Length: 801 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
We all studied the extinction of dinosaurs in middle school. We know that, two hundred fifty million years ago, more than 90% of the planet species became extinct. There have been five major mass extinctions during the life history of planet earth. Scientists now agree that we are experiencing a sixth major extinction. The big difference between the older events and now is, “unlike earlier extinctions, this one results from the work of a single species, Homo sapiens. We are relentlessly taking over the planet, laying it to waste and eliminating most of our fellow species” (Coyne 1). We should care about this man-made extinction for a lot of reasons, including the interconnectedness of life, our moral obligation to take care of our planet, and even economic factors.
In the past, extinctions were caused by natural disasters, such as volcanic eruptions during the Permian period, and asteroid impact during the Cretaceous extinction. These major events caused global warming by increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, and shut down photosynthesis by blocking sunlight with a huge cloud of debris. Both of these catastrophes altered the Earth’s climate radically, which caused the extinctions (Campbell 521-522). The current extinction is not being caused by natural factors, but by us. “Rates of species extinction have increased rapidly since the early Holocene epoch, chiefly due to activities of humans; further acceleration of extinction rates began approximately 1600 AD, with the onset of accelerated human population growth and expanded scope of agriculture” (Hogan 1). We have caused this destruction by overfishing/hunting, destroying habitats, increasing global warming with fossil fuels and pollution, and a general disregard for the rest of the life on Earth (Coyne 1).
For many years it was thought that humans had hunted the Wooly Mammoth to extinction. It has been found that “the wooly mammoth went extinct primarily because of habitat loss due to changes in temperature, while human hunting acted as the final straw” (“Climate Change and Human Hunting Combine To Drive The Woolly Mammoth Extinct” 1). Animals have been hunted for food, trophies, medicines, and souvenirs. Many of the endangered species are targets, such as the Chinese tiger, which has been hunted for medical use over the last 1000 years (Hogan 3). Overfishing has caused the populations of large fish to be only 10% of the levels found in 1950.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Animals." 19 Nov 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Animals In Our Society Essay

- “Much as we might want to understand animals at a level deeper than pop culture, we can only understand them in terms of our own experiences, language and emotions, and interpreted within our social, historical and cultural contexts. The only way we have of understanding animals is to recognize that ‘when we gaze at animals we hold up a mirror to ourselves’ (Corbett, 176). Animal messages are brought to us by the pop culture industry, whose job it is to create, disseminate, and sell meaning. In most cases, they aren’t selling you a moose, but what a moose means to you for example – the characteristics and qualities that you and most people associate with the species....   [tags: Marketing Animals]

Research Papers
1576 words (4.5 pages)

Should Animals Be A Animal Friendly? Essay

- There has always been a cruelty free presence in the product industry, but it appears that there are more companies transitioning from non-cruelty free to cruelty free. The change has taken a few years to finally come into full effect. While there are companies doing the transition to become animal friendly, there are just as many companies that refuse to cooperate and change their production. Not only does the product industry use animals to test human products on but the scientific community does so as well....   [tags: Animal testing, Testing cosmetics on animals]

Research Papers
1698 words (4.9 pages)

Essay on The Difference Between Animals and Humans

- Animal rights are an important topic to discuss and review. The trouble is the vast diversity of how people see humans and animals and how they are different and yet the same. Animals are in every aspect of our lives in how they are utilized to make our lives easier, to sustain us, or as a pet. Unfortunately, the line of animals and humans blurs as the widely known belief that we are a derivation of an animal and we should treat them as we would ourselves. This viewpoint, however, can be taken to an extreme as we see pets that can be pampered quite a bit....   [tags: Autonomy, humans, animals]

Research Papers
1496 words (4.3 pages)

Should Animals Be Kept in Captivity Essay

- Animals should not be kept in captivity for any reason unless they have been harmed and need to receive treatment but they should be released as soon as they are healthy and capable of taking care of themselves again. The use of a captive animal for research, education, or entertainment is just wrong no creature deserves to have their life taken away for our benefit. Would you want to be captured and put in a tiny box or a fake little ecosystem, or abused and tortured because apparently that’s the only possible way to train an animal....   [tags: zoos, circus, animals, freedom]

Research Papers
1615 words (4.6 pages)

Essay about Animals In Captivity

- Animals In Captivity Wild animals are known as “wild” animals for a purpose. If wild animals were intended to be kept shut up in a jail, also known as a zoo, then what exactly is the point of contacting them wild animals anymore. Zoo authorities use many justifications to back up their place that having wild animals in captivity is necessary, but those justifications are neither moral nor necessary enough reasons to deny animals of their organic right to independence. Even under the best of conditions at the best of zoos, captivity cannot even begin to evaluate up to wild animals’ organic settings....   [tags: zoos, wild animals, wildlife crises]

Research Papers
2014 words (5.8 pages)

The Ethical Treatment Of Animals Essay

- In the discussion of using animals for medical training in the military, one controversial issue has been whether the use of these animals is necessary. On the one hand, military officials have argued that completely getting rid of these animals would result in more battlefield deaths. On the other hand, some would argue that because the treatment of these animals is cruel and unethical, and there are other alternatives to using these animals, there is no need for the military to harm and potentially kill them....   [tags: Soldier, Military, Combat, The Animals]

Research Papers
929 words (2.7 pages)

Therapeutic Use of Animals Description Essay

- Animals may be incorporated into the treatment process to facilitate the attainment of calculated goals and objectives. These goals and objectives may be physical (fine or gross motor skills), social (casual interaction), intellectual (recreation education), or emotional (anxiety reduction) in nature. Animals involved in these interventions have undergone rigorous training and assessment processes and are accompanied by trained handlers with dedicated knowledge of the profession (Powell, 2012). Potential Target Groups Research demonstrates that the therapeutic use of animals may be beneficial to a wide range of individuals....   [tags: therapeutic animals, recreation therapist]

Research Papers
1372 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Animals in Biomedical Research

- “How can otherwise decent citizens do these things. How can they become so insensitive to what they are doing. Don Barnes, who spent sixteen years as a biomedical scientist experimenting on animals, and now heads the Washington, DC office of the National Anti-Vivisection Society, calls the state in which he used to do his work 'conditioned ethical blindness'” (Singer and Gruen 78-80). As a former vivisector, Barnes worked with monkeys and would cut them open while they were still alive. With a primary interest of biological science, vivisectors performed experiments on living animals to advance the understanding of anatomy, physiology, pathology, and pharmacology....   [tags: Ethical issues, experiments on animals]

Research Papers
1193 words (3.4 pages)

Endangered Animals Essay

- Many people say they care about endangered species, but what do they actually do to help. Some people, like the ones that work for WWF (World Wildlife Fund), decide to take action. “WWF is building a future where human needs are met in harmony with nature,” ( The organization helps both the environment and endangered species. Not only does WWF lets you adopt endangered animals symbolically, but it also does many things to help empower communities and promote conservation. Since climate change is becoming a larger problem each day, WWF helps underdeveloped communities cope with the problem, live more sustainably, and take action against it....   [tags: National Geographic, Animals]

Research Papers
1869 words (5.3 pages)

Animals In Buddhism Essay

- When my family first arrived in the dirty city of Bangkok, one of the first things my little sister asked me was “Why are there so many dogs everywhere?” Being the dog lover that she is, she was extremely disappointed to learn that these dogs were not only nobody’s pets, but that she also couldn’t pet them unless she wanted to get some weird fungus or sickness on the first couple days of her vacation. As I explained to them that the reason for all the dogs was because Thailand is mainly Buddhist and it is not in their fashion to kill these dogs, they still had a hard time accepting this fact seeing how miserable many of them look....   [tags: Animals Buddhism Karma]

Free Essays
1918 words (5.5 pages)

In addition to overfishing, humans also have taken away the food supply by polluting and warming of the seas. “Fish, on which so humans depend, will be a fond memory” (Coyne 2).
Humans have also destroyed the habitat of most wildlife. “Habitat destruction is the greatest contributor to the extinction of many species” (Hogan 2). Most of the deforestation is human causes to make suburban development. For example, “rainforest are being destroyed chiefly to expand agricultural production to feed an undernourished human population; such massive deforestation destroys and fragments the habitat for innumerable species” (Hogan 2). Global warming from human activities also causes changes to habitats (Seaton 3). When animals have nowhere to go they end up dying or becoming extinct. “To Survive, many need to migrate to more suitable areas, but habitat fragmentation means that such species may literally have nowhere else to go” (Seaton 3).
It is clear that we are the main cause of this sixth major extinction. “Every year, up to 30,000 species disappear due to human activity alone. At this rate, we could lose half of earth species in this century. And, unlike with previous extinctions, there’s no hope that biodiversity will ever recover, since the cause of the decimation- us- is here to stay” (Coyne 5). Just like our mothers taught us, if we cause a mess we have to clean it up. Humans have to stop being the problem, and start being the solution.
One thing that might get us motivated is that the extinction has a negative economic impact. Healthy ecosystems provide services such as waste disposal, soil formation, water purification, and oxygen production. “In fact, the global value of ‘hidden’ services provided by ecosystems … has been estimated to be as much as $50 trillion per year, roughly equal to the gross domestic product of all countries combined” (Coyne 12). Since diverse ecosystems are much better at doing these jobs, we have an economic incentive to stop decreasing biodiversity (Coyne 11). We also rely on plants and animals to provide medicines, food, and fibers. More than 25% of the medicines we use today are from plants. “Given current extinction rates, it’s estimated that we’re losing one valuable drug every two years” (Coyne 15). As mentioned above, overfishing has eliminated most of the breeding stock that would provide food for future humans. Not only will we lose a large source of food, we also will lose the livelihood of all those involved in the seafood industry.

Return to