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Society Should Make Efforts To Save Endangered Species Only If The Potential Extinction Of Those Species Is The Result Of Human Activities - With A Free Essay Review

Prompt: “Society should make efforts to save endangered species only if the potential extinction of those species is the result of human activities. Write a response in which you discuss your views on the policy and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider the possible consequences of implementing the policy and explain how these consequences shape your position.”

Many people question the necessity of saving endangered species. Some hold that species' extinction which just results from human behaviors and activities should be prevented, and extinction involving other natural factors could be just allowed. In my perspective, all the species should be protected from extinction since the values and uses of these irreplaceable animals as well as the flora and the fauna could not easily judged by human beings instantly and fairly.

Admittedly, there are numerous reasons why we should solve other serious problems first other than saving endangered species. Firstly, nowadays people around the globe are facing various problems which need our attention desperately. For example, some people in Africa are facing a shortage of foods, clean water and medicines. Some countries in Africa are still war-stricken, where people are still living in the shadow of dictatorship. Secondly, it is true that sometimes keeping species from extinction could be all-consuming. To save endangered animals we should use human resources and money. Particularly, some kinds of saving could be slow and even ineffective. Experts assume that saving and reviving some sorts of trees in the tropical forests need decades.

However, the problems we face and setbacks we counter should be excuses for human beings' inaction and predilection. In the first place, it is widely accepted that plants and animals have different medicinal, agricultural, ecological and recreational values. For example, many kinds of plants could be used as medicines to save people's lives. In fact, according to the Wikipedia, 40% of all prescriptions written today are composed from the natural compounds of different species. Keeping a balance of biodiversity is important to both human beings and the earth. Some animals' activities could even be indicators of climate change. With the development of science and technology, some unfound species have been found, and some unknown functions of these plants have been discovered. And the species that seem to be unuseful to human at present could be of high values in the future. So it is at the heart of human's interests to save species as much as we could despite of the causes of endangerments.

In the second place, it is hard to distinguish that the extinction of speccies are caused by human activity or the nature. Moreover, it is hard to identify or predict human effects on species and habitats. According to the research by the UNESCO, the primary cause of species endangerment is the rapid habitat loss. While, on the other hand, it is recognized that the strongest forces in rapid habitat loss are human beings, since nearly every region of the earth has already been affected by human activity thanks to the development of science and technology. At some point, human beings are responsible for some seemingly-natural causes of extinction.

Besides, if society chooses to save species only affected by human activity, human beings are making a choice unfairly and groundlessly. People do not have a right to decide which species should be saved or not. Many kinds of species have been on earth for long time. The earth is their home, too. People's life is just like a journey, and the animals and plants are like our traveling partners on earth which should be equally respected. Human beings do not have a say about which species are more important than others. More importantly, if we do not save some endangered species now, some species will perish without trace, which means that our future generations are deprived of rights to see, to enjoy and to use these species thanks to our inaction. Choices people make today also impacts chances of our offspring. So in my opinion, it is unfair for human to decide life or death for plants and animals.

In summary, society should do as much as possible to save species from extinction, but the most important thing is that what we can do to reverse the trend of extinction. Perhaps, people should spend more money and time reflecting on how to lower impacts of human activity, how to restrict and correct human behavior through laws and regulations, how to protect species that is safe now from possible future extinction.



I would recommend beginning with the last sentence of the first paragraph (you can also delete “in my perspective”), but note that animals and fauna are the same.

To develop a nuanced response to the prompt, it would be a good idea to consider the best possible argument that could be made in favor of the stated policy. In other words, your essay ought to explain why it might be that we should only save species that our own activities have threatened. Your second paragraph addresses a possible argument that we should prioritize other problems, but not any specific argument that we should save only those species that we have threatened. Presumably the logic underpinning the policy is that if we are responsible, then we are ethically obliged to act, but otherwise, we are not so obliged, and so perhaps we should focus on other problems, although it could also be argued that we ought to limit our interference in the natural world as much as possible, and for that reason should only act to reverse the effects of previous interference.

Your third paragraph addresses the part of the prompt that asks you to consider the possible consequences of implementing the policy. I think you should address that part of the prompt as directly and explicitly as possible, by writing sentences like: “If the policy were implemented, then many species that we could save would go extinct. The consequences of this happening are unknown, but may include etc.”

I think the argument about the difficulty we might have distinguishing species that we have threatened from species naturally threatened with extinction is a bit tangential to the main point. The policy presupposes the possibility of such a distinction; if you wish you can briefly question that presupposition, but the issue you are really being asked to discuss is whether we should save all species or just those we have threatened. Saying the distinction cannot be made is skirting the real substance of the argument.

Your final argument, in the penultimate paragraph, is an ethical argument: we just should try to save all threatened species. That seems like a reasonable argument, but I think the ethical argument as a whole would be stronger if you explicitly took account, as I mentioned earlier, the best argument that could be made in favor of the policy; e.g, we have a duty only to save those we have threatened (for one of a number of possible reasons). Given that possible argument, it is not enough to say “people do not have a right to decide which species should be saved or not,” since the argument of your opponents is not that we are deciding which species should be saved, but rather just deciding which species we have a duty to save. You can still refute that argument of course with your utilitarian (consequentialist) argument: it is ultimately to our benefit to save all the species.

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: bepazhu


Thanks for your review. I will do better next time. Thanks for your help.
June,06 2012

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