In a reply to a post in the macro section, Chris asked this question and I thought it might be worth to hear others opinions on that.Years ago, I saw a documentary where marine biologists killed organism after organism while trying to study sea creatures in sulfurous steam vents, deep in the Pacific ocean. It's something I think about every time I swat a fly, hammer a scorpion into the tile with my shoe, or watch Spongebob. Is it right to kill life to study it?
I sincerely hope that this thread will not degrade into something radically political or religious, although policy and religion may play a certain part in this.
O.k. this is my first input (actually what I wanted to reply to Chris's post but then decided it would not fit in the original thread):
I kill thousands of insects (mostly beetles) every year for scientific purpose. There are quite a few people who blame me for that but my response is that if you drive 100 miles on a warm and humid late afternoon in summer your car kills more insects than I can kill in a whole life (and that's only one car!). That doesn't include all the birds, hares, hedgehogs, deer, etc. that are killed by cars. All the hunters (and poachers) of Austria cannot wreak such a havoc among wildlife as the traffic does. Most people don't give any thought to this fact.
So, Chris's question might well be modified into "is it right to kill life to go from A to B?"
The same thoughts come up when large areas (even protected areas) of natural habitats are cleared for industrial plants, but when you go in there and collect a few insects you will be fined.....
I have other examples of absurd conservation law interpretations but I would like to hear your opinions first.