the journal Conservation Biology this year, Dr. Michael Hutchins, Executive Director of The Wildlife Society, said that ‘animal rights and conservation are incompatible at the most fundamental level.’”
As a conservationist and animal protectionist, I always look for solutions that protect the environment, habitat, and species, along with protecting individual sentient animals from harm.
I’m also a human rights advocate. In relation to habitat destruction and loss of biodiversity, no species is as destructive as humans, but I don’t advocate killing people to solve our biodiversity crisis. Rather, I advocate the reduction in human population through family planning and education, the greening of our economy, and practical solutions to eliminate poverty and hunger without further deforestation and habitat destruction, such as sustainable, plant-based agriculture.
It’s much more difficult to find solutions that work for everyone rather than a specific interest, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible, or that we should abandon complex, nuanced, and holistic thinking in favor of either/or answers.
Animal protection is no more incompatible with conservation than social justice is. We just need to be more creative, compassionate, and innovative.