The view by that constant animal suffering on Earth gives humans reason to desire the extinction of all predatory animal species is purported by philosopher Jeff McMahon. He asserts several points in defense to his argument. I will refute his most relevant claims by using Peter Singer’s argument against “speciesism” and closely analyzing each of McMahon’s points.
McMahon’s biggest defense for extinction of all carnivores is that it would be good to prevent the vast suffering and countless violent deaths caused by predation. His assumption that the end of all suffering deaths caused by predation is a good thing fails on two accounts. First, he fails to take into account “predation” in the microbial level. Numerous bacteria on Earth that kill other bacteria are vital to all living organisms. Virtually all, living organisms house predatory bacteria that feed on other bacteria in order to multiply. However, these bacteria also decompose harmful pathogens and aid in absorbing nutrients for survival. For example, in Humans, lactic acid bacteria kill pathogens in the stomach that cause diarrhea. In fact, the elimination of all predating microbes would wipe out all living creatures on earth due to diseases. Although according to McMahon, these causes “animal suffering”, most people would not desire the elimination of all predating bacteria. Suppose McMahon changes his argument to limit carnivores to those visible to the human eye, Singer would label his argument speciesist. He would be allowing the suffering of certain carnivorous animals over another in consideration of their visibility. Second, in advocating the ending of animal suffering caused by predation, he implies the absence of animal suffering among herbivores. However, this is easily proven false through looking at a group of mammals, insects, and birds that compete over pinyon pine seeds. In particular areas where chipmunks and squirrels are abundant, the cone-boring insect p View More »