Polar bears’ noses are phenomenal. They smell a seal’s fart through a light year of snow and ice or something like that. Polar bears are cute, strong, beautiful, pure awesomeness all the way. Come on: they sleep on snow then swim a few rounds in ice water to cool off! I adore them, I love ‘em, I really do.
Now they disappear. Also the number of lions is drastically plummeting, due to poaching and other factors. What to do about it?
Many animals live in fear of lions that hunt them down and rip their bodies apart, often without the quick kill that is supposedly the method of the oh-so-mighty king of the animal kingdom. Watch the TED talk by Beverly and Dereck Joubert; look at what the lions do to the poor elephant. That is an elephant for crying out loud – about as aware and social as you and me.
Some of the comments over there point out that the bad bad poachers kill the lions also because the lions like to eat their children. It is easy to be morally superior if you are not poor in a village with lions about, but in your home in LA twittering about You Tube while munching pizza instead.
Shooting only a single male lion can result in 20 to 30 more lions getting killed, because other male lions will fight for the departed one’s females. This implies killing competitors, killing all the kids of the previous lion, and killing some of the females for good measure as they are already at it.
The Jouberts feel that this argues for not shooting lions, rather than for aiming at a middle aged male lion in case you have only one bullet left. For this reason, the quoted “20 to 30” more lions are probably too optimistic.
Many seals are eaten alive just for one polar bear to survive. Gazillions of seals are under constant stress because any time they go up to take a breath through a hole in the ice, it could be the last breath they ever take. A gazelle's life is hell because there may be lions around, even if the lions are somewhere else busy torturing a gnu.
Some argue about biodiversity, but with all those insects supposedly going extinct every month, we sure can get rid of the lions and bears. They will be lost to science? Put a few in the freezer by all means.
Remember those 3rd Reich style documentaries about a top predator being important for the ecological niche, for weeding out the sick and all that? Oh pleazzee! Rest assured that usual disease and resource limitations do just fine without the help of lions, bears, and wolves.
Some argue that the hyenas will move in and nothing will be gained from this great loss. Do hyenas attack healthy elephants and do they kill their own? If so, then maybe we can be happy about the total number of hyenas plummeting, too. And no hyenas will go replace polar bears.
Imagine our children can see lions only in story books. Finally they may get interested in lions, just like with the dinosaurs. I am sure the rich kids have plenty of excitement in cyberspace and the poor ones will walk the savanna without fearing lions. A win-win situation, no, win-win-win.
Yes, seals also eat fish – they are predators. However, small fish may well be nowhere close to as aware of suffering as seals. Grass is not in pain like an antelope, nor do leaves fear elephants.
Lions are not to blame – they do it naturally – they have the urge. Let us thus not blame them. Pedophile rapists also act out urges. Obviously, they cannot help it. I do not blame them - no sarcasm here at all. Do you really want to give them a nice habitat to roam, a playground maybe?
Soon, many big predators may be a thing of the past. Humans messed up a lot by overenthusiastic meddling with complex evolved systems, as I have discussed here and in other places - but this is not it. The bears and tigers are already almost gone. Lets seal the deal.