Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Haley Reading Group: The Big Kill



[The Best American Science and Nature Writing (2015)]

Elizabeth Kolbert’s article “The Big Kill” concentrates on New Zealand’s troubles with invasive mammals diminishing native fauna, which endangers native birds and kiwi. Kolbert raises the issue of exterminating some mammals for the purposes of conserving native wildlife, and how human migratory patterns throughout history have led to some mammals being brought to different parts of the world. She explores the large task of eliminating invasive species, since humans will continue traveling and shipping goods from country to country, thus leading to invasions from various mammals.

Kolbert’s focus on humans hunting and killing invasive mammals to protect native wildlife and New Zealand’s national identity was fascinating or alarming, depending on your point of view. What did you think? How did the article enhance or reshape how you thought about what it means to protect wildlife? Please provide a page number citation, where necessary.

57 comments:

Gabriel Bressendorff said...

To me, this article described the worst in humans. I understand that unnatural animals are showing up and overpopulating habitats that they shouldn't, however, that is natural selection at it's core. This is how wildlife evolves. I equate this "genocide" of non-native animals to any dictator who has tried mass genocide. I think it's wrong to try and justify the killing of the non-native wildlife, to preserve the native wildlife. This article was abhorrent in my opinion.

Ivyanne B. said...

I think that if they are trying to protect other native species from invasive predators than it is alright to get rid of them. In the text it said "I say to people, if you want your grandchildren to see kiwi only in sanctuaries, well, that's where we are headed. And thats why we need to use pretty aggressive tools to try and turn this around" (pg.167). I think to save the native animals they should have to do what is necessary. Children from New Zealand shouldn't just have to see kiwi's in zoo's or sanctuaries. I think we should be able to protect native wild life with whatever means are necessary to do that. I also think that if they are killing them just because they are invasive and not really harming anything or anyone then they should be able to stay where they are.
-Ivyanne B.

Anonymous said...

I had never really given much thought to the impact invasive species could have on native wildlife. But this reading made me ask myself. Is it ethical to eradicate one species of animal to save another? I can understand why some may answer yes to this question. In countries like New Zealand, which boasts unique wildlife, preservation can mean systematic killing. "I say to people, if you want your grandkids to see kiwi onky in sanctuaries, well, then that's where we are headed...we need...to turn things around"(167). -Desmond Crumer

Alliyah M. said...

After reading Elizabeth Kolbert’s article “The Big Kill”, I thought New Zealand's unique approach to protecting their wildlife was interesting. I always interpreted protecting wildlife as not trying to get rid of any species. Although their approach has found success, I wonder if there will be ecological consequences.

A group of American researchers once stated, “We must embrace the fact of ‘novel ecosystems’ and incorporate many alien species into management plans, rather than try to achieve the often impossible goal of eradicating them” (174-175). I wonder if it is impossible to eliminate all foreign wildlife due to the increased amount of traveling and migration of foreign wildlife.

Raillane Kamdem said...

To me, this article was not so much fascinating as it was extremely alarming. I felt highly uncomfortable when enlizabeth kolbert would describe how the farmers would butcher animals. For them "conservation is all about killing things" (164), and there are so many things wrong with that statement. It seems more like a sport to murder animals on a whim that they might destroy wildlife in New Zealand, and that makes my stomach churn. This arrival made me realize that protecting wildlife to me does not mean killing every possible animal you think could harm it. There must be better, more acceptable ways to protect nature.
-Raillane Kamdem

Jasmyn Kloster said...

After reading Elizabeth Kolbert's article "The Big Kill", it really opened my mind to the damage invasive species can cause. Other species are causing the native species harm, so it is only right to try to think of means to decline the population size. Some may think it is wrong to destroy a species to save another. I do not believe to save one species you need to completely destroy another, but by just limiting the number of invasive species could help. I do not think children anywhere should have to see a species native to their land in a zoo, so limiting the number of not native species would help.

Kobi Phillips said...

The reading "The Big Kill" was extremely interesting in my opinion because I have always been extremely interested with the different roles that animals play, wildlife in general, and the extent people go to preserve it. This reading really opened up my eyes to the effects that animals can have on each other. For example, on page 176 it basically states that, when increasing the amount of birds in our environment, it would decrease the number of rats. This is something that I feel that most people fail to realize. Thanks to this chapter, I was even more interested in the discovering of other animals and how they could be related.

Mackenzie Cohoon said...

When reading “Big Kill” I was shocked to see that this was such a big phenomenon, and that people actually enjoy killing these animals, even if they are invasive. I also never realized that invasive species cause that big of a problem to warrant this type of extermination. I feel like it is not the most humane way to solve any problem, but I suppose these people care far more about protecting their wildlife, and along with it their national identity, then they do about animals that are only harming their environment, and they feel like it is worth the effort. So, while I personally do not agree with their methods, I respect the fact that they are at least doing something to combat the problem they are facing.

Jaleel Fuquay said...

I thought this was really fascinating in the sense that I've never given much thought to the action of exterminating mammals being a legitimate movement. This story has really made me think about how humans are capable of anything. All animals play a vital role in the food chain, and I believe exterminating them will upset the balance in some way. The fact that the entire population has bought into the extermination is troubling, but it makes one wonder do they have a valid point.- Jaleel Fuquay

Jada Baker said...


When I first began reading "The Big Kill" I was upset because people in New Zealand were killing animals that were considered to be invaders. This upset me because I feel as though all animals should be able to roam the earth freely. But as I read further into the text, my mind slightly changed.

Before reading this article I was unaware of the damage invasive species could cause on the environment and native species. I agree that in order to protect these native species the removal of invasive species is necessary. However, I do not believe that the people of New Zealand should be killing the animals/plants with poisons.

Shaina Falkner said...

"The Big Kill" enhanced my thoughts on what it means to protect wildlife. I would never agree with the idea of killing animals unless it was for self-defense or if the animal was very dangerous to the life around it.
Kevin killed animals to protect the wildlife around him, but the way he described his trapping philosophy made it seem like he hunted not for the defense of life, but for sport. On page 64, Kevin talks about his trapping philosophy and cleaning bits of rotted stouts off of traps. Kevin says he's not fastidious about cleaning the traps because, "I like the smell in there, it attracts things." He says he likes to keep the smell to bring in more animals to kill, when he should be trying to keep them away to get rid of the problem of them destroying the wildlife around him.

-Shaina Falkner

Shaina Falkner said...

"The Big Kill" enhanced my thoughts on what it means to protect wildlife. I would never agree with the idea of killing animals unless it was for self-defense or if the animal was very dangerous to the life around it.
Kevin killed animals to protect the wildlife around him, but the way he described his trapping philosophy made it seem like he hunted not for the defense of life, but for sport. On page 64, Kevin talks about his trapping philosophy and cleaning bits of rotted stouts off of traps. Kevin says he's not fastidious about cleaning the traps because, "I like the smell in there, it attracts things." He says he likes to keep the smell to bring in more animals to kill, when he should be trying to keep them away to get rid of the problem of them destroying the wildlife around him.

-Shaina Falkner

Daeja Daniels said...

Daeja Daniels

I thought that in the story " The Big Kill" the author addressed this issue in a well written way. Invasive species are a big problem to the native animals and plants and can change the dynamic of the entire area. It reshaped what I thought about protecting wildlife because, typically I think of a reserve and prohibiting the killing of animals and plants. However, this is a different approach which I think if effective and direct. Therefore, I like this method because they are preserving their homeland.

Christine sheriff said...

“The invaders are eating their way through the native fauna, producing what is, even in an age of generalized extinction, a major crisis,”(164). While first reading, "The Big Kill" I was very interested because I have never really thought about over population of species and the damage they can cause. However, I think that humans often try to play a bigger part than what they are meant for. To expand on that, I mean that humans should not get involved and let Mother Nature take control. While I do understand why they wanted to get rid of the said invaders, I feel as though could have be a way that was more humane.

Joke Adanri said...

While reading "Kill Bill" at first I found it disturbing that humans were actively trying to eliminate a species. But I understand the importance of their native wildlife and why this option seems necessary. The author described the problem being caused by the non-natives as "an age of generalized extinction, a major crisis" (page 164). I still don't think that exterminating the non-native animals is ethically correct, but until there is another solution I understand why the people of New Zealand might find this to be there only option.

Kendall Clark said...

As I read "The Big Kill," I found the topic of invasive species and the ways of dealing with them both fascinating and alarming. I understand invasive species can be extremely problematic, but have never considered the lengths people would go to prevent their effects on the environment. On page 164, Kolbert went into detail about how New Zealand, one of the most nature-loving nations, would "crush the heads of hedgehogs." Kolbert also discussed that invasive species were such an issue that even small children have been involved in exterminating the species from the particular environment. I found it perplexing that "the worlds most nature-loving nation" could use such brutal tactics. Although I may not fully understand the effects invasive species may have in certain terrains, to think of an animal as helpless as a opossum exposed to that sort of treatment is heartbreaking.

Tara Thompson said...

I believe that what they are doing is horrible. No matter what these animals have a right to live their life in peace. Just because they need those plants to survive and they eat them does not give people the right to kill them so they have pretty flowers to look at.

- Tara Thompson

Tyla Lucas said...

As an animal at first I was horrified by the thought of slaughtering millions of animals, but as Kolbert explains to us of what these animals are doing to the ecosystem of New Zealand. As Nick Smith, New Zealand's Minister for Conservation, explains "The connection with species that are unique to New Zealand is increasingly part of our national identity". To us it may seem abhorrent to kill all these animals, but the destruction of their unique ecosystems is like burning the U.S. Constitution. To New Zealand their ecosystem is what makes them New Zealand, just like our freedoms make the U.S. the U.S. They are doing what they can to protect their identity and I can sympathize with that.

Devin Ellis-Martin said...

I found this piece interesting because even though I do not believe in killing animals for our own needs and causes, if it is not in my jurisdiction I would want it to be done humanely, and it is even said on page 178, “ The humaneness problem was probably the hardest part”. I find this troubling because I do not want these animals to suffer.

Kailey Main said...

While reading "The Big Kill" by Elizabeth Kolbert I was very intrigued with her article but also concerned. Kolbert referred to New Zealand as being one of "..The most nature-loving nation on the planet."(Kolbert 164). It seems hypocritical of New Zealand to have a title like this but be able to kill these animals and make it a big movement. I understand that these animals are invasive but that does not make it alright, New Zealand should be able to find another way especially if they have things like conservation groups.
-Kailey Main

Diana L said...

“The Big Kill” was interesting to me because of how disturbing it is. I have always been interested in animals and nature, and to see that whole species are being exterminated is disgusting to me. I understand that species are invasive of the native species’, but there are more humane ways to solve the issue.

As I read the text, my thoughts shifted from angry and disgruntled to understanding. I read more and saw how damaging the invasive species was, and that New Zealand was only doing what they see as the only option. With that being said, I still don’t believe that offing the entire species is right, but I understand why New Zealand is doing it.

Kameryn Sabino said...

At the beginning I was slightly confused. As I continued to read, I learned that the mammals are killing trees, which then disrupts bird populations, throwing off the ecosystem. With prior knowledge, I know that these rodents breed very quickly so death to the rodents wouldn't be that outlandish. I was fascinated because they found a way to be humane in the killing of the mammals to keep other bird populations safe. They aren't killing for no reason. It is completely necessary to keep the ecosystem whole by using any means necessary.

Jayla Pierce said...

In "The Big Kill" by Elizabeth Kolbert, it's interesting how they went to such extreme means to try to kill off these small mammals but it was said that the connection with species was what thought the nation together. "The connection with species that are unique to New Zealand is increasingly part of our national identity." This quote kept coming back to me as I continued to read the story, the story goes on to tell you about other different unique species that occupy the land. But when these invasive species started to become a problem is when they decided that they wanted to wipeout all of New Zealand's mammalian predators. They were starting to wipeout the local species that resided in New Zealand. I don't expect such extreme means to kill these creatures. When I was reading the different options, they made me think what would I do in that situation. It's seemed inhumane treatment,  but at the same time I kill bugs just because I don't like them. Is it the same concept?

Isaiah Johnson said...

This story utterly disgusted me in a way I've never been appalled in my entire life. The whole time reading this, all I could think about was how murderous, sick, and disgusting these inhuman monsters are to be doing these things to those poor animals. I thought that, only with a curse word in every spot there could possibly be one. I understand these creatures are disrupting the wildlife, but that's mother nature. Not only that, but these creatures don't mean to, they are just doing what they can to survive. Also, it's the humans that are bringing these poor things across countries, why punish the poor animals for literally just living their lives. The most putrid, vile, foul thing about this was that, the Adsheads, especially Kevin, seemed to like doing this, especially when he said he likes the smell in the cages from not cleaning them out. The way he worded that doesn't really say to me that he's not cleaning them because it works better when the smell attracts the animals, it seems to me that he is a sick psychopath that loved to torture animals every chance he gets. The Adsheads don't sound like nature lovers to me. I don't care why they're doing this, they could find a MUCH, MUCH more humane - i mean an actually humane at all way of dealing with the migration of these creatures. Look up a
stoat on Google, then go to images. Then, picture in your mind what they are doing to it. Also, the intense imagery REALLY helped paint the picture of what they do. It also intensifies the disgust I feel with this novel. Enough imagery can be very persuasive and effective.

Lena Searcy said...

I believe the actions in this article are unjust. Humans have no right to get rid of another species to ensure the survival of another. Humans should not interfere too much with nature, who is to say what animal deserves the right to exist and what animal does not. If a species is killed off due to other forces of nature, it is unfortunate but that is natural selection.

James Beverly said...

This article really reminded me of the unit we had in AP Biology about invasive species and how they have such a significant impact on ecosystems. This reading also showed the horror in humanity due to the fact that they would rather kill animals to protect a plant over finding alternative methods. It was truly disgusting reading about how humans were actively trying to extinguish a species.

Marley McCoy said...

I found this reading very interesting. I did not know about the problem of invasive species in New Zealand before I read this. While I do not agree with just killing a bunch of animals, I do understand New Zealand's side. They want to keep their native species in tact and these invasive species are damaging their native animals. I think there could be different ways that they could handle this problem instead of just killing the animals.

Samontriona P said...

Before reading "Kill Bill" by Elizabeth Kolbert, I had a different outlook on how native wildlife was conserved. I am an animal lover, so I feel as though humans shouldn't kill animals. I realize that the invasive animals are killing the native animals so the humans want to protect them, but instead of killing the they should find an alternative.On page 4 Kevin says something along the lines of him liking the smell of the trap area so he'll keep it that way just to kill another animal. That there made me aware that he wasn't killing the animals just to protect the native animals, but was doing it for himself.

Ronnie Akpan said...

The passage debates the topic of exterminating invasive species who have a negative effect on the amount of native birds and kiwi present in New Zealand. From the viewpoint of animals, I would be very much against this practice of extermination. But, since I am a human being, most would assume that I would be for killing these invasive species. But, in all honesty, invasive species in a county is not the worst problem our world has faced. Getting rid of these species is not going to rid the world of our everyday issues. Sure they take away some wildlife, but so do many other land mammals. Species are living things too, they deserve the proper living space they have.

-Ronald A.

Kiara Coker said...

Elizabeth Kolbert’s article “The Big Kill” is an eye-opener. I was not aware of the effects that invasive species have on maintained environments. I do feel that is is not ethical to kill the animals because they are only doing whats in their nature to do.

Kamela Cross said...

While reading "The Big Kill" by Elizabeth Kolbert, I do agree with some points that are made. As humans I do agree we should have hunting. It prevent overpopulation and as long as the whole animals is being used I see no issues. Native American hunted for there food and they were able to live among the land peacefully. However I don't agree with the complete killing of a species in an area solely because they are changing the environment. If humans had just left the animals where the were to begin with then we wouldn't need to do anything. Killing an animal just to create space is wrong and demeaning. This goes for places all around the world not just New Zealand and the United States of America.

Christen King said...

After reading The Big Kill I have mixed emotions about the situation. Yes, they are trying to protect wildlife and nature, but they are killing off harmless animals in the process. I think this shows a bigger picture in how some humans do not want to see change in the world and think the way of the past will always be correct. The farmer did not want to witness evolution and his area, New Zealand, evolve. He thought the way of the past was the only way New Zealand and its wildlife should be. I, in sense, understand in their mind they are doing the world and New Zealand a favor. It's shown on pg. 167 when Nick Smith was quoted saying, " I say to people, if you want your grand kids to see kiwi only in sanctuaries, well, that's where we're headed. And that's why we need to use pretty aggressive tools to try to turn this around." They have good intentions but a very poor execution.

Kalonji Rumph said...

This article reminded me that every ecosystem is a delicate balancing act. If one variable is added or taken away it could throw that entire ecosystem out of whack. Human beings have the unique ability to change our environment unlike any other species; we use this to our advantage making our lives easier, but at the same time, even the smallest tampering with the natural order of things can disrupt and even destroy entire ecosystems. New Zealand is a rich and lush land, home to many unique species that you can't find anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, past human interaction with New Zealand's environment is threatening it's ecosystem today. This requires certain measures to be taken in order to correct the mistakes of the past. This quote from a New Zealand conservationist is one example of these measures, "We always say that for us, conservation is all about the killing of things"(164). This idea of killing off the invasive species is paradoxical in that it contradicts what normally comes to mind when we think of the word "conservation". However, as I alluded to earlier any added variable can throw off the natural order of an ecosystem. In this instance, we were the ones who intoduced the invasive species which are now threatening to destroy the beauty and the native species of New Zealand, so it's only right that we're the ones to correct this mistake. In other words, killing off the invasive species that we introduced is necessary and our(the people of New Zealand) responsibilty.

Chikelue Nkemeh said...

Based on first impressions, seeing overall on how the migration patterns of human have led and exposed animals to new habitats and environments they're not accustomed too, only to hear about them being slaughtered against their own will, I felt empathy for theses animals. On the other hand thinking critically, I understand the fact that at the end of the day, these animals are causing greater harm to those around them opposed to the humans killing them. For example on page 164 the Adsheads "are eating their way through the native fauna, producing what is, even in an age of generalized extinction, a major crisis (Kolbert 164).

Youssef Hassan said...

I have always been interested in the big impacts that humans can make when it comes to wildlife. It is not very difficult to make this a positive impact, but people decide to create a negative impact accidentally or for personal gain. But what also interests me is how advanced the tools that kill these animals are and also how much studying goes into destroying and preserving wildlife.

Anonymous said...

I'm hungry tho, so killing them feeds me.

Avant Hall said...

When reading "the Big Kill," I noticed its main topic was invasive species. It explained how these species are affecting their environment because there are no natural predators. Killing these species is a necessity because they will otherwise kill off other native species. It still is a huge problem to them and the only way to get rid of them is to kill them. This is an act of preserving the original ecosystem with the sacrifice of killing off the invasive species.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I feel both sides of this argument. But to choose a side, I would rather have the population of invaders under control. This could be a good alternative to complete genocide of the invasive species. It would benefit the native species by leaving more vegetation for them, and (in a sense) benefit the invaders by not completely wiping them out. The utter annihilation of mammalian invaders would nearly impossible to achieve, as there may be billions throughout New Zealand alone. In conclusion, I would recommend the controlling of the population instead of complete genocide.
-Kevin Cox

Jonathan Sanchez said...

Before reading this article, I always believed that some animals should be suppressed. If I were to say that I believe all animals should stay alive, that would mean we should all hesitate when killing that pesky fly by our food at the family cookout. With this logic, I would completely side with the people of New Zealand. On page 164 Kolbert says,"But theirs is, to borrow E. O. Wilson's term, a bloody, bloody biophilia. The sort of amateur naturalist who in Oregon or Oklahoma might track butterflies or band birds will, in Otorohanga, poison possums and crush the heads of hedgehogs. As the coordinator of one volunteer group put it to me, 'We always say that for us, conservation is all about killing'". Though thee phrase seems provocative, I do agree with it. Look at how farmers defend their crops. They also set traps. Sometimes a sacrifice must be made to benefit the greatest amount.

Kayla Summy said...

The quote that stood out to me most was "We always say that for us, conservation is all about killing things." I saw that killing these animals did in fact conserve the ecosystem while at the same time they are not conserving the animals lives. So I agree with the comment and question it.

Taija Cook said...

The article,"The Big Kill," by Elizabeth Kolbert discussed invasive species and how they disrupt the native species. New Zealand are exterminating the invasive species on their island to repopulate their native species. I believe that they should leave the non native species at peace and let nature take its course. Disrupting the natural process of natural selection can cause harmful consequences on the island. On page 174 the text reads," It is impractical to try to resolve ecosystems to some 'rightful' historical state," a group of American researchers wrote a few years ago, in Nature. "We must embrace the fact of 'novel ecosystems' and incorporate many alien species into management plans, rather than try to achieve the often impossible goal of eradicating them. "I love this statement because I completely agree with it. Manhandling natural ecosystems does more harm than good in the long run.

Qcadwell said...

The process was both fascinating and concerning at the same time. The fascinating aspect was that the New Zealanders saved many critically endangered animals by establishing invasive species free safe zones where they could thrive. The concerning aspect of this culture of extermination is the lengths that the citizens will go to kill rats. On page 167, "New Zealand, which has 1 percent of the worlds land but uses 80 percent of its 1080." 1080 is a highly poisonous toxin which New Zealand uses in a bid to kill its invasive mammals. While I can understand the need to preserve the local species of an ecosystem. I believe that conservation should be just that, with efforts having a minimal environmental impact.

- Quinn Cadwell

Kelsey McNeil said...

While reading "The Big Kill" by Elizabeth Kolbert, I found it very interesting to read about all of this stuff and to find out that it was about New Zealand. I honestly sometimes forget that New Zealand is right by Australia and it's crazy how they treat certain animals. While we don't treat animals that well in America either, it still was shocking for me to read at the beginning about how they get rid of certain animals. It just goes right in a row how they get rid of the possums, then the rats, then the stoats, and then even cats and all by poisoning them. It is sort of hard looking at this situation from our point of view in because we don't necessarily consider these animals to be invasive.

Breonna Roberts said...

The ways New Zealand tries to control the over population of "anything with fur and beady little eyes" (pg 164) is very concerning to me. I understand that they are trying to create a safer environment for the things that are natural to that area, but I do not think that they have to go about it the way that they are. I think that if they were to let the animals go into the traps by themselves it would be a lot more humane than baiting them into the traps. As a nature lover myself, I understand the want to preserve the beauty of tress and the natural animals that live in that area but I also do not think it is okay to kill those animals. I think that is horrible how they are going about it and just killing things because they believe it is disrupting their nature. The animals that they believe to be brought over from other places are just doing what is natural to them and they are trying to survive. If they are truly from other places, they are trying to adapt to the changes their species are not adapted for just like the people and nature in New Zealand are trying to adapt to the new species. I understand their want to maintain the balance that was already in place but there are better ways than poisoning them and causing them extreme and unnecessary bodily harm .

Rodney Clark said...

"The Big Kill", written by Elizabeth Kolbert, was very unique in how it explained conservation. Rather than gathering every animal and protecting them, citizens of New Zealand kill the invasive species. They view it as a learning experience to kill animals such as rodents. Due to different plants and animals arriving from other continents, the native animals are facing much difficulty in living safely. Killing animals such as cats keeps them safe. She also spoke about what makes their island unique, such as the large amount of feathered animals along with an animal from the Mesozoic period. It even spoke about how human interaction made a kakapo uninterested in sexual-intercourse with its own species. This section does a lot to tell people of how human influence changes the lives of all animals. The people of New Zealand find it important to not kill off creatures just because they were there first. An article such as this can do a lot to change how and where people hunt.

-Rodney Clark

Dasia Anderson said...

I think humans forget that we disrupted the environment and changed the natural order of things. And New Zealand wanting to kill off a species is proof of that. I don't find any reasoning worthy of killing off animals. They want to find the easiest way to solve the problem instead of reducing their impact and rebuilding spaces for these species to thrive.

Kameron Lindsey said...

"Today Invasive species are everywhere. No matter where you are reading this, almost certainly you are surrounded by them."(173) This passage made me wonder if what we as a humans think of as invasive species are actually invasive. Environments are constantly changing and different groups of animals migrate to different areas over the course of time. So i could not say that i find it right to exterminate these "invasive" species because it is the natural flow of things and also because i believe the the most invasive species is us.

Thomas Moses said...

After reading "The Big Kill" by Elizabeth Kolbert, it informed me on how invasive species have negative effects on the environment in New Zealand. I have always that animals didn't have that much of a negative effect on the environment but to sustain the ecosystem and human life in New Zealand they have to kill the non native animals. Kolbert says " The invaders are eating their way through the native fauna, producing what is, even in an age of generalized extinction,a major crisis"(164).

Abraham Carmichael said...

"The Big Kill" by Elizabeth Kolbert sheds light on a subject rarely touch. As humans, there isn't talk or alot of exposure about the extermination of animals. But bearing the situation, this just shows that there is always a choice that has to be made, everything comes with sacrifice.

-Abraham Carmichael

Taija Cook said...

The article, "The Big Kill" discussed invasive species and how they disrupt the native species. New Zealand are exterminating the invasive species on their island to repopulate their native species. I believe that they should leave the non native species at peace and let nature take its course. Disrupting the natural process of natural selection can cause harmful consequences on the island. On page 174 the text reads," It is impractical to try to resolve ecosystems to some 'rightful' historical state," a group of American researchers wrote a few years ago, in Nature. "We must embrace the fact of 'novel ecosystems' and incorporate many alien species into management plans, rather than try to achieve the often impossible goal of eradicating them. "I love this statement because I completely agree with it. Manhandling natural ecosystems does more harm than good in the long run.

Stella Nguepnang said...

Elizabeth Kolbert's article "The Big Kill" opened my mind up to things I never knew were occurring. The thought that people could want to kill the animals just preserve the animals that symbolize their national identity is shocking. It is cheating in a sense, the animals that are supposed to win, live. Those that die, were not meant to be. To interrupt this process could cause a big disturbance in the ecosystem. I believe the should try to find other ways preserving their national identity through those animals. But at the same time I think humans would be ignorant to think that we are not already doing this. We are creating different species of plants with chemicals and doing the same with animals just so we can make more money off the food. As incorrect as killing those animals is, we can do so much better than say just say what is inmoral.

Anonymous said...

Kolbert’s focus on humans hunting and killing invasive mammals to protect native wildlife and New Zealand’s national identity was fascinating or alarming, depending on your point of view. What did you think? How did the article enhance or reshape how you thought about what it means to protect wildlife? Please provide a page number citation, where necessary.

I thought the hunting and killing ideology that many humans have was completely alarming. To me, I instinctively thought of humans, and how non-native Americans (literally EVERYONE) would feel if we hunted and killed them because they were simply doing what they needed to do to survive. This reshaped my way of thinking about wildlife because they are just like humans, no one asked to be born, so it's up to you to do what you need to do to survive -- and if that means endangering plants, then so be it. I wholeheartedly agreed with Kolbert when she said, "One response is simply to accept this as the planet’s destiny. Yes, the invaders will, inevitably, choke out some local species, and there will be losses... But people aren’t going to stop shipping goods and they aren’t going to stop travelling; therefore, we’re just going to have to learn to live in a Pangaea of our own making" (174).
--Toriel S.

Tomika Collins said...

The Big Kill" held my interest due to the fact that it never crossed my mind of the over population of species and the damage they cause. Kolbert’s ideology of humans hunting and killing mammals for the protections of native wildlife and New Zealand’s national identity was jaw dropping yet intriguing. This story has really made me think about how we as humans are capable of almost anything.

Alishiana Ivy said...

The BIg Kill by Elizabeth Kolbert was a very interesting paper. The one thing that I felt was a little alarming was the behavior in humans. It took me by surprise because I didn't know that people like killing animals that much. For an example, on page 163 it states that “ one thing lead to another and soon they were going after rats”. They went on to kill just about any living thing on their farm. I feel like what they did was overkill when especially when they started killing the cats

josh tibbs said...

Joshua

My opinion on the killing of the invasive mammals to protect native wildlife is that sometimes you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet and by that I mean if you really are serious about protecting g the native wildlife then the best option in my opinion is that you have to kill the non native animals. Like on page 170 the Maori hunted and killed all the Moa and the Haast eagle also left and this is a problem and this shows how the new animals are over powering the native animals and that they don’t stand a chance. This enhances my view of the break a few eggs point of view because it reinforced the fact that to help one group you have to help another.

Jada James said...

To me, it's a bit disturbing the attitude of conservation that New Zealander's have. I completely understand it, but it makes me wonder: is there a better way? Is there something else they could be doing? I understand the need for preservation of their native species of animals, but it seems like such a harsh solution to the problem to just kill all of the invasive species. Also, their attitudes about it are very nonchalant. "...in New Zealand, killing small mammals brings people together," page 177 states. It seems to me that the protection of wildlife is gone about very differently even in countries as developed as the U.S. Perhaps the reason that they can be so casual and even excited about the extermination of animals is because this is what they believe is the best way to go about saving their wildlife.

Dejanee Geeters said...

I am a firm believer that every living organism was put where they are because of a greater power. I believe nobody should have the power to take away a life they did not give. Regardless of if the life is in an animal or not. Nature has a way of adjusting to changes and honestly if no humans messed with nature at all (outside of healing purposes) the world would be such an outstanding place.