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Value-taking animals: is it OK to exterminate them?

Obviously "value-taking" can be relative.

But if we look at all forms of life from humans' point of view, then we can make a list of animals who are more value-giving, and animals who are more value-taking.

Among the value-taking, of course, are animals and insects that are potentially dangerous to humans, including:

  • Poisonous snakes / scorpions / spiders
  • Sharks
  • Mosquitos
  • Cockroaches
  • Rats

It is my (probably) unpopular opinion that yes, it's OK to get rid of these animals.
And I also think that a concerted effort to eliminate them from the earth -or to just save a few in controlled environments- is a worthy goal.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Maybe this falls under the value section of the forum?
Though we are not talking about human interactions.

My Chinese friends probably had lots of shark fin soup.
They are celebrating Chinese New Year.
That would affect the population of sharks quite a bit.

I particularly dislike mosquitos.
They spread diseases like Dengue fever, Malaria, Zika, etc.
The order of magnitude for deaths annually is a million.
Mosquitos are the deadliest animal to humans.

There was a government pest organisation that released infertile male mosquitos to compete with fertile male mosquitos to reduce breeding.
It was quite a successful project.
The number of breeding hot spots in the country reduced significantly.
They do manually go around to check where mosquitos lay their eggs.

Side Effects of Eliminating a Pest

The food chain may be disrupted upon eliminating a pest.
There may be a rise in the population of another pest.
They do some simulations to check how to prevent this from occurring before carrying out the extermination.

For mosquitos, this person argues that the ecosystem will be fine:
https://www.nature.com/news/2010/100721/full/466432a.html

Here are some benefits of mosquitos though many agree that the costs outweigh their benefits to us:
https://www.thoughtco.com/what-good-are-mosquitoes-1968303

Yes, I've heard of that project, and thought it was a great idea.

To me, funding a project like that is far more useful than landing on Mars, albeit not as fancy, status-boosting, and potentially also politically risky on this day and age.

When it comes to the utility of certain animals, I grew up hearing, even studying I think, that all animals are important, and taking one species out somehow "destroys the whole chain".

But I don't believe it much.
Animals have been going extinct and/or mutating since life first appeared, and life always went on anyway.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

To me, funding a project like that is far more useful than landing on Mars, albeit not as fancy, status-boosting, and potentially also politically risky on this day and age.

Same page here.
Bill Gates was saying this about space travel.
He says that there are so many things to do on Earth.
He believes eradicating Malaria would be much more beneficial.

However, I believe when he said that on air, he made comparisons to Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk as a way to suggest he understands the priorities and practical problems of the world better than them.

In the country that I am in at the moment, I carry a mosquito repellent around because some places have lots of mosquitos.
I get worried whenever I see a mosquito with white stripes biting me.
Then I have to worry about getting dengue fever.

Let's get rid of them : ).

When it comes to the utility of certain animals, I grew up hearing, even studying I think, that all animals are important, and taking one species out somehow "destroys the whole chain".

But I don't believe it much.

I am on the same page here.
If humans disappear, the world will go on fine too.
Just not from our perspective.

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Lucio Buffalmano
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