Leopold, Pinchot, Marx, and the Ethics of Buffalo Hunting in the 21st Century

TitleLeopold, Pinchot, Marx, and the Ethics of Buffalo Hunting in the 21st Century
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsSimon, A
JournalTeaching Ethics: The Journal of the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum
Date PublishedSpring 2007
PublisherSociety for Ethics Across the Curriculum
Publication Languageeng
AbstractThis article talks about conservationist ethics as represented by Gifford Pinchot, and ecocenteric ethics as represented by Aldo Leopold, and then discusses a buffalo hunt the author engaged in in 2005 in the Henry Mountains of Utah. The description of the hunt gives a good example of what Leopold characterizes as a valuable wilderness experience. Social scientists are often hesitant to cite anecdotal evidence, as a particular event may not be representative of the characteristics, experiences, or attitudes of a given population. However, anecdotal evidence is appropriate in this case, as one of the central points made here is that such experiences (and fauna) are anomalies, and that their scarcity results in consequences that would be considered adverse from both ecocentric and conservationist perspectives. Finally, it will be argued that a sustainable and equitable utilization of land requires that Leopold’s ethics regarding land use be augmented with Marx’s ethics regarding land use.
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