Some time last year I wrote the essay below; I can’t remember what I wrote it for, but I’ve just dug it up whilst reorganising my files. I thought it a shame to waste, so I’m sharing with you.
For anyone who believes that human beings, or perhaps more properly, human persons, have moral duties to non-human animals for their own sakes, key features of animal conservation should be both troubling and problematic. The reasons for concern rest in the way conservation debates are framed together with the nationalistic language used, and the implicit sentiments that accompany them. Put simply, conservationism sups from the same cup as nationalism and other ideologies that subordinate the value of the individual to that of some larger social grouping. This claim may seem like it is intended to be provocative, but it is made neither to display boldness nor provoke reaction. Rather, the intention is to bring to attention that which has been before us, but which has rarely been perceived.