10 October 2008

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “One in 4 Mammals Threatened With Extinction, Group Finds” (news article, Oct. 7):

Man’s activity, whether through global warming, overhunting or clearing of habitat, has led to the loss of species at a rate that would have been unimaginable 100 years ago.

When the population of any species, including Homo sapiens, grows so quickly and consumes so many resources, it is clear that the effect on other life will be staggering.

When I have watched documentaries about saving animals and plant life, often the primary rationale offered for their preservation is that miraculous cures may be found for people, and that by seeing other species in the wild we find peace and harmony in ourselves.

But isn’t it enough to save other species because of our respect for all other forms of life, even if in doing so we do not directly benefit? Don’t other species have as much right to exist, and coexist, as we do?

Tim Boland
Lake Stevens, Wash., Oct. 7, 2008