Panda versus rat

The following thought has been bothering me lately.

Everyone talks about the need of preserving animals like the panda or the rhinoceros. And I completely understand; they are beautiful animals, and there are not many around. We want the future generation to enjoy them too. On the other hand, no one obviously thinks about protecting rats. We go to great lengths to kill them. And yes, they are gross, and there are more than many, and they carry diseases. But isn’t this a very human-centric view of the world?

Let’s imagine for a second that animals are conscious of their existence. In this hypothetical situation, they would have a view about their status as animals. Let’s say, they consider themselves as “all animals” meaning with equal rights. (Just like some of us believe all human beings as equals). A dog wouldn’t discriminate against a rat or a lion against a hyena. A life is a life. It doesn’t matter if you are a rat or a panda. Ok maybe a panda is too much, and I’m going to get bashed by panda lovers. Let’s think about a hedgehog and a rat. Similar size. Everyone wants to protect one and kill the other one. One is cute the other is not.

Why is the rat destined to die? Because (in our view) it’s ugly and dirty? Let’s go even further. How about turning this whole thing around. What if the rat actually deserves to live, since it has evolved and survived. Dogs have evolved and survived. They went from a wolfes to all kinds of colours and shapes (apart from poodles. poodles are sheep). Yet, we keep trying to kill rats, and they keep surviving. In a way, it’s like America’s failed war on drugs; Humanity’s failed war on rats.

Just a thought. From an ethical standpoint, the value of an animal can’t be based on its attractiveness or scarcity. But from a convenience and health perspectives, I’m happy to call the exterminator. I guess that’s the difference between ethics and morals.

What do you think?