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ECN-L  June 2014, Week 4

ECN-L June 2014, Week 4

Subject:

Re: PR attack on scientific collections -Fwd: NPR news on collecting

From:

Andrew Brower <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Andrew Brower <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 23 Jun 2014 20:30:25 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (181 lines)

Not to be callous, but it is populations of organisms, and not individual
organisms, that matter here.  Insects are r-selected and have high
intrinsic rates of increase when there are resources available for them.
And I think putting things in perspective is important.  When you prepare
a 10,000 acre Bt cornfield, you wipe out an entire ecosystem, including
every plant that is not Roundup-ready, and every animal that cannot eat Bt
corn or something that eats Bt corn.  Catching a few butterflies is
utterly insignificant in comparison to this kind of environmental
carpet-bombing.  The animal-rights types need to realize that if you are a
living human being in 21st Century USA, you are complicit in all of this,
when you pull on your cotton pants or eat just about anything or drive a
car or buy a product that was delivered by a truck or whatever.

By the way, none of this is new:

łTwo principal objections are usually alleged with great confidence
against the study and pursuit of insects.  By some they are derided as
trifling and unimportant, and deemed an egregious waste of time and
talents; by others they are reprobated as unfeeling and cruel, and as
tending to harden the heart.˛

-Kirby and Spence, 1828,
"An Introduction to Entomology"

Cheers,

AB

Professor Andrew V. Z. Brower
Evolution and Ecology Group
Dept. of Biology, Box 60
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

(615) 898-2064







On 6/23/14 2:35 PM, "[log in to unmask]"
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Hmmm.. yes, I agree with Rich about those potential problems, and it does
>require some care.  In the long run I think entomologists will have to
>adjust a bit, but also the "mammals are real animals while insects are
>not" idea needs some serious adjustment as well if we want to invest in
>invertebrate conservation. Really sometimes it seem we are not much beyond
>medieval conceptions...
>
>I suppose my point is that we should have some acknowledgment that insect
>lives are worth respecting, and that our research has the potential to be
>far more positive for these insect species in the long run than not
>engaging in the research.  THEN bring in the automobile grille data if you
>will.... We are really doing good stuff, both for us and for them, in
>exchange for those lives we take.  We can surely make that case very
>effectively. No?
>
>Jim
>
>
>> I agree with Jim and I can see where he is coming from but the concern
>> that I would have is that for most purposes, insects are not considered
>> "animals" in the sense that we have to follow all of the rules and
>> regulations (and paperwork and screening committees) that someone
>>working
>> on mice or wolves has to do.  If insects are ever considered in that
>> group, it would shut us down.  I just served on the graduate committee
>>of
>> a person that was doing gut content studies of pheasant chicks (that he
>> had reared and used on plots) and was amazed at the amount of paperwork
>> that he had to do and permissions that he had to obtain.
>>
>> I just worry about giving ammunition to those that are against
>>collecting
>> any in form with any organisms.  It scares me.
>>
>> But I do think that an acknowledgment that we are "ethical" and care for
>> life is important.  And, I do think that the great majority of us are
>>very
>> ethical in the way we treat our collecting activities.
>>
>> Rich
>>
>> Richard S. Zack, Professor
>> Department of Entomology
>> Washington State University
>> Pullman, Washington 99164-6382
>> 509-335-3394
>> fax - 509-335-1009
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On 6/23/14 11:08 AM, "[log in to unmask]"
>> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>>>Hi Susan,
>>>
>>>Is there a way to incorporate (into whatever we craft for this) some
>>>acknowledgment that we (perhaps of all people!) do indeed respect that
>>>insects are animals and that the value of their lives should be weighed
>>>against the scientific value and impact that our research has for the
>>>futures of both humans and insects? I think we still win here...
>>>
>>>I realize we are not talking about pandas, but just to compare our
>>>systematic and ecological work against the carnage of automobile grates
>>>seems pretty callous if not a bit unethical.
>>>
>>>Plus, it might help counter the extreme animal rights a bit. We DO care
>>>about our environment - there just needs to be a cost/benefit balance.
>>>
>>>Jim
>>>
>>>
>>>> Dave,
>>>>
>>>> ECN membership feels strongly that we need to counter the NPR
>>>>negativity.
>>>>
>>>> Is there something ESA can do to help us spread the word that more
>>>>insects
>>>> are taken by incidental take by cars on highways than by collecting?
>>>>Mike
>>>> Ivie, Andy Brower and others would be willing to work with you or your
>>>> designate to craft a timely response.
>>>>
>>>> Thanks, Susan
>>>>
>>>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>>> From: Eric H. Metzler <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Date: Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 12:48 PM
>>>> Subject: NPR news on collecting
>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> We should identify a person in NPR to receive the letters.  Who knows
>>>>the
>>>> source of he origin of NPR's concern?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> Dr. Susan Weller
>>>> Director and Professor
>>>> J.F. Bell Museum of Natural History
>>>>
>>>> Office (Mpls) 612-624-2013
>>>> Office (St.Paul) 612-625-6253
>>>> Fax (Mpls) 612-626-7704
>>>> Web: www.bellmuseum.org
>>>>
>>>> College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>--
>>>James B. Whitfield
>>>Department of Entomology
>>>320 Morrill Hall
>>>505 S. Goodwin Avenue
>>>University of Illinois
>>>Urbana, IL 61801
>>>http://www.life.illinois.edu/whitfield
>>
>>
>
>
>-- 
>James B. Whitfield
>Department of Entomology
>320 Morrill Hall
>505 S. Goodwin Avenue
>University of Illinois
>Urbana, IL 61801
>http://www.life.illinois.edu/whitfield

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