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  • Writer's pictureCrone

Dead and gone

I've been thinking about conservation, preservation and de-extinction.


And I thought, hey wow - I could combine my interest in animal cultures with de-extinction! So, amid all the arguments for and against creating a mammoth... which are many...


FOR

· Ecosystem builder – Siberia

· Reparation/restoration/justice

· Technological advancement

· Wonder/awe

· Economic gain

· ‘Value’ of a unique species


AGAINST

· Suffering of individuals with genetic deformities and surrogate mothers

· Psychological suffering – lack of culture and community

· Cost

· Playing god/hubris/humility/unnatural

· Unexpected consequences


I could focus on the culture bit. We don't know what mammoth culture was. We assume it may be complex like the elephants, but who is going to teach the baby mammoth how to be a mammoth? The mammoths would lose out and would be lonely.


Great I thought. I can be amazing.


Then I discovered that LSE ethicist Heather Browning had already written that paper.


My idea dead in the water.


Just now, though, as I am writing this, I am thinking about the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and how they train baby elephants to be elephants. Sure, they get some help from older elephants.... and in this case there'd be no older mammoths.


Even so, darn it, the people who spend millions saving the darn kakapos manage to hand rear a lot of them. And what about the crane migrations assisted by microlites?


OK... how about this: the ethical place for humans IN animal culture???

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