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The Honeyguide bird can guide African tribes to beehives after exchanging whistles with them. Once the humans have removed the honey, the bird can feed on the remaining beeswax and larvae. Should an animal be used to find food?

The Honeyguide bird can guide African tribes to beehives after exchanging whistles with them. Once the humans have removed the honey, the bird can feed on the remaining beeswax and larvae. Should an animal be used to find food?
  • Animals can help humans by finding them food

    In remote areas, food sources can be scarce. An easy solution to this problem is using animals to sniff out where food might be, and there's nothing wrong with that. If humans cannot find food on their own, they need to rely on any possible source of help, simply as a matter of survival.

  • Yes, also well-known examples include our training bees to detect the odor of explosives, cormorants to catch fish for us, and llamas to guard our sheep against coyotes and other predators.

    Humans have a long history of spotting superior abilities in other animals, and then training those animals to use those abilities to advance our own interests. Everyone’s familiar with how we’ve trained pigs to sniff out truffles for us with their sensitive snouts and how we’ve domesticated dogs to herd our livestock, alert us to intruders, guide us when our vision fails, and perform other services.

  • Yes, people should be able to use animals to help locate food.

    Yes, animals should be used to help find food. Humans are also animals, and like other species, we have symbiotic relationships with certain species that benefit both. In the case of the Honeyguide bird, both the bird and the humans it helps benefit, which is a classic symbiotic relationship. Another symbiotic relationship that exists in nature is the one between the Plover bird and the crocodile. The bird feeds off of the debris on the reptile's teeth, helping to keep its mouth infection-free.

  • Find food that isn't an endangered species - and then we'll talk.

    In this particular circumstance, I have to disagree with this practice. Honey bees are dangerously close to extinction, and encouraging further damage to their species is immoral and careless. As sentient beings on this planet, who are aware of their impact and are able to make a difference, it's absolutely reckless and foolish to knowingly cause harm to this fragile ecosystem.


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