Is All Animal Life, Excluding Human Beings, Equally Valuable?

Week of July 25, 2001

Jeff Grellner
Co-Owner, Valley Park Elevator
"I believe every animal is important in this world. Last week, I was down on my farm. I got chiggers, and I thought, 'Why on earth did God put chiggers here? What is the purpose?' But then you remember that chiggers are eaten by songbirds. They're a part of the food chain. You cannot delete one part of the food chain because it makes you itch."

Ilona Horn
Savvy Shopper
"To an animal, it is. My feeling is that when all these endangered species die off, how long before we're next? It's all interrelated, and basically we need to learn to live with more of these animals, give them more space. We humans need to learn to quit multiplying."

Josh Mullen
Studio-Art Junkie
"Yes, 100 percent, even down to the mayfly larvae in the creeks. This is their world, too. They all deserve as much respect as we would give our mother. Like, I really hate spiders -- those legs like hairy pencils, ecchhhh! -- but I still give them respect because they're valuable to the circle of life."

Barbara Dozier
Creative Consultant, Keely Communications
& Promotions

"Yes, I do. I think we're all interdependent on each other, and if we disregard any species, I think there's real consequences down the line that we have not even begun to imagine. Oh, I'll slap a mosquito if it's biting me, because I know there's many more where he came from. There's predator and then there's prey, and we have to respect that order."

Christina Price
Student, St. Louis Community College-Forest Park
"Depends on the animal. Some are smarter than others, just like some people are smarter than others. You tend to put a higher premium on intelligence, and a dog, for example, that could do your homework without eating it -- that would be a valuable animal."

Sal Esposito
Team Leader, All-Nude Outward Bound
"If those animals are alive and breathing on this planet, yes. You know what kills me? When species disappear. Like the dodo. We will never see a living dodo bird. Or the buffalo ... I had a buffalo steak once. It was the size of a skillet and 2 inches thick. A monster. Best piece of meat that I ever had. And to think those things were almost gone. I am so glad that they are not extinct. I take my hat off to whoever saved them."

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