The Future of Animals
The Benefits of Animals
Ever since humans surpassed animals in the race of evolution, animals have had to submit to humans, consciously or not, accepting a secondary status to coexist together. As we noticed how smarter we are, we took control of animals, especially that we realized the benefits of keeping some animals: for food, transport, labor, security, company, entertainment, medicine, and research.
Research is the most legitimate, enduring motive of the above. We decided to benefit from animals for the KNOWLEDGE they offer, about our own origins and animals' different skills, behavior, social structure ... to choose from whatever suits us.
Yet, as humanity evolves, we keep finding alternatives to those benefits animals offer, less costly and more effective, that we may gradually, eventually have "no need for animals." At some point, we will have to answer the question, "Should we keep animals?" If not, do we have the right to do so? Any relationship is based on mutual interest, between humans, animals, or objects (mutual energy, gravity, electrons, etc.). Many animal activists and sympathizers need to ask themselves: What can animals "really" offer humans, and accordingly "how much" effort is it worth?
Keeping animals for no good reason is harmful to animals themselves, not just to humans. However hard we try not to torture or kill animals, already billions of animal populations torture and kill each other every day, hour, and minute, at forests, oceans, etc. Unfortunately, present science can't change their nature that kills to live, e.g. by turning carnivores/omnivores into herbivores, to prevent "heartless" predators from killing innocent preys that unfairly suffer and die. We can't eliminate pain from the face of Earth.
1. Minimizing Animal Population
• We should bring no more animals/humans we don't need to life, whenever we can, except those of "real value" to us. Bringing an unintelligent creature to life to suffer and make those around it suffer is like bringing a disabled child to a world where neither the child nor the world is ready for the other. Many who had raised an animal expressed later disappointment in their choice, likening the experience to "having a baby that never grows up."
• We should isolate or kill harmful animals, with minimal pain to them and cost to us. (This argument doesn't apply to humans, despite some countries implementing death penalty, because humans KNOW what death is; animals don't.)
• We should sterilize useless animals. We need to develop scientific methods for mass sterilization, rather than unsexing animals one by one.
There is a weak argument suggesting letting animals decide for themselves, living by nature, breeding, grazing, fighting and dying, on the pretext that we have no right to interfere into their lives, and our mere interference would break the laws of nature. That's an "appeal to nature" fallacy, and a passive attitude toward "evil" in general, which is part of life we must deal with, by trying to eliminate or lessen it, rather than accept and live with evil just because it's natural.
2. Recording Animal History
What will nature be like hundreds of years from now? Species in natural history play a similar role to relics' in human history. Once we record what needs to be learned from both, keeping them will only play an unimportant, nostalgic and superficial role. The records of human knowledge are what matters, lasts, and needs utmost protection, rather than leaving it like a history book whose pages are torn and scattered across the surface of Earth. We can save our knowledge of animals in books, or save animals themselves in a cellular form, at sperm/egg banks for on-demand breeding, until they transform into history data, literally, as we will ALL be.
There is no need to mourn a life "form" gone extinct, just like a famous portrait or historic relic gone missing, because even our human "form" itself won't be the same in the future, thanks to the advances in bio-technology. It's content that matters, not form. At present, we can change some inner organs (heart, kidney, liver, etc.) and outer ones (skin, nose, lips, teeth, etc.). In the future, we will change even more; for instance, changing the bones alone, esp. facial bones, will make future humans barely recognizable. As long as life itself exists in the future, hopefully in an advanced from, there will be no need to miss the backward life forms we have now, animals or humans.