What do you think about the phrase "survival of the fittest"?

The phrase "survival of the fittest" describes the process of natural selection which has been occurring on our planet for the past several million years, but it is not a prescription for our ethical guidelines. Consider our ethics with regards to other human beings. We care for the weak and the sick, as well as for the strong and the healthy. We take care of the elderly and the infirm, and do not simply leave them to die outside in the cold.

Also, we should keep in mind that "survival of the fittest" has nothing to do with the way in which we currently kill animals for food. This is because all farm animals are eventually sent to the slaughter house, regardless of how fit they are. In fact, humans have altered farm animals through selective breeding to enhance characteristics humans find desirable, even though these characteristics significantly reduce the "fitness" of the animals. For example, turkeys have been selectively bred to produce large breasts, which consumers prefer. However, the breasts have now become so large that the turkeys are no longer able to mount each other and reproduce naturally. As a result, all commercially bred turkeys in the U.S. can reproduce only through artificial insemination.

Survival of the fittest also has little to do with the way in which humans currently kill animals through hunting. Whereas predators like wolves are more likely to kill young and weak animals, a hunter's riffle does not necessarily make such a distinction. On the contrary, a human hunter may actually prefer to kill a strong and healthy animal because he makes a better trophy.


Follow up question:

Isn't hunting by humans necessary to prevent deer overpopulation?


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