- Posted Jan 03, 2017 at 6:31 PM PST
One of the many big news stories to come out of 2016 occurred in May when officials at the Cincinnati Zoo shot and killed a Gorilla (Harambe) after a 4-year-old boy climbed into the enclosure. This event raised a number of questions, including “are human lives more valuable than those of other species?” There are a lot of differing opinions regarding the value of a human life versus other species, as well as numerous reasoning. Is it our superior intelligence, spirituality and ingenuity that makes our lives more valuable than other animals? Studies have shown that we place more value on certain species, as well as our pets. In 2013, researchers conducted a study in which they asked participants what they would do in various moral dilemmas. One question asked the participants who they would save from a getting hit by a bus – their pet or a “foreign tourist”. Of the nearly 600 people surveyed, 40% chose their pet. Pet owners aren’t the only people who think animal lives are more important than humans’. For less emotional reasons, some environmental activists think it would be wise to consider the lives of all species equal because we are all dependent on each other in some way. But for many people, it’s assumed that human lives are more valuable than the lives of animals. Humans have been the only species to create beautiful art and architecture, go to space and, in addition, there is a debate among religious people on whether or not animals have souls. What are your thoughts on this? Share your opinions in the comments!