Whose Environment Is It?
by Joel Marks
A peculiarity about the contemporary discussion of the proper human treatment of other animals is that, when the topic is broached at all, it often falls under the rubric of ‘environmentalism’. No doubt this is an unintended consequence of the otherwise welcome prioritizing of an ‘environmental crisis’, which was highlighted in the last issue of this magazine. It is peculiar nonetheless because it begs a rather key question: whose environment is it?
The word ‘environment’ has its roots in the notion of surrounding. We humans are ensconced in an environment that surrounds us, and other animals are surely a part of that. But every living being lives in an environment, so humans are equally a part of the environment of other animals.